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BDHF welcomes teeth whitening law changes

Posted by Allie Wright

The decision to amend laws relating to teeth whitening in a bid to improve levels of dental patient safety has been welcomed by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF)

A change to the law comes as a result of the European Council’s directive that tooth whitening products containing or releasing between 0.1 and six per cent hydrogen peroxide are now only able to be sold to a registered dental professional offering the treatment in their practice.

Chief executive of the BDHF Dr Nigel Carter stated safety levels in teeth whitening should be set to significantly improve as a result of the change to the law, adding: “Tooth whitening kiosks and the provision of whitening by beauticians pose a danger to our health. The procedure is often carried out by someone with no dental qualifications and can contain hydrogen peroxide above the recommended limit.”

Dr Carter pointed out that although teeth whitening is often cheaper at this type of kiosk or when carried out by a beautician rather than a dental specialist, it “comes at real risk to our health and a possibility of permanent damage to our teeth and gums”.

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments in the UK, with its profile boosted by appearances in reality television programmes such as The Only Way Is Essex and the fact it has been used regularly by celebrities such as Jordan and Simon Cowell.

It was also noted by Dr Carter that the change to the law should clear up any confusion about who is able to safely carry out teeth whitening procedures and the specialist stated anyone who wants to have their teeth whitened should go to a dental practice.

The General Dental Council has reminded dental patients that they should go to their dentist before having any teeth whitening treatments in order to ensure it is safe for them to have it.

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