It’s safe to say that white teeth are considered in style, and always have been. The demand for that bright ‘Hollywood’ smile is sky high, by both men and women. However, it seems that as of late people are opting for more budget-friendly at-home solutions. With social media growing bigger and generally having more influence on people, we have seen some new emerging trends like oil pulling and using activated charcoal to whiten teeth. But do these methods actually work, or are they selling you a dream? It may be hard to decipher between what works and what doesn’t so we are going to break it down for you. 

Oil pulling is a a natural method that can be done at-home by using any oil, but coconut oil seems to be the popular choice. Using a spoonful of oil, it is swirled around in the mouth, like mouthwash, for about 15 minutes to help “pull” out stains from the teeth. This is an ancient method referred to as “kavala” or “gundusha”, which can be traced back to Indian folk tradition. Although oil pulling has many benefits such as: reducing bacteria in the mouth, inflammation of the gums and bad breath, there is no clear evidence that it helps with making teeth visibly whiter. 

Another popular trend is using activated charcoal in the form of charcoal toothpaste or charcoal powder to whiten teeth. The fine grained black powder is porous and highly absorbent, which allows it to bind to toxins and produces containing this ingredient claim to remove coffee stains and wine stains. Again, there’s no scientific evidence to support this and there is concern that the abrasive texture might cause harm by wearing away the tooth enamel. It is best to avoid such abrasive products because once you wear away the enamel on the surface of the tooth, it is an irreversible process. We would therefore be reluctant to advise this and would be mindful of recommending tried, tested and proven products that whiten effectively and safely.

Other at-home methods that are less trendy but still quite common are whitening toothpaste and whitening strips. Whitening toothpaste can be effective in removing surface stains, such as coffee or cigarette stains, from the teeth but they won’t significantly change the natural colour of your teeth. However, a good whitening toothpaste we recommend is ‘Colgate Max White Expert Complete Whitening’ toothpaste, which contains optic brighteners that reflect blue light to make your teeth look instantly whiter, thereby giving a gentle and quick brightening effect.

Teeth whitening strips have hydrogen peroxide embedded in them, and applying them to the teeth allows the prolonged contact with peroxide to bleach the surface of the teeth. When using the strips it’s common to see uneven blotches as a result of inadequate application and poor seal and uneven contact. They work, but nowhere near as well as dentist-supervised at-home whitening systems, which will involve perfectly bespoke moulds constructed to fit the surface and curvature of your teeth, thereby resulting in a superior seal, contact of bleach to tooth and even treatment.

Clinics also use hydrogen peroxide in the home kits provided by dentists. As teeth whitening is a regulated treatment by the General dental council, the teeth whitening provided by your dentist for home use will be of a much higher percentage than those bought over the counter, but will be safe to use, with carefully produced delivery systems ensuring no damage to your enamel. This means a much better result will be achieved from at-home whitening kits delivered by and supervised by your dentist rather than over the counter products.

In office teeth whitening uses light and heat activated hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent, which gently oxidises and remove stains embedded in enamel. The procedure usually takes 90 minutes. The dentist will apply the bleaching agent onto your teeth and a light is then shone onto the teeth to activate and accelerate the product. This treatment alone may result in an immediate improvement though will not be a long lasting result if not followed up or preceded by home teeth whitening supplied by your dentist. This is because the peroxide agent works best when used cumulatively and consecutively for approximately two weeks, allowing the product to seep deeper into the enamel and brighten and whiten the teeth.

If you want to achieve long-term whitening results then in-office procedures are the best way to go. Whitening treatments offered by dentists are much stronger and more effective than the trendy at-home methods that have no real scientific evidence to back their effectiveness. In-office procedures are also much quicker which means you don’t have to go through the hassle of repetitive applications at home. 

Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar

Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar

Dr Yusra is a distinguished dental surgeon and a skilled medical aesthetic clinician with a wealth of experience in maxillofacial head and neck surgery and skin cancer surgery. She holds an impressive academic background, having graduated with first-class honours in Medical Science and Healthcare Management from Imperial College London and earned Honours and Distinction as a dental surgeon from King’s College London. Dr Yusra is a Level 7 Trainer in medical aesthetics, in line with Ofqual guidelines, and is renowned for her expertise in providing natural-looking non-surgical facelifts and a range of aesthetic treatments. Her commitment to patient well-being and safety is unwavering, making her a trusted practitioner in the field.

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Kinga Podczaszynska
Kinga Podczaszynska
30 April 2024
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I would like to say big thank you for Dr Yusra for today’s appointment and your professional opinion , definitely recommend
Mevish Arif
Mevish Arif
29 April 2024
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Very good experience, made me feel very comfortable . Realistic expectations and Dr Yusra has a good eye and procedure was done professionally with the utmost care .
Hafsa Noreen
Hafsa Noreen
18 April 2024
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I visited the Liverpool clinic for NSR treatment with Dr Lauren she was lovely welcoming and very talented. She went through everything with me in great detail and ensured I was comfortable and getting the right treatment, we discussed my concerns before the treatment so I felt very safe and knew I was in the best hands. I’m happy with the outcome and not to forget the follow up care and call which I didn’t expect. My advice is if you are thinking of getting any treatment then stick with the best professionals in the business and Dr Lauren is an asset to Dr Yusra’s team.
Beth Snape
Beth Snape
24 March 2024
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I have been going to dr yursa since 2022 starting with nose filler and now nose and chin filler and facials! The only team I would trust with my face super helpful and advise on treatments personalised to you and have seen massive improvements in my confidence but also visually with my skin! Thankyou x
Louisa
Louisa
18 March 2024
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I had a consultation and enzyme peel with Olivia. The consultation was very informative and helped tweak my skincare routine. The enzyme peel has rejuvenated my skin and was very relaxing.
E Khan
E Khan
10 March 2024
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Had very bad hallow eyes and dr yusra and her team were amazing with the process. Being a man it can feel uncomfortable to consider these procedures but they do everything to make it as smooth and comfortable as possible. Listen to the advice! Dr yusra analysed my face and realised it was cheeks that needed some help and not the under eyes, its given me such a fresh younger look and I couldn't be happier with the results!
S
S
29 February 2024
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Title: Exceptional Aesthetic Experience I recently had an aesthetic treatment at Dr Yusra Clinic, and I cannot express enough how pleased I am with the entire experience. From the moment I walked in, the staff displayed a level of professionalism and kindness that instantly put me at ease. Dr. Yusra, in particular, went above and beyond in ensuring my comfort. She took the time to calm my nerves and spent an extended period discussing my reasons for seeking the treatment. What truly set her apart was her thorough explanation of the treatment process. She didn't just outline the procedure; she made sure I understood every aspect, leaving no room for uncertainties. Dr. Yusra's genuine care for her patients was evident throughout the consultation. I felt valued and reassured, not just as a client, but as someone she genuinely cared about. She took the time to discuss various products, explaining why each was the best fit for me. Additionally, she offered valuable advice on other concerns I had, demonstrating a holistic approach to my well-being. One of the most comforting aspects of the consultation was the lack of pressure to proceed with the treatment. Dr. Yusra allowed me the time to carefully assess the costs involved and make a decision that I felt comfortable with. Her advice was not only honest but also presented in a factual and easily understandable manner. In conclusion, my experience at Dr Yusra Clinic exceeded my expectations. Dr. Yusra and the entire staff made me feel more important than just a client, providing a level of personalised care that is truly commendable. I highly recommend their services for anyone seeking not only effective aesthetic treatments but also a compassionate and considerate approach to patient care.
Ariana Fraval
Ariana Fraval
27 February 2024
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Wow well what can I say? What a lovely lady Dr Yusra is and so talented! She went through everything with me in SUCH detail and analysis in a way I have not experienced before, so before the treatment I felt very safe and sure she would do a great job. She did! I’m so happy with the teaks to my nose which has been wonky for years after several breaks. She also covered my whole face and discussed many areas where there was volume loss, or over active muscles etc. She was wonderful and I will definitely be booking in with her again! Thankyou SO much Dr Yusra!
Jemma Milne
Jemma Milne
22 February 2024
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I have met Dr Yusra on 3 occasions now and each time she has immediately made me feel at ease, she is so friendly and approachable and has advised me on exactly what treatments would suit me personally. She has maintained a natural look which I love and her knowledge is second to none. I would highly recommended Dr Yusra to anyone. A stunning clinic.
Anisa Ali
Anisa Ali
19 February 2024
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Dr Yusra was absolutely amazing at the liverpool clinic. From the staff on reception, all the way to the entire procedure being completed, it was a very swift and efficient service. She made me feel completely comfortable and explained everything very well. Thank you for the amazing service.