Author: Mariyah Lyons

The demand for tooth whitening treatment has boomed in recent years, in part, driven by the rise of pearly white smiles seen on our TV screens and on social media.  Our research shows that whiter teeth come top of most people’s smile wish list and may lead to a boost in confidence and self-esteem.  Like all medical procedures, however, tooth whitening is not without danger.     Before embarking on tooth whitening treatment, it is important to do your research.  By knowing more about tooth whitening, you may improve your chance of having safer treatment with better results.   Tooth whitening and the colour of your teeth Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it may lighten the existing shade. There are many reasons why you might get your

In the UK, there are laws for what strength of tooth whitening product can be used, and who and carry it out. Tooth whitening gel that is too strong, or applied by unqualified people, can be extremely unsafe and cause severe and long-term complications for your mouth. In a summary of the regulations, products containing or releasing up to 6% hydrogen peroxide (the common bleaching agent used in whitening gel) can be used, if: Products of this strength are sold only to qualified dental practitioners. You have been examined by a dentist first, to make sure there are no risks or any other concern about the condition of your mouth. You are over 18 years old. The first application is made by a dental practitioner, or under their direct supervision by a dental hygienist or dental therapist. Buying tooth whitening products Tooth whitening products and kits bought in UK stores

Like all medical procedures, tooth whitening carries some element of risk.  That’s why it’s important to discover how you can achieve that whiter smile in the safest way possible. If you are thinking about having tooth whitening there are some essential rules to follow, as well as some dangerous pitfalls to avoid.  There are also some actions you can take at home that might mean you no longer feel the need to have treatment. Tooth whitening in professional hands When it comes to tooth whitening, there really isn’t a better source of information than your dental team. Not only are they fully qualified and licensed to perform the treatment, but they will be able to take your dental needs into account.  Dentists can treat you with 6% hydrogen peroxide (the bleaching agent that whitens teeth) – this is nearly 6,000 times stronger than any over-the-counter tooth whitening product.  Because of

Professional tooth whitening is a complex procedure which involves the use of powerful chemicals that can do harm to your teeth and gums if not used properly. It’s for this reason that tooth whitening carried out in the wrong hands is so dangerous. Due to the strong chemicals, when tooth whitening goes wrong it can cause the following issues: Chemical burns to the gums Blisters on the gums Ulceration of the gums, mouth and throat Swollen lips Putting your smile in danger is never worth the risk.  There are two main sources of unsafe tooth whitening; DIY treatments performed at home, and illegal treatments by unqualified people.  It is important that you are aware of these and avoid going down the potential harmful route.     DIY tooth whitening at home Worryingly, it is quite easy to go online and purchase hydrogen peroxide (the active ingredient in professional whitening) in concentrations that

The number of adults choosing to have orthodontic treatment in the UK is growing.  When done correctly, orthodontics can transform the appearance of the smile.  This can have benefits for both a person’s physical health and mental wellbeing.      Orthodontic treatment is complicated and needs a specialist understanding of where teeth can be moved to, and how.  In the wrong hands, orthodontic treatment can cause serious and permanent damage to the teeth and jaw, so it’s important to do your research and choose the safest option for you and your smile. Orthodontics aims to move the teeth into a stable position.  It works by putting pressure on the teeth, to slowly move them in the right direction.  As the pressure takes effect, the bone in the jaw changes to allow the teeth and their roots to move. The health benefits There are many health benefits that come with orthodontic treatment.

Tooth jewellery is the act of placing individual jewels onto the outer surface of the teeth. There are two main types of tooth jewels: Twinkles A collection of yellow and white gold jewellery with some including gems such as diamonds. Dental gems A range of glass crystals fixed to the tooth. Tooth jewellery is not advised by dental professionals and can cause damage to the teeth. The General Dental Council (the UK’s dental regulator) views the application of tooth jewellery as the practice of dentistry.  This means that anybody carrying out tooth jewellery treatments is acting against the law if they are not registered with the GDC. Unfortunately, illegal application of tooth jewellery is all too common and something which is not safe for your smile. The health risks of tooth jewellery Having a jewel stuck onto the surface of your tooth can cause serious damage. The area of the

Oral piercings are any piercings that are attached to, or in the mouth. This includes the tongue, lips, and cheeks. As the stud or ring is pierced to soft tissue, oral piercings pose a far greater risk to your health than those on other parts of the body.   This is because they are difficult to care for and are more prone to infection. Oral piercings are not considered safe and are not recommended. If you are still considering an oral piercing, it is important to lower the risks and help protect the health of your smile.  Treatment should take place in a sterilised environment and carried out by registered piercers. You can ask your local authority for a list of registered piercers as well as safe piercer associations. The health risks of oral piercings There are many risks associated with oral piercings.  It is important that you are aware of

Mouth tattoos refer to any tattoo inside the mouth or on the lips. This can be either on the palate (roof of the mouth) or cheek, however, the most popular place is the inside of the bottom lip. Some people also have lip tattoos around the edge of the mouth as a way of having permanent ‘lip liner’.  This would also be classed as a mouth tattoo. Health advice on mouth tattoos Because of the potential harm to your health, mouth tattoos are never recommended. Any tattoo comes with risks, however, mouth tattoos come with added dangers.  Unlike tattoos on the outside of the skin, mouth tattoos are placed on soft tissue.  This makes it extremely difficult to cover, protect and keep clean.    The mouth is constantly exposed to foreign substances – like food and drinks, as well as any anything else you might put in the mouth.  This

Grillz are removable decorative tooth covers. They are often made of gold, silver or jewel-encrusted precious metals that snap over one or more teeth. They have been around in some form for thousands of years as a way of showing social status but made their way into mainstream pop culture in the early 1980s. They’re still worn today by many celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Jay-Z. Grillz are often used as a form of self-expression and identity, and an opportunity to show off something …  but they may not be a healthy choice for your smile. Safety concerns Grillz are not recommended because they could pose to your oral health and hygiene. By wearing Grillz you might increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.  This is because plaque can get trapped between it and the tooth’s surface. When plaque builds up, it can

Many sports pose a potential danger for your mouth when there is a chance of other people, or objects, coming into contact with it.  This is just as true for non-contact sports as it is for those sports that have contact. Looking after your mouth and oral health when playing sport is important.  The good news is that during this time, there are some easy and effective steps to help protect your teeth and gums and keep your smile safe. Common mouth injuries in sport Between 13% and 39% of all dental injuries in the UK are linked to accidents during sport and it also accounts for around 25% of children injuring or losing front teeth. Contact sports are increasingly popular which has resulted in a rise of traumatic dental injuries. Common sporting injuries that can put your mouth at risk include: Soft tissue injuries to lips and gums (cuts,