Consumers would be better off paying for a private tooth whitening treatment than using whitening toothpastes or over-the-counter kits, experts have said.
According to the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentists (BACD), DIY treatments have "very little effect" when compared with professional services.
Tif Qureshi, a cosmetic dentist and board member of the BACD, explained that over-the-counter kits tend to have a low concentration of peroxide, which has little impact on the colour of the teeth.
He also claimed that "no toothpastes" have any whitening effect on teeth, although some may help to lift off stains.
"With regards to dentists [and their whitening treatments], dentists are allowed to prescribe anything with up to about six-and-a-half per cent hydrogen peroxide, which means that you've got a much higher concentration," Mr Qureshi revealed.
"When you're using those sorts of gel, it's very, very important that the dentist makes you a custom-fitted sealed tray."
The cosmetic dentist
added: "With the kits bought off the internet, I would just say to avoid them."
Market research by Mintel suggests that a massive £627 million was spent on cosmetic dentistry last year in the UK, up from £210 million in 2005.