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Teeth Whitening: Should I Use Shop-Bought Treatments?

A bright white smile is often regarded as a sign that you have healthy teeth. That dazzle of white when you smile can fill you with confidence. If you have a radiant smile, you don’t just look good; you feel good. 

A combination of lifestyle and age can cause your teeth to discolour, become stained, and even turn yellow. The great news is that there are teeth whitening treatments available that restore the natural shade of your teeth and brighten your smile.

As you might expect, there are various options available. You can come to a dentist or buy a treatment online or from a shop and whiten your teeth without professional support. 

But are shop-bought whitening treatments safe or even effective? Here are the cold hard facts you need to know before whitening your teeth. 

What Causes Stains and Discolouration?

Before we touch on the difference between whitening treatments, let’s first look at the different types of stains and what causes your teeth to become discoloured in the first place. 

There are two types of stains; intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic stains are superficial. You can often easily remove these by improving your oral hygiene routine and visiting us for professional cleaning. 

Intrinsic stains go deeper. The surface of your teeth is covered with microscopic pores. These can get filled up with food debris. Things like coffee, red wine, tobacco, spicy food, chocolate, and even dark berries really leave their mark in these pockets. 

These stains require something stronger. Whitening treatments that use hydrogen peroxide are generally regarded as the best way to tackle embedded discolouration. 

What’s the Difference Between Shop-Bought and Professional Whitening?

All whitening treatments use either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. But if mishandled and used too high a dose, both of these ingredients could cause severe damage to your teeth and mouth. For this reason, whitening treatments are heavily regulated. 

While you can buy products containing hydrogen peroxide in high street stores or online, there are restrictions. They cannot legally contain more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. In comparison, professional whitening products used by dentists can contain 6%. 

Some kits bought overseas may contain sodium perborate; however, this ingredient has been banned for many years in the EU and is known to harm unborn babies and cause infertility. 

Are Shop-Bought Whitening Treatments Effective?

With considerably lower levels of the active ingredient, whitening treatments bought in-store will provide little to no benefit. The treatment may only remove extrinsic stains at best. 

Additionally, without professional support, it’s hard to administer the whitening gel to achieve a uniform appearance. 

Are Milder Shop-Bought Whitening Treatments Safe?

You may still be tempted to whiten your teeth with a shop-bought treatment based on the price. Given the fact the treatment is less effective, you might still want to take your chance to enjoy the partial benefits of the treatment. 

Unfortunately, even at this low dose, shop-bought whitening treatments aren’t safe. If you were to use a professional at-home treatment provided by your dentist, you’d have a made-to-measure whitening tray. This holds the whitening gel exactly where needed.

Shop-bought products don’t have custom-made whitening trays. Treating your teeth becomes a roulette as you risk burning or blistering your mouth with the solution.

Added to this, before treatment with us, we always check you don’t have cavities or gum issues, as they could cause serious complications. There are no such checks ahead of shop-bought treatments. 

What About Beauty Salon Teeth Whitening?

Dentists are the only professionals who can legally administer whitening products. If a beauty salon provides this service, they definitely don’t have the qualifications to do so. Treatments like this are illegal and dangerous. 

Professional Teeth Whitening at NuDental

Here at NuDental, we use Enlighten, a safe and highly effective professional whitening treatment that brightens your smile by up to 16 shades. 

Get in touch today and arrange an appointment to learn more about Enlighten and learn whether it’s right for you. 

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