UK public should be made aware of whitening risks, dentist claims

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Dr Peta Leigh, a dentist and member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, claims that the UK public should be more aware of the risks associated with tooth whitening treatment.

Dr Leigh said that whitening treatment is widely available, but many people are unaware that many of the outlets and individuals that offer the treatment are doing so illegally. In the UK, whitening is classed as a dental treatment, and this means that it can only be provided by trained, qualified dentists who are registered with the General Dental Council. According to EU regulations, any treatments that are available should have a maximum hydrogen peroxide concentration of 6 percent. Sadly, many people order products online or buy home kits that may contain whitening agents with stronger concentrations. Large numbers of customers are also still using beauty salons and similar stores to have treatment, despite the fact that this is illegal.

Dr Leigh, from Elleven Dental, also suggested that people are being lured in by trends and fads, many of which don’t have any impact on the colour of the teeth. Whitening toothpastes, methods like oil pulling and whitening strips all claim to whiten the teeth, but there is little evidence to suggest that they actually make a significant difference.

The advice from dentists like Dr Leigh is to see a dental professional if you want a whiter, brighter smile. Professional treatments are proven to work and they can be administered safely and effectively by dentists who have expertise in cosmetic treatment.

Anyone who does come across people or companies trying to offer illegal whitening is advised to contact the General Dental Council.

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