Row over teeth whitening resolved

A COMPROMISE has been reached with trading standards officers on the use of teeth whitening products.

Trading standards have agreed to ease restrictions on the use of whitening products following a recent crackdown by officials in Essex County Council. They have now given the green light for the products to be used by GDC registrants in the surgery in the course of “a professional whitening service”.

The move follows concerns raised by the British Dental Association that restricting the supply of hydrogen peroxide-based products to dentists could encourage patients to seek “illegal and dangerous” treatment from non-dental professionals.

The firm Dental Directory has now confirmed it is resuming sales of chairside tooth bleaching products which have a concentration of hydrogen peroxide of more than 0.1 per cent after receiving assurances from trading standards.

The statement from trading standards said: “This Service has no issue with peroxide-based whiteners > 0.1% supplied to GDC registered dentists for use in the course of a professional whitening service conducted by a registrant.

“It is the view of this Service that such treatments would be regulated by the GDC. Provided your business takes reasonable steps to restrict supplies of such whiteners to registrants, making it clear that the product is only for use in surgery (i.e. not for supply as an over-the-counter take-home cosmetic product for consumers), then the view of this Service is that there is no need for any trading standards action.”

Officials confirmed they shared the view of organisations such as the BDA who believe the safest place for cosmetic teeth whitening is “in the care of registered dental professionals, and it is not in the public interest for action to be taken to restrict the supply to dentists of the necessary raw materials and whitening kits to make this possible.”