DANGEROUS and illegal teeth-whitening kits which are “like brushing your teeth with bleach” are still being sold by unscrupulous internet traders, Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Trading Standards Service has found.
An investigation into Warwickshire businesses offering teeth whitening has revealed that the rules are being followed on the high street – but problems may still exist with home treatment services.
Trading Standards officers carried out the investigation after seizing imported illegal teeth whitening products destined for traders across the UK, some containing over five times the legal limit of hydrogen peroxide – a bleaching agent.
The law states teeth whitening must only be carried out by or under the supervision of a qualified dentist, and products used must only contain a maximum of six per cent hydrogen peroxide, the ingredient that bleaches teeth.
The officers concluded none of the 48 Warwickshire businesses offering teeth whitening services were providing unlawful services or using dangerous products.
But they did discover websites offering home treatment teeth whitening services which were unlikely to be offered by qualified professionals and therefore could be dangerous and illegal.
They are also working with Border Force to seize imports of illegal DIY kits – of which over 15,000 have been confiscated to date.
WCC community safety spokesman Coun Howard Roberts said: “Dentists have warned that bleaching kits containing illegally high levels of hydrogen peroxide can cause stomach problems, mouth infections, toothache, gum- shrinking and nerve damage.
“I’m pleased that Warwickshire high street businesses offering these services are taking their responsibilities seriously and would urge consumers to always seek advice from their dentist before commencing on a teeth whitening treatment programme.
“Tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry and our advice is that consumers should only use a professional.”
Only registered dentists, hygienists, therapists or clinical dental technicians regulated by the General Dental Council (GDC) are permitted to carry out teeth whitening procedures – and the GDC has powers to investigate and prosecute unlicensed teeth whitening providers.
Visit www.businesscompanion.info for more information on importing goods or services in the UK.