Dental campaign group warns against illegal tooth whitening as fines increase and GDC clamps down on perpetrators

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A dental campaign group has issued a warning to anyone providing illegal whitening treatment, as the General Dental Council clamps down on perpetrators and courts hand out more severe punishments and fines.

The Tooth Whitening Information Group is warning beauty therapists and anyone else who doesn’t have a form dental qualification to avoid administering whitening treatment. Under EU legislation, whitening is a dental treatment, which can only be provided legally by dental professionals who have formal training and are registered with the GDC. Anyone who offers whitening services without meeting these criteria is liable for legal action, and the GDC has already prosecuted a number of individuals. Karen Coates, lead coordinator for the group, said that it can be tempting to offer whitening because it is such as popular cosmetic treatment, but warned that it could end up costing beauty therapists their livelihoods, as well as contributing to a criminal record.

The GDC has adopted robust approaches to preventing illegal whitening, and recently, high-profile cases have served as a warning to any non-dentists who offer whitening treatment. Reality TV star, Chelsey Harwood, was recently ordered to pay £11,000 after being found guilty of administering illegal treatment in court in Liverpool. The GDC is taking a hard line against the offence, and evidence suggests that courts are handing out tougher punishments.

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