A study has just found that major high street chemists are selling potentially damaging tooth-whitening kits, leaving teeth weaker and more sensitive.
Testing of five common brands discovered that they can harm enamel, and dental experts are now requesting a ban on non-hydrogen peroxide based whitening kits sold over the counter.
Tests on extracted teeth that had been whitened saw damage, according to a study published on Friday in the British Dental Journal.
Home users can apparently cause more damage to occur by leaving the whitening strips on for too long or using them too often. If they have underlying dental problems, the authors said they are also at risk.
Dr Linda Greenwall, author from Manchester University wrote; “The lack of research and ease of availability of these products from major retailers is alarming and may potentially be harming the consumers’s dentition."
A wide range of teeth whitening products have been saturating the market since an EU directive in 2011 said products with more than 0.1 percent hydrogen peroxide were only be sold to dentists.
Dr Greenwell and her colleagues claim that, despite safety testing taking place, the longer-term effects of the whitening kits are drastically misunderstood.
Three of the tested products in the BDJ study possess sodium chlorite, an additive which can react in the mouth to product enamel-harming chemicals.
Samples which were treated with the Brilliant 5-minute kit and iWhite instant teeth whitening had the most noticeable effects after being tested, and also showed softening which leaves teeth vulnerable to abrasions.
Users have potentially wasted time and money, as some of the tested whitening kits produced no effects at all.
The British Dental Bleaching Society is now asking for all dentists to be trained in tooth-whitening and bleaching. A spokesperson for the group said;
"We are concerned that the OTC products included in the study may be harmful to teeth and advise the general public to see their dentist if they are considering having their teeth whitened.
A Boots spokesperson said: “The safety of our customers is extremely important to us and we thoroughly assess all of our dental care products before we put them on sale.”
High street cosmetic procedures have been increasingly popular with more of the public trying to imitate the look of celebrities and reality TV personalities.
Feature image: @iwhiteteeth/Instagram