Teeth whitening has long been a feature in beauty salons, but many beauty therapists do not realise or care that they are actually offering this illegally, and their businesses are now under threat.
The General Dental Council (GDC) has determined that it is illegal for anyone who is not a dentist to perform teeth whitening treatments. This is more than just an idle threat, with 22 salons being prosecuted so far this year alone.
The You & Yours show on Radio 4 today covered this subject and spoke to beauty therapist and former nurse Lynne Baker who questioned how ethical it is for beauty trade shows to allow teeth whitening companies to exhibit. Whilst Professional Beauty issued a statement in response to this stating that all exhibitors are carefully vetted and operate within the law, it seems there is a still a grey area surrounding this.
By selling products to therapists who will be prosecuted for using them there has to be a big question mark over whether they should be present at any kind of professional show. The teeth whitening companies have tried to get around the law by selling ‘self-administering’ systems where the client uses the product and positions themselves in front of a laser light, however, according to the GDC this is still illegal. Salons cannot even protect themselves through their insurance as most of the major beauty insurance companies will not offer cover.
As a teeth whitening treatment at a beauty salon can be vastly cheaper than one performed by a dentist, the procedure has become popular and widespread with many not realising the permanent damage that can be done to the teeth and gums. Lynne Baker has been publicising the issue in order to protect the general public from harm and beauty therapists from prosecution and the loss of their business.
Remeber, if you are not a qualified dentist, offering teeth whitening treatments is ILLEGAL. If you are in any doubt about where you stand, contact he General Dental Council: www.gdc-uk.org/Pages/default.aspx
You can listen again to the Radio 4 piece at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07z3c6z.
We want to know what you think on this very important matter! Have you ever offered a teeth whitening treatment? Perhaps you’ve had one done? Did you see these stands at the shows?