Cultural Attitudes Towards Teeth Whitening Around the World

There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding the teeth whitening industry, both here in the UK and overseas, ranging from the potency of certain treatment options and products to the link between the colour of your teeth and your age, your underlying health, and more. 

One thing that you may have noticed is that teeth whitening differs depending on where in the world you are – both in terms of the process of whitening itself, and how coveted whiter teeth are. In the USA, for example, whiter teeth are incredibly sought after, with countless prolonged adverts interrupting TV shows and sports games, and virtually all Hollywood red-carpet photos depicting gleaming white smiles. 

The most notable difference lies in the regulations and how teeth whitening is viewed – with this blog uncovering some of the differences in cultural attitude towards what teeth whitening is, how it should be presented, and how it is best performed.

How do teeth whitening regulations differ around the world?

This is an interesting topic to look into, because it seems that it’s not just attitudes to oral hygiene and teeth whitening that differ – so do the national standards with regard to regulations and how whitening treatments in particular are viewed.

In the UK and other parts of Europe, teeth whitening is regarded as a treatment that falls under cosmetic dentistry and aesthetics, having to abide by cosmetic regulations. For home kits, the use of hydrogen peroxide in these products is restricted across Europe, and products that contain a low amount of this bleaching component can only be sold to dental practitioners. This is why home kits are often regarded as far less effective than professional whitening treatments – they simply don’t contain enough whitening agent to have a real impact on the colour of your teeth.

In the USA, teeth whitening products are monitored under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, though they do not need to be FDA approved. This puts a lot of faith in the hands of manufacturers to guarantee that products are safe to use in the mouth, making them responsible for safety and compliance with industry standards. 

As these differences show, the market around teeth whitening, specifically regarding home kits, is different between the USA and Europe. As such, professional whitening is always the best option to ensure a completely safe procedure under the supervision of a trained dental practitioner. 

Oral hygiene and teeth whitening around the world: preferences and attitudes

The biggest takeaway from a specific study into oral hygiene around the world is that most people, in communities from all walks of life, really do care about how their teeth look, how clean they are, and how good their dental hygiene is. 

Teeth whitening has been cited as the number-one most popular treatment option that most consumers would choose if they could only invest in one treatment for their smile. But, while it seems that people around the world are keen to showcase a gleaming white smile, it appears that education around the link between dental health and overall wellness is not as richly understood – with only 21% of people asked really understanding the link between a healthy mouth and their overall health. 

A few other facts and takeaways to note: Brazilians have some of the best understanding around the importance of oral hygiene in maximising their health, while Italians boast some of the best oral habits and cleaning regularity. 

Top tips for brightening your smile

If achieving a whiter smile is on your list of new year goals, then this is the section for you. 

With so many different methods available on the market, from at-home kits and DIY solutions to professional teeth whitening treatments, finding the right solution for you can be overwhelming. However, we’re here to highlight the benefits of each option and make sure that you pick wisely. 

DIY treatments are not necessarily the same as at-home kits, as they tend to be made with things that you can find in your own home. Concepts like using lemon juice for lightening teeth, and mixing baking soda with water and applying it to the teeth, fall into this category – but understanding the drawbacks is important. Too much citrus can impact the enamel surface of your teeth, as can being too heavy handed with abrasive baking soda solutions. 

At-home kits are created by brands and sold for use in the comfort of your own home – a big tick for convenience and comfort. However, again, these are not regulated in terms of application and usage, and so can do more harm than good when not used correctly or safely. What’s more, the potency of at-home kits is so low that they tend to have very little impact on the colour and look of your teeth, but can still come out quite costly. 

By far the best solution is a professional teeth whitening treatment, which is conducted following a consultation with your dentist, who will be able to advise on the project outcomes and results that you can expect. Not only is a professional whitening treatment more cost effective in terms of the impact of results, but it can last up to 18 months with the right aftercare, with the process being safely and efficiently carried out by a trained professional. 

Once you’ve completed treatment, the biggest tip we can give you is to invest in your oral hygiene and in maintaining the results with a series of important lifestyle changes. This includes but is not limited to visiting the dentist and your oral hygienist regularly, ensuring that you brush and floss regularly, cutting down on the consumables and habits that are impacting the colour of your teeth and your dental health, and caring for your overall wellbeing properly. 

Offering some of the most innovative laser teeth whitening treatment available, London-based dentists are among the best in the world when it comes to reputable treatment plans and reliable results. Get in touch with your local dentist for more information and to uncover the pricing and availability of whitening treatments.