Cheap DIY teeth whitening "can leave you with teeth of an 80-year-old": Some products are so strong they can strip away enamel.
- Teeth-whitening is now very popular with people looking for Hollywood smile
- But leading dentist says some beauticians use swimming pool bleach
- Also warns against kits available claiming they don't work
Over-the-counter whiteners promise a perfect smile at a fraction of the price of professional teeth whitening treatments.
But cheap teeth-whitening methods and DIY remedies can do permanent damage to your teeth.
Some are so harsh they strip away the enamel, leaving healthy young people with dull brown teeth usually only seen in the elderly.
A leading cosmetic dentist, said: ‘You only get so much enamel in your life and once it has gone, you are in serious trouble.’
Teeth-whitening has become increasingly popular as regular folks seek the Hollywood smile sported by celebrities.
He said they are so desperate for white teeth they ignore warnings and will use any and all products. "People want white teeth and will move hell and high water in an attempt to get them."
Others are putting their faith in cut-price treatments offered by beauticians and hairdressers or in kits bought over the counter.
Budget bleaching sessions are at best useless and at worst dangerous. Research shows that only hydrogen peroxide and derivatives of it, such as carbamide peroxide, whiten teeth.
However, some beauticians use chlorine dioxide, which is better known as swimming pool bleach.
It eats away at the enamel, exposing the dentine below, which looks brown. Also, patients should be warned against buying kits online. Some contain five times as much whitening agent as needed.
They will whiten teeth but also leave them extremely sensitive.
Some people are under the impression that the citric acid in strawberries and lemon juice whitens teeth. Strawberries do not whiten teeth, while too much lemon juice just damages enamel.