UK tooth whitening boom

A report by marketing research group, Mintel, confirms that the sales of floss, dental gum and tooth whitening or bleaching kits have grown in value from £17m in 2001 to £37m in 2005 as Brits strive for a whiter-than-white "Hollywood smile".

Consumers are increasingly looking beyond just brushing their teeth with standard toothpaste and are spending more time and money on looking after their teeth and gums. While toothpaste dominates the market it is the teeth whitening / bleaching products which are leading the way as the oral hygiene industry taps into the world of cosmetic enhancement to help people achieve a celebrity-inspired dazzling smile, as seen on high profile celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Victoria Beckham and Ronan Keating, who are reported to have had cosmetically enhanced treatments.

Peter McGuinness, Managing Director of BriteSmile also believes the increase in dental awareness and the boom in teeth-whitening products in the UK is down to television programs such as Extreme Makeover and Ten Years Younger where it is proven that teeth whitening / bleaching can make people look younger, in a similar way to having a face lift.

In addition, technology has developed so that people can now get predictable and safe results in the comfort of their own home.  The Whiter than White tooth whitening system works by oxidising the stains in your teeth, leaving them up to eight shades whiter.

“In the past, the DIY tooth whitening kits were crude; you had to mix up the gel and it was hard to get it to the right consistency but technology has really moved on and they are fast, safe, affordable and simple to use” says McGuinness.

However, some home tooth whitening / bleaching kits are limited to achieving only one to two shades whiter because they miss the vital ingredient, hydrogen peroxide.  A dentist prescribed bleaching kit costs approximately £250 and is much more effective because it includes this ingredient, but a professional treatment such as the BriteSmile Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment can be even more successful.

World-renowned and given as a prestigious gift in the Academy Awards basket for Oscar winners and presenters the BriteSmile Professional Teeth Whitening treatment takes just one hour and costs around £500 in the UK.  The treatment hydrates the teeth, leaving no damage or removal of enamel to give the instant result of bright, shiny teeth nine to ten shades whiter.

The whitening lasts between 18 months to a year, dependent on how much coffee or red wine is consumed but the teeth will never go back to the shade they were.  “Using whitening toothpaste will help maintain the whiteness” adds McGuinness.

David Bloom, a dentist at Senova Dental Studios in Watford, UK and President Elect of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says:  “Tooth whitening can work very well, and can be done easily and cheaply but I would recommend it be professionally led.  I would have concerns about over the counter tooth whitening kits”.


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