One of the things I always stock up on the US (or get friends to buy for me if they’re there) is toothpaste. I use Rembrandt Intense Stain (I drink a lot of coffee, tea and diet coke… and maybe the odd taste of red wine..cough) to keep things bright, and it certainly does work more effectively than any UK whitening toothpaste.

Rembrandt
Rembrandt

Bottom line is that in the US, they’re allowed a higher proportion of whitening ingredients than we are here in the UK, so you will never get the day to day whitening results from a UK toothpaste that you can from a US version.

I checked with my friend Uchenna (at LondonSmiling) who does plenty of whitening procedures (she did mine when I had them professionally done a few years back) and it seems that while frustrating for anyone after bathroom tile white choppers, there’s good reason for it.

By law, in the UK, only professional, registered dentists, or technicians under instruction from a dentist can carry out a tooth whitening treatment. And that’s in the best interests of the consumer, because the unregistered practice of tooth whitening has, on many occasions led to a trip to A&E for the unlucky victim. So, the restriction of strength of whitening ingredients means that anyone offering ‘tooth whitening’ can’t legally give you a ‘professional whitening’ effect. Even UK dentists are restricted to 6% of peroxide, whereas in the US it’s double that (hence those super-white choppers that we see on US TV programmes).

So, bottom line is that we’re destined to have less gleaming teeth than our US counterparts in a bid to discourage illegal whitening practices. As ever, it’s a few spoiling things for everyone. It’s not, of course, illegal to bring back your own toothpaste from the US!

Aquafresh Whitening
Aquafresh Whitening

Anyway, I’ve got a new one to try courtesy of my friend Kelly; Aquafresh Extreme Clean. I’m really looking forward to trying this one out and if it lives up to the claim of ‘significantly cleaner and smoother white teeth’ after one tube. It’s interesting that although this toothpaste is available here, all the ‘sell’ is on breath freshening, with whitening getting a small mention. US side, it’s much more about the whitening – and that’s because it will actually whiten your teeth for all the reasons above!

 

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