Dentist recommends the professional approach

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People looking to gain a Hollywood smile should head for the dentist’s chair rather than the pharmacy, according to one expert.

North Carolina-based cosmetic dentist Dr Bobbi Stanley told local television station WTVD that teeth whitening is a perfectly safe procedure when done properly.

However, she warned that as treatments all involve hydrogen peroxide it is possible for patients to overuse them and actually damage their teeth unless they are careful.

Dr Stanley added that self-restraint is not the only problem faced by people who opt for over-the-counter teeth whitening kits rather than seeking professional help from their dentist.

"Some of these over-the-counter products have not been tested and there are lawsuits that are pending for materials that have actually caused gum trauma or caused the tooth to actually dissolve," she explained.

Despite the minor risks associated with home bleaching products, Americans spent more than $1 billion (£500,000) on them during 2007, according to the SunJournal.ADNFCR-1374-ID-18474288-ADNFCR

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