Call For Tighter Teeth Whitening Controls

The general Dental Council is calling for tougher controls on who can administer and provide teeth whitening services within the UK.

In a similar way to botox being offered by general salons and hair studios or spas, teeth whitening can currently be advertised and offered by any individual without the need for dental experience or training.

Evlynne Gilvarry of the general dental council said that they have received many complaints about the results and effects patients have had as a results of teeth whitening treatments performed by those who are not registered with the dental council.

All too often dentists will have to rectify the problems caused by those without proper qualifications however unfortunately, sometimes the damage caused can be permanent. Such damages can be burned lips and gums as well as sensitive or discoloured teeth.

Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast spoke to Paula, a woman who had the treatment after it was advertised cheaply at a beauty salon.

She said: “My teeth lost their shine, they were almost opaque. My gums went white, and my teeth were so sensitive after the treatment that even just the fresh air hurt them.”

The dentist who rectified Paula’s teeth said

He said: “The enamel on Paula’s teeth had been stripped away, so I had to put an alkaline substance on her teeth to heal it.

“Her gums were also damaged by the bleach, which had not been properly applied.”

There are an increasing number of patients who go to dentists after having a bad experience of teeth whitening.

“If you go to a non-dental professional, any dental problems would be missed. And they really have no idea about what they’re doing,” he said.


The council successfully prosecuted the director of a national chain of tooth-whitening salons in March this year – and is warning it will bring similar proceedings in the future.

Their view is matched by the Department of Health, which says tooth whitening should be performed by a suitably trained and competent dentist or dental-care professional.

More than 80% of the 1,021 adults polled thought teeth whitening should be carried out only by a registered, trained and qualified dental professional.

Online Giants Help in Fight For Safe Teeth Whitening

A number of the words most powerful online superpowers have acted upon an investigation into the safety of online teeth whitening kits. Retailers including the likes of Amazon, Google and eBay have all removed the potentially dangerous products from the virtual shelves. The stance comes as a results of consumer watchdog Which, who stated the products containing in excess of 0.1% hydrogen peroxide or any chemicals where hydrogen peroxide was produced.

Member of the British Dental Association (BDA) Stuart Johnston said “”High doses of hydrogen peroxide can burn the lining of the mouth if it’s not protected.”

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, concluded: “These products are illegal, but ineffective policing means they are still widely available. We have shared our findings with Trading Standards and will continue to urge online retailers to boycott such harmful products being sold in their marketplaces.”

In what seemed almost like a competition in itself, each of the 3 aforementioned giants of online retail released statements condemning the online sale of teeth whitening kits, which have seen the number of oral health problems rise significantly this year.

eBay said, “We took action immediately and have built filters and appropriate structures into our system to address this issue. We do not allow unlawful products to be listed on our sites. If anything is brought to our attention we will investigate it and bring appropriate action.”

Google also hit out, “We have a set of policies which govern what ads we do and do not allow… If we discover such ads we will take appropriate action.”

And finally Amazon left us with this following statement from their spokesperson:

“These items were offered by third-party sellers on our Marketplace platform and have now been removed from sale.

“Please note that sellers on Amazon are prohibited from listing, on our Marketplace platform, products that do not comply with applicable laws.”

The results of the firm stances taken but the online marketplaces biggest players seems like a step in the right direction. Many dentists throughout the UK have notices steep rises in the number of DIY botch jobs that don’t just leave some patients teeth very uneven, but they also leave a mark – noticeably the burns on their lips.