A new website has been launched as part of a dental marketing campaign to offer the public more information on tooth whitening.
The site, managed under the guidance of the Tooth Whitening Information Group (Twig), aims to help individuals ensure that any procedures are carried out in a safe and legal way, as well as provide advice about how to avoid dangerous and unlawful practitioners.
Twig, which has been formed from a number of leading dental bodies and tooth whitening materials suppliers and the body, is stated to be highly concerned about the advertising and promotion of illegal tooth whitening treatments since October last year, when an EU Directive implemented stricter controls on the sales of products.
Under the new rules, items containing between 0.1 per cent and six per cent hydrogen peroxide can now only be sold to registered dental professionals, with the first application of such products required to occur in a practice under the supervision of a dentist.
However, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation Dr Nigel Carter said: “Since the ruling was announced it is clear many people offering tooth whitening are still unaware of the rules and are continuing to practice illegally. The public are being misled and placed at risk of permanent damage to their teeth.”
In one case, an internet firm was found guilty of selling peroxide-based tooth whitening products at up to 30 times the permitted limit – which resulted in a jail sentence of 18 months.
Dr Carter added that tooth whitening is a dental procedure, which has been confirmed recently by the High Court followed action taken by the General Dental Council against beautician Lorna Jamous, who was found to be unlawfully practicing dentistry by offering teeth whitening procedures.
The safetoothwhitening.org website provides resources such as a downloadable buyer’s guide that aims to give the public a better idea of what to look for when they are considering having the treatment, as well as what they need to avoid.
It also offers a quick report form that enables individuals to raise concerns about any procedures they have received.