At-home teeth whitening kits have risen in popularity dramatically in recent years, owing to the fact that they allow people to brighten their smiles—making a dazzling first impression wherever it counts—without spending a fortune at the dentist’s office.
While some people have voiced concern about the safety of these kits, current clinical studies have shown that home tooth whitening kits are not harmful when used properly, and do not damage tooth enamel in any way. In fact, they are often safer than whitening toothpastes, which may contain harmful abrasives that wear away your enamel. However, it’s very important to follow proper safety precautions when using a whitening kit, such as:
- Always use a kit that comes with trays and that is easy to apply; otherwise, you may risk swallowing some of the gel. Try to keep the gel off your gums as much as possible.
- Do not use a tooth whitening kit for longer than 14 days without consulting a dentist.
- If you have fillings, crowns, or other dental work, be aware that whitening may not be even.
- If you have had recent work done on your teeth, do not use a whitening kit without asking your dentist if it is safe to do so.
- Do not use these kits if you currently have braces.
- More is not better—only use as much product as is recommended by the kit’s instructions. Using too much whitening gel increases your risk of tooth sensitivity and other side effects.
- The effects of whitening kits should last at least six months; it’s generally not recommended to use these kits more frequently than every six months. If you wish to do so, consult your dentist first.
- If you experience tooth sensitivity while using a whitening kit, stop for a few days and then begin again. Tooth sensitivity related to whitening kits is almost always temporary.
- Do not use these kits if you are pregnant, have open cavities, mouth or gum disease, or teeth stained by medication—and remember, if you are on any medications, it’s always wise to talk to your doctor before starting any health or dental procedure.
- If you experience any adverse reactions to the whitening kit, discontinue use immediately. If the reaction is serious, seek medical care, and bring the product with you when you do.
Buy a quality kit that is free from harsh bleaches (such as peroxide gels, which have been banned in the EU); this will both spare sensitive teeth from pain and protect your enamel. Choose a kit made with sodium perborate gel, such as those available from WhiteTeethWhiteningKits.co.uk. Never use a cheap imitation kit; this may damage your teeth.