1. Whitening is safe
carried out by a trained dental professional, whitening is perfectly
safe. Based on their knowledge of your oral health your dentist will
discuss with you the options available, decide if tooth whitening is
appropriate for you and develop an overall treatment plan that gives the
You'll get to see on a chart what shade your
teeth are before the treatment and what shade you're likely to achieve.
At the end of the treatment the dentist will show you the actual result
so you can understand how effective it was. You will also see when you
look in the mirror!
2. Only trained dental professionals can whiten teeth
It is illegal for anyone other than dentists or their teams
to carry out teeth whitening. Anyone else offering teeth whitening (e.g.
beauticians, hairdressers, and salon staff) won’t have the right
training and knowledge, could permanently damage your teeth and gums and
can’t help you when something goes wrong.
3. The preferred option
won't remove the surface of your teeth or change their shape. It’s
often a better option than alternatives, such as veneers, because it
doesn’t involve permanently altering the tooth’s structure and is easy
to look after.
4. Selecting the right option for you
dentist is trained to know what whitening products will be safe for your
teeth and gums. Products provided by non-dentists often do not have
enough safety data and evidence to support their use; this can result in
burned gums and/or blistered lips or even more serious consequences.
Using products that are not appropriate for you will produce poor
5. How it works
concentration of bleach is applied to your teeth using specially-made
trays that fit in your mouth. Your dentist will be able to discuss with
you the level of whitening you want and give you an idea of how many
treatments you may need to achieve the shade you’re after.
hair and skin, teeth vary in colour. Some are yellower or darker than
others, even when they are quite healthy. Teeth tend to get darker as
people get older. Teeth sometimes become darker if their roots have been
damaged or diseased and the 'nerve' has died.
6. What to expect
may experience some sensitivity for a short time during your treatment
but this is normal and will soon fade away after completion.
7. Over the counter kits might not be safe
products you can buy online or from high street shops often fail to
declare the precise chemicals used so it’s very difficult to assess
their safety. Because of this they should not be considered safe. These
products won’t produce the same good results you can expect by visiting
Tooth colour can be lightened with Hydrogen Peroxide
(bleach) and how strong the dose needs to be will be decided by your
About the BDA
The British Dental
Association (BDA) is the professional association and trade union for
dentists in the United Kingdom and was founded in 1880. As an
organisation that is owned entirely by its members and with no external
shareholders, the BDA is able to focus solely on its mission to promote
the interests of its members; advance the science, arts and ethics of
dentistry, and improve the nation's oral health.
Page last updated 26 February 2016