Army dentists urge troops to avoid illegal whitening treatments

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Army dentists are urging troops to avoid illegal whitening treatments following a surge in enquiries related to cosmetic dentistry in recent months.

Dental officer Major Christoph Harper recently wrote an article published in Soldier magazine to encourage troops to explore approved whitening treatments provided by dentists. There has been a significant increase in the demand for whiter teeth among soldiers in recent months, according to sources from the Department of Defence.

Major Harper suggested that more troops are showing an interest in having their teeth whitened. Although whitening treatment is provided by the Defence Primary Healthcare, services are designed for personnel who have experienced staining and discolouration as a result of trauma, infection or dental developmental disorders. For those who are exploring treatment options for aesthetic reasons, dentists are urging soldiers to avoid illegal treatments and opt for those provided by qualified, registered dentists.

Research suggests that whitening kits that contain illegal quantities of hydrogen peroxide are available to buy online and there are also businesses and individuals offering illegal whitening services without the relevant qualifications and expertise. It is illegal to administer whitening treatment in the UK without being registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). Following investigations carried out by the consumer group, Which? several products that exceed the legal level for hydrogen peroxide content have also been removed from online sites.

The advice for troops is the same as for the general public. Anyone who wishes to enjoy a whiter, brighter smile is encouraged to see a qualified, experienced dental professional who is registered with the GDC. Seeing a dentist is safer and treatments are also much more likely to be effective.

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