RHOCheshire’s resident dentist Dr Hanna Kinsella’s tips for teeth whitening at home

'Some at home kits can cause more harm than good'

hanna Kinsella dentist

by Lily Anderson |

Having whiter teeth doesn't just make you look better in photos, it makes you feel better about yourself, too. Things like red wine, tea and coffee can affect the colour of your teeth, and we're just not prepared to give up any of those delights.

Fortunately, you don’t have to book a dentist appointment* for a deep clean to ensure your teeth look fresher than ever before. You could instead invest in a tooth whitening kit, toothpaste or strips to ensure you’re pearly white ready.

Real Housewives of Cheshire star, and real life dentist, Dr Hanna Kinsella talks us through getting the most out of whitening at home.

What are teeth whitening kits?

Teeth whitening involves bleaching your teeth. Other products like activated charcoal can be used. This will lighten the existing colour by several shades.

Are there any risks of teeth whitening at home kits?

Dr Kinsella told us, "The dangers of using at home products with high-strength tooth whitening agents are the risk of tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, uneven whiteness, sickness and mouth infections. Fortunately teeth whitening home kits have come a long way in the last few years. But it’s still important to exercise caution and make sure that you purchase a reputable kit from a reputable seller. At-home kits all vary slightly and​ ​some can cause more harm to teeth than good.

"With some treatments there's a​ ​chance your gums will be sensitive to the chemicals used in teeth whitening,​ ​particularly if you already have sensitive teeth. There's also a chance of​ ​burns to gums and some of the whitening kits used at home can harm tooth enamel.​

"I would always recommend choosing a teeth whitening brand that contains fluoride as this is essential for fighting decay and protecting against cavities. It decreases demineralisation, enhancing remineralization and inhibiting bacterial activity.

"​For those looking for at-home treatments, I’ve developed a revolutionary​ ​dental whitening cosmetic brand, Icy Bear."

More products for teeth whitening at home made easy:

*If in doubt, seek advice from your dentist before undertaking any new treatments.

What are teeth whitening strips?

Whitening strips bleach off surface stains on your teeth and can make your teeth look whiter.

Are there any risks with teeth whitening strips?

Always check the labels for the list of ingredients. Avoid any products that use chlorine dioxide. As this can erode tooth enamel and damage teeth. Never use the product longer or more often than stated. If these are not used correctly, they can be harmful to your teeth.

What is teeth whitening toothpaste?

Teeth whitening toothpaste typically contains more abrasive ingredients, such as silica. These scrub the surface of the teeth and help with surface stains.

Are there any risks with teeth whitening toothpaste?

Dr Kinsella told us, ​"​Usually teeth whitening toothpastes include one of a number of whitening ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide​. ​Hydrogen peroxide is an active bleaching agent. It is a weak acid with strong oxidizing properties so it steals the electrons that hold the atoms together, causing the staining molecules to fall apart. So it will change the colour of your teeth rather than just removing stains on the surface.​ ​Carbamide peroxide is another bleaching agent similar to hydrogen peroxide. The quantities of these in teeth whitening toothpastes will be significantly less than the quantities you would find in single-use whitening products such as strips or trays."

How long will teeth be whitening last?

Teeth whitening can last anywhere from a few months up until three years.

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