Around 20 million people in the UK are leaving themselves open to potentially harmful tooth-whitening procedures by visiting providers who are not trained to carry out quality treatments, or purchasing home whitening kits over the internet. Experts recommend that only dental professionals carry out this sort of treatment.
A new survey has revealed that one in four people would chose staff at a beauty kiosk or a beauticians, rather than going to a dental clinic for the procedure – the same proportion of those asked were also under the impression that beauticians have the right qualifications to carry out tooth whitening, which is actually illegal as of October 31st last year. Under the European Council directive, whitening products that contain between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide can only be sold or used by registered dental professionals.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Foundation said that ‘There is no doubt tooth whitening is becoming more popular due to the sheer number of places you can now have it done. There is also no doubt a vast number of these are operating illegally and pose a significant health risk.’ He also added that beauticians and kiosk workers do not have ‘the correct training, qualifications or the expertise required’ and the poor quality products used could leave the patient with permanently damaged teeth. Finally, he urged consumers to get in touch with the National Dental Helpline to get answers to any questions they might have, saying ‘If you are considering getting your teeth whitened, there are now clear guidelines for everyone to follow when it comes to the procedure. It must be done in a dental practice.’