30 April 2019

Teeth whitening should only be carried out by a dental professional, warns the Oral Health Foundation which will be hosting its annual National Smile Month event between 13 May and 13 June 2019.

“National Smile Month is the perfect opportunity to remind hair professionals and beauty therapists that only a qualified dentist, or dental hygienist/therapist working to a dentist’s prescription, can carry out any teeth whitening procedure,” says NHF/NBF director of quality & standards Caroline Larissey.

Nothing to smile about

“If you offer teeth whitening you are breaking the law and your insurance will not cover you if things go wrong,” says Caroline. “As well as a potentially huge claim for damages, you will also face unlimited fines for breaking the law.” 

NHF/NBF Members can download a free fact sheet about teeth whitening. 

Don’t believe the hype … 

Caroline warns salons not to be misled by various claims that are made about teeth whitening and the products used. “For example, teeth whitening kits that do not contain hydrogen peroxide are still illegal and may cause permanent damage to teeth or gums. 

“In addition, don’t be taken in by ‘training courses’ that offer ‘qualifications’ in teeth whitening. These can be expensive but are not worth the paper they’re written on,” says Caroline. “Only qualified dentists can legally carry out teeth whitening.” 

The NHF/NBF also advises salons not to sell legal home teeth whitening kits. 

“In theory, there is nothing to prevent a salon selling these kits,” says Caroline, “but it would be very tricky to do this without also offering advice on how to use them – and offering advice is against the law unless you have dental qualifications.” 

Find out more about National Smile Month run by the Oral Health Foundation.