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Whitening, why it’s better in the dental clinic 

Tooth whitening has become, for some, an aesthetic necessity. The image is important when it comes to getting a job, interacting with the rest or, now, feeding the profiles on social networks

A white and aligned smile helps a lot to project a healthy and aesthetic image. Many companies are aware of the important niche market that treatments to achieve white teeth have opened. The homemade solutions (many on YouTube, for example) or whitening pastes flood the market, as well as the use of bleaching products in aesthetic clinics.

The business is booming. In the United States alone, spending on teeth whitening products exceeds one billion dollars per year, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. And in Europe, alarms are sounding over doubts about the effectiveness and side effects of these products. In fact, the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Health Care has just published the conclusions of a moni-toring study on the control of cosmetics on the irregularities of various teeth whitening products marketed in the European Union. Among them, the content of hydrogen peroxide at higher levels than allowed, label;ing problems or the presence of CMR, a carcinogenic compound. This research has been carried out in 12 European countries, analysing 261 samples. The findings reveal that 78 per cent of the whitening brushes and half of the teeth whitening strips violate EU regulation.
Here in Spain, the Orga-nisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) reported in April the dangers of the use of activated carbon in bleaching products. According to the entity, these products, although “boastingof being 100 per cent natural, vegan and without additives or chemicals, are very abrasive to the point that its continued use could end up wearing out the enamel in the long term, in addition to causing a recession of the gums and increase tooth sensitivity.”
On the effectiveness, they assure that “the activated carbon can whiten slightly the teeth when eliminating the spots caused by the coffee or the tobacco, but its action is merely superficial”. It has no effect on “the deepest spots nor can they change the colour,” they say. They warn that they should not replace toothpaste, and say that, although “some manufa-cturers of these whitening products advise to use them twice a day, they do not guarantee a correct oral hygiene”.
In the Canary Islands, the medical director of the Artedental clinic, Víctor Cubillo, recommends con-sulting this type of treatment with professionals before carrying them out, and submitting them to a dental clinic if possible. “Only the dentist can assess the state and characteristics of each denture, because they are all different, and determinewhat is the best solution that fits them.”
At the Artedental clinic they defend natural results “that are not noticed”, moving away from artificial solutions. Cubillo maintains that “our teeth are not white. The tooth enamel is translucent, even has a slightly bluish tone and the dentine, which is below, is somewhat yellowish. Therefore, the colour of our teeth is not uniform. “ Excessively white teeth would not be the most recommended solution but achieving a natural colour.
“The more yellowish the teeth are, the more tones can be rinsed, getting to rinse them up to eight or ten tones. However, there is a limit that will depend on how the teeth of each patient, the colour of the intended or the enamel, “explains the medical director of Artedental. “If you insist too much, the effect is counterproductive, because the abuse of bleaching substances without control can irritate the gums, wear out the enamel, cause tooth sensitivity, alter the taste buds of the tongue or increase the risk of caries.” At Artedental they recommend activated tooth whitening with LED light and combined with a splint treatment to take home, always under the supervision of an expert.