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DIY tooth whitening kits could ruin your smile
Internet teeth bleaching kits pose a real danger
Campaign to stop rogue tooth whitening suppliers
DIY ‘prescriptions’ containing 300% too much bleach
We’ve been saying it for years, but still, people are not getting the message – internet and non-regulated tooth whitening is in the news again.
Indeed, the Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for stricter penalties on those selling dangerous kits and on unqualified teeth whitening practitioners.
You have only to search in Google to find loads of them all promising Hollywood smiles at a cut-price rate. But trying to get a dazzling smile on the cheap using home-based kits can cause mouth infections, blistering and burns to gums, damage to nerves and tooth enamel and gum-shrinking. Why? Because some of the ‘prescriptions’ are up to 300 per cent higher in bleach content than that which would be prescribed by dentists, reports the Daily Mail online.
Teeth whitening – the law
Fact: Under the Dentists Act 1984, tooth whitening can be carried out only by registered dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians.
The LGA wants the Government to raise consumer awareness of the dangers of illegal operators performing the treatment and home-based kits with dangerous amounts of bleach.
The Mail reports that over nine months one council alone – Hillingdon in West London – has seized more than 15,000 dangerous teeth whitening kits bound for shops, salons and homes.
Some of the kits contained more than 33 per cent hydrogen peroxide, adding credence that DIY tooth whitening kits could ruin your smile. The maximum legal limit for use by the public in the UK is 0.1 per cent or 6 per cent for dentists and other registered practitioners.
Do you still want to do DIY bleaching on the cheap?
DIY tooth whitening – the dangers
The Mail adds: “Last month, four illegal practitioners were prosecuted for carrying out or advertising teeth whitening services. Some were unaware that they were breaking the law – including a former NHS nurse who advertised teeth whitening services on Facebook, wrongly believing that completing a course certified him to practise.”
Trading Standards officers in Essex found clinics using toxic chemicals in teeth whitening products with 200 times the legal level of bleach. What!
The case Kellie Taylor, who lost her front teeth after botched cosmetic dental treatment by an unlicensed beautician, is also highlighted by the newspaper.
She admitted she ‘didn’t even think about what could go wrong’ after spotting an offer for a £65 course of tooth whitening at a beauty salon in Lancaster in February last year. We read Ms Taylor’s gums were weakened by the high level of bleach, leaving her dentist with no option but to pull her teeth out.
Professional teeth whitening
The expression ‘you get what you pay for’ is most cases is true. If you get offered teeth bleaching from any unregulated source: Don’t go there. DIY tooth whitening kits could ruin your smile.
You could, however, come to see us, and we regularly have a teeth whitening offer running.
For more information on professional tooth whitening see our tooth whitening page and take a look at our most frequently asked questions on the subject.