The Oral Health Foundation reported recently that tooth whitening has become an incredibly popular cosmetic procedure for many British people, with one in six admitting they have had their teeth whitened.
The Foundation state that: “In the hands of a fully qualified dental health professional, tooth whitening is an effective and safe procedure which can restore the natural brighten and restore the natural colour of your tooth whiteness of your smile.”
They do add a warning: “ Sadly, the growth and popularity of the industry have become an attractive proposition for illegal providers seeking a quick and easy profit. With this, many unsuspecting people are being put at severe risk from serious and permanent damage to their mouth.”
To help direct people to get the right treatment from a qualified dental professional, such as here at the Mannamead Cosmetic Dental Centre, the Foundation has put together a guide on unscrupulous tooth whitening.
These points will enable everybody to protect themselves from dangerous providers and products, and get a pearly white smile without any risk to their health.
- Only qualified dental professionals can perform tooth whitening. This is a dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist. If a local beauty parlour or hairdresser is advertising tooth whitening and they are not a dental professional, they are breaking the law.
- Ignorance is not an excuse. Many providers may not even be aware they are breaking the law as they have been told by a ‘trainer' (or possibly a person selling the tooth whitening kit) that what they are doing is legal. This is incorrect, and they are still liable.
- Fines for illegal tooth whitening are unlimited in Britain and every case brought against illegal providers has been successful. Illegal providers are putting their livelihood and reputation on the line if they provide these treatments.
- Even if a beauty therapist is handing you whitening trays to place in your mouth saying it is legal, it is still defined as an act of dentistry and illegal under current laws.
- In Europe, it is illegal to supply bleaching material containing more than 0.1% peroxide (or the equivalent in carbamide peroxide) to anyone other than a dentist or direct to the public. If an illegal provider is offering whitening products stronger than this, you are at serious risk.
- It can be incredibly dangerous. The laws are in place to prevent serious chemical burns being caused by the peroxide (the substance which whitens teeth). Without the proper procedures in place and used incorrectly these can cause serious and permanent problems to your mouth, lips, gums and tongue.
- It may not work and could leave you in constant pain. When used incorrectly whitening is not effective and can even leave your teeth incredibly sensitive when eating or drinking.
- If you think somebody is offering illegal tooth whitening, you should report them to the General Dental Council who will investigate and look to protect the public if something illegal is happening.
To protect your health and well-being contact the experts - the Mannamead Cosmetic Dental Clinic provide tooth whitening to the highest professional standards - contact us now to discuss your needs.