February 23, 2019

My experience from the first time I walked through the door has been extremely positive and my teeth have not looked or been this good for many years. My recent treatment (a crown) was carried out with the utmost care and skill and looks great.

Kevin Supple


Avoid teeth whitening kits

Are you tempted to use high street whitening kits to restore the natural shine to your teeth? It may sound like a good idea but the latest research shows that over-the-counter whitening kits could do more harm than good to your “pearly whites”!

Five common high street whitening kits were tested and found to cause “significant damage to the surfaces of teeth”, according to lead author of the study in the British Dental Journal, Dr Joseph Greenwall-Cohen.

But how could such products make it onto the shelves of your local shop if they aren’t safe?

Getting around the rules

Dr Greenwall-Cohen revealed that there was very little evidence to show how safe and effective the over-the-counter whitening kits were. This is despite these products technically meeting legal safety requirements. So what is going on?

Currently, in the UK, all DIY home whitening kits must contain less than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. This is the bleaching agent that does all the hard work, and at only 0.1%, it won’t do much in the way of whitening your teeth. Anything higher than this in a whitening gel must be applied under the professional care of a dentist.

Manufacturers of whitening kits have therefore found a simple workaround to keep their products on the shelves – use different agents that supposedly whiten enamel

Of the 5 kits tested in the recent study, 3 contained sodium citrate and EDTA, which the researchers found “seriously damaged the hardness and strength of teeth”.

It isn’t just the authors of this study who think that DIY whitening kits aren’t safe.

The British Dental Association agrees

The BDA is the official professional association for UK dentists and is dedicated to improving the nation’s oral health. Their scientific adviser Professor Damien Walmsley said, “…the lack of clarity over chemicals used in over-the-counter and online products means you could be gambling with your teeth”.

There really is no 2 ways about it: DIY home whitening kits put your teeth at risk of significant damage, on top of wasting your time and money.

So what should you do if you want whiter teeth?

Get professional teeth whitening

Professional teeth whitening carried out by a dentist can restore the shine to your teeth while maintaining their health and integrity. At Riverside Dental in Norwich, teeth whitening is tailored to your particular needs from start to finish.

Our principal, Dr Sawhney, who lectures to other dentists on how to whiten teeth effectively says “…we as dentists have been saying this for a long time and it is excellent that a study like this has finally been published so that the public can now be fully aware of the risks. There is no substitute for getting your teeth whitened properly by a professional.

How does professional teeth whitening work?

We’ll assess your teeth to make sure teeth whitening is the most appropriate treatment and discuss what colour we think is achievable. Next, we’ll take photos of your teeth before treatment and again after, so that you can see the difference.

We fabricate custom-made whitening trays from moulds of your teeth. A whitening gel containing a clinically safe amount of hydrogen peroxide goes into these trays, which you then wear, usually, overnight.

Gradually over a set period of time, normally 4 weeks, your teeth will whiten to the expected shade and, more importantly, you will be safe in the knowledge that no actual harm has been done.

Why gamble with your teeth when you can get safe and effective teeth whitening in Norwich at Riverside Dental? With our finance plans to help you spread the cost, there really is no reason to put your teeth at risk.

Get in touch with our friendly team and book your consultation for teeth whitening today.