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Behind the smile: The dangers of teeth whitening at beauty salons

Everyone loves the idea of perfectly white teeth and the Hollywood smile, and beauty salons capitalise on this, often offering quick, cheap teeth whitening solutions.

Everyone loves the idea of perfectly white teeth and the Hollywood smile, and beauty salons capitalise on this, often offering quick, cheap teeth whitening solutions. Very few people, however, know that providing this without a dental professional present is illegal, and can put your oral health at risk.

The increased commonality of teeth whitening seems to have desensitised people to the risks associated with the procedure. But, if teeth whitening is something you are seriously considering, there is only one effective, safe, and assured method to consider: professional. Not an over-the-counter kit, and not a beauty salon. A trained, registered and experienced dental professional.

Beauty therapists are not trained and can use kits that don’t contain enough whitening product to be effective. So, they don’t cause any physical damage, but they do burn a hole in your pocket. More seriously, whitening kits administered by untrained staff without dental qualifications can lead to severe consequences to your mouth and gums. In 2015, a Salford based beauty salon was fined £4,500 for offering illegal teeth whitening, but this doesn’t deter most salons from still offering the procedure.

Non-dental professionals do not necessarily know how to properly fit a mouthguard. In the case that the bleaching agent may leak onto your gums and into your mouth, this would result in severe burns, blistering, and sensitivity. The most commonly used compound for teeth whitening is hydrogen peroxide, but in order to make this substance safe for use, it has to be carefully controlled and monitored to ensure its suitability for oral use.

Previously, salons have been prosecuted for handing peroxide that was as much as three hundred times over the imposed legal limits. In many cases, the levels of peroxide in the whitening gel used in salons is dangerously concentrated, meaning that prolonged exposure to the teeth and gums can cause painful burns and long-term damage. In a 2015 investigation into teeth whitening, the BBC reported that “BDA warns anyone else won’t have the right training or knowledge and could cause permanent damage to your teeth and gum”.

Beauty salons are simply cashing in on this ever-increasing beauty trend, which is fast becoming the most sought after cosmetic treatment. They show little regard for the laws surrounding the procedure, and therefore often neglect to offer patients a safe and effective service. Any form of teeth whitening is illegal, other than when it is carried out by a registered professional. How far are you truly willing to go to achieve white teeth? Sure, beauty salons are cheaper, and often quicker, but have you ever stopped to wonder why?

Dentists have a wealth of knowledge and experience at their disposal, meaning they can offer you the bespoke, safe, and effective service that you need. They have years of experience in examining and understanding the structure of the mouth, and can instantly recognise issues and oral diseases and infections. They can advise on the suitability of teeth whitening to individual patients.

Dental professionals are trained to be able to adjust the levels of hydrogen peroxide to suit your needs and desired results. They can heighten or lower the peroxide levels, safely, to ensure a brighter smile, without the risk of painful, enduring injuries to your gums and teeth. The whitening agent will always be stored safely and in line with strict safety protocol in a refrigerated area to maintain the potency and the safety of the product, and also to ensure its effectiveness.

Registered professionals also know the importance of having a custom-fit whitening tray for every client, which prevents saliva prematurely breaking down the peroxide that is in your mouth. It works, by sealing off your teeth from the rest of your mouth. This ensures maximum protection for your gums, whilst ensuring that the peroxide can work its magic!

Nobody’s oral health is the same, and to ensure you get the right treatment for you, a trained dentist is a must. Otherwise, you risk permanent damage to the tooth surface, along with the risk of blistering and burning.

Don’t lose your smile in the search for a new one.

Find your smile safely, with registered, trained dental professionals.