Tooth whitening

Tooth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments with products available widely in shops and online. The practice involves bleaching the teeth using a whitening product usually containing hydrogen peroxide. There are things you should consider before getting your teeth whitened.

Tooth whitening by dental professionals

Tooth whitening is safe if it is carried out by a registered dental professional but an untrained person could cause permanent damage to teeth and gums.

It is a criminal offence for anyone other than a registered dentist or dental hygienist, dental therapist or clinical dental technician acting to the prescription of a dentist, to offer or provide tooth whitening services.

The video below highlights the dangers of illegal whitening services. 

Criminal prosecutions for the illegal practice of dentistry can carry significant fines because of the risk that these treatments pose.

To check that your dental professional is  registered,  visit the General Dental Council (GDC) website.

Tooth whitening products

There are different types of tooth whitening products

Over-the-counter tooth whitening products

While only dental professionals can provide a tooth-whitening service, it is legal for anyone to treat themselves with an over-the-counter kit only if it contains less than 0.1 per cent hydrogen peroxide.

Products available to buy online or from high street shops often don't declare the chemicals they contain so they may not be safe to use.

Tooth whitening products given to you by dental professionals

Only registered dental professionals can supply tooth whitening products that contain or release between 0.1-6 per cent hydrogen peroxide. A dental professional must carry out a clinical examination with you before you use such a product and they must make sure that your exposure to it is limited. Registered dentists are trained to know which whitening products will be safe for your teeth and gums.

Products given to you by non-dentists often do not have enough safety data and evidence to support their use and this can result in burned gums and/or blistered lips or something more serious.

For more information, go to the link below. 

Common injuries 

One of the most common injuries happens when the mouth-guard containing the bleaching gel (peroxide) does not fit properly and some of it leaks causing painful chemical burns to the mouth, lips, gums and tongue or indeed sickness when people accidentally swallow the bleaching product. Some of the whitening kits used at home can harm tooth enamel.

More information

If you come across any individual providing tooth whitening whom you believe is not be registered with the General Dental Council or any tooth whitening product which may be illegal, contact the Environmental Health department in your local council or speak to the Trading Standards Service by calling Consumerline on 0300 123 6262.

 

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.