Toothpastes that claim to whiten your teeth do not actually contain any whitening chemicals and simply remove stains, experts have said.
According to the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), the toothpastes can actually be abrasive and cause the teeth to become darker.
Tif Qureshi, PR director at the BACD, said: "Whitening toothpastes categorically do not whiten your teeth. What they do is remove stains from your teeth to make them appear whiter, but there won't be any actual whitening chemicals in them.
"In the long run, [they] can actually make your teeth look darker, so you do need to be careful of what you use."
Mr Qureshi also questioned the safety of over-the-counter whitening treatments, which he revealed "may have the right chemicals in them".
"The problem is that often the trays that you need to hold the material on to your teeth aren't custom made for your own teeth," he explained.
"There is no regulation of how the material actually gets on to your gums and again, you can get burned."
A recent study by the BACD found that over a quarter of people believe that cosmetic dentistry could improve their quality of life.