The British Dental Association has issued a warning over the safety of some products after new research revealed that some items sold at popular stores like Boots and Superdrug softened the enamel. The findings of the study have been published in the British Dental Journal.
During the trial period, researchers tested five different products, which were available to buy at Boots and Superdrug. The products were all non-hydrogen peroxide whitening solutions. The team, led by Dr Joseph Greenwall-Cohen from the University of Manchester Dental School, found that three of the products contained an ingredient known as sodium chlorite. This active ingredient was found to affect the hardness of the enamel on contact with acid.
Dr Greenwall-Cohen explained that not all whitening products are the same, and stressed that some aren’t as safe as others. In light of the findings of this recent trial, dentists are advising patients to be cautious when looking at different products and choosing which systems to use.
In addition to containing ingredients that can affect the strength of the enamel, dentists have suggested that there are several products on the high street that don’t work. Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser for the BDA, said that there is a risk of people wasting their money, but also, more importantly, a danger of damaging the enamel and putting oral health at risk. Enamel forms a protective layer, and once it is weak or thin, it cannot be repaired. Weak enamel is associated with a high risk of decay and sensitivity.
For those who want to achieve a whiter smile without any risks, dentists recommend professional treatments administered by qualified, experienced dental professionals.