Illegal Teeth Whitening Is On The Rise
The Debrief: Be warned, and don’t get your mouth burned off
It’s the most popular cosmetic surgery in the UK, but some beauty salons are performing it illegally and are liable to burn the shit out of your mouth, the BBC reports (they didn’t say ‘burn the shit out of your mouth’, we paraphrased that).
Illegal tooth whitening is apparently a real problem, with 24 people having already been arrested this year for attacking our molars with gay abandon – one of whom was caught offering services to undercover reporters having been fined only weeks before. Great.
So, how can you avoid gettin your mouth brightened by a charlatan? Stick to registered dentists, and ignore literally everyone else. The British Dental Association warns that anyone who isn't a registered dentist just doesn't have the expertise to competently perform the procedure.
‘It is concerning to hear that any beautician would provide tooth whitening through a self-prescribed system, take a medical history and provide instructions on how to place the trays and the light,’ Dr Nigel Carter, the chief executive of the BDA told the BBC after undercover reporters found beauticians offering the treatment, and basically showing people how to do it themselves.
The General Dental Association agreed, adding, ‘The Dentists Act makes it illegal for anyone who is not a dentist to give “treatment, advice or attendance” that would usually be given by a dentist. Handing an individual a tooth-whitening tray and advising them on application, amongst other things, could constitute the giving of “advice or attendance” and would be illegal.’
If this happens to you in your local salon, run a mile. Then run to the dentists and get it done properly, if it’s something you’re into.
In terms of at-home whitening kits, they’re still safe if they contain less than 0.1% peroxide, but a lot of them don’t shout about the ingredients, making it difficult to tell a) how effective they’ll be; and b) how dangerous they are. So stick to the ones that advertise the amount of peroxide, otherwise steer clear. Dentists, on the other hand, are able to use up to 6%, hence why it’s important to get it done by somebody who accompanies that high percentage with a hefty dose of responsibility.
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