Whiten­ing DE­BUNKED

The low­down straight from the den­tists’ mouths

Look (UK) - - LOOK BEAUTY -

Scroll through in­sta­gram and you’ll find a host of celebri­ties pro­mot­ing kits that prom­ise whiter, brighter teeth. These days ev­ery­one is des­per­ate to get a gleam­ing hol­ly­wood smile – but when it comes to DIY whiten­ing, not ev­ery­thing does what it says on the tin. ‘hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide has to be present for any form of long-term whiten­ing to hap­pen,’ says celebrity den­tist Dr rhona es­kan­der. ‘Non-pro­fes­sional whiten­ing treat­ments such as over-the-counter strips, so­lu­tions and tooth­paste all vary in price, ease of use and ef­fec­tive­ness. most of these prod­ucts don’t con­tain the in­gre­di­ents needed to produce re­sults.’ The sup­pos­edly nat­u­ral al­ter­na­tives? Some of these can cause more dam­age than good. oil pulling, which was all the rage a few months ago and in­volves swirling co­conut oil around your mouth to whiten and im­prove oral health, may not get you any closer to that daz­zling smile ei­ther. ‘in my opin­ion, co­conut oil doesn’t work,’ rhona ex­plains. ‘There’s ac­tu­ally no em­pir­i­cal ev­i­dence to show it does any­thing. Whiten­ing is only ef­fec­tive us­ing ac­tive per­ox­ide for­mu­las.’ and what are per­ox­ides? ‘Per­ox­ides are chem­i­cal com­pounds that work by break­ing down the stains on the tooth’s sur­face via an ox­i­da­tion process with­out dam­ag­ing the enamel coat­ing,’ say Dr lisa and Vanessa creaven. and when it comes to nat­u­ral prod­ucts found in the home, Dr Stan­ley Kay from har­ley Street Den­tal clinic adds: ‘While sev­eral prod­ucts may help to slow down age-re­lated yel­low­ing and may help to re­duce a cer­tain amount of sur­face ex­trin­sic stains, some of these home reme­dies may also be dam­ag­ing to the teeth, such as bi­car­bon­ate of soda, as it’s very abra­sive and will only wear at your tooth enamel at a quicker rate. For the most ef­fec­tive, safe, le­gal, long-last­ing re­sults, stick to pro­ce­dures rec­om­mended by your den­tal ex­pert.’

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