BDBS and BDA concerned about OTC teeth whitening kits


A recent study has found that some OTC teeth whitening products containing sodium chlorite, in the presence of acid, could significantly reduce the hardness of teeth. Some non-hydrogen peroxide OTC products were less effective at whitening teeth than saline, whilst other OTC products were found to contain more than the legal 0.1% maximum amount of hydrogen peroxide. Dr Linda Greenwall, co-author of the study, said: “The lack of research and ease of availability of these products from major retailers is alarming and may potentially be harming the consumers’ dentition. It goes without saying, anyone wishing to whiten their teeth must consult with their dentist first. The dentist, by law, has to check a patient’s teeth for pathology and see if they are a candidate for safe tooth whitening.”

The BDBS said: “The British Dental Bleaching Society is advocating safe tooth whitening and training as well as competency for dentists undertaking safe and effective tooth whitening for their patients. We are concerned that the OTC products included in the study may be harmful to teeth. We advise the general public to see their dentist if they are considering having their teeth whitened.”

“BDBS and BDA concerned about OTC teeth whitening kits“

Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser at the British Dental Association, said: “At best, people may be wasting their money buying over-the-counter and online products to whiten teeth. Home whitening kits are likely to take longer and be less effective than treatment from the dentist. While hydrogen peroxide, as used in dental practices, is the gold standard for whitening teeth, the lack of clarity over chemicals used in over-the-counter and online products means you could be gambling with your teeth. Some online products have been found to contain dangerous chemicals. These include toxic or banned substances that can severely burn gums, or irreparably damage teeth. Dentists are trained to consider a patient’s wider health and detect problems. They also know what whitening products are effective to use, and safe for teeth and gums.”

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