Be safe, visit the dentist

General Dental Council (GDC) stated:

“It is illegal for anyone who is not a registered dental professional to give treatment, advice or attendance.”

While we are disappointed to see this headline, sadly we are not surprised. All too often we hear of people trying to find cheaper ways to whiten their teeth. Not only does this not work, they also risk their health as untrained beauticians using teeth-whitening kits have been known to cause health problems such as burns, blisters or lost teeth.

Last year 732 cases of illegal teeth whitening were reported to GDC, a 26% increase from 582 in 2018. The real number may be far higher as the GDC relies on reports from customers.

So who can carry out teeth whitening?

  • Dentist
  • A dental hygienist or therapist working to the prescription of a dentist


  • Dental professionals can assess your oral health
  • have had many years of training and are able to assess properly whether you are a good candidate for this treatment
  • Can record your full medical history.

A beautician is neither medically or dentally trained, and would not have the ability to take and interpret a medical history.

Is it safe to buy online?

In a word, no. The products you can buy online or from High Street shops often fail to declare the precise chemicals used so it is very difficult to assess their safety.

One teeth-whitening kit from an online retailer in the UK can be bought which contains sodium perborate. This chemical is banned for use in cosmetic products by the EU as it says it can cause infertility and foetal abnormalities.

Don’t risk going to someone who isn’t trained, isn’t fully insured and isn’t legally doing treatment just to save money.  The only safe way to have teeth whitening is to visit a dental professional and get good advice.

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