Danger warning on DIY teeth whitening

PUBLISHED: 10:07 29 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 July 2010

THE quest for a megawatt smile might be doing more harm than good, according to Norfolk's Trading Standards officers who have issued a warning about do-it-yourself teeth-whitening kits.

THE quest for a megawatt smile might be doing more harm than good, according to Norfolk's Trading Standards officers who have issued a warning about do-it-yourself teeth-whitening kits.

Undercover officers recently bought six kits via the internet and tested their chemical content to find all contained between 50 and 120 times the amount of hydrogen peroxide that is considered safe and permitted by law.

The British Association of Cosmetic Dentists (BACD) warns that these kits may cause sensitivity and gum ulceration, or may contain harsh agents that could permanently damage enamel.

The law states that teeth whitening products supplied to consumers should only contain up to 0.1pc hydrogen peroxide, whether present in the product itself or given off during the use of the product.

No products that exceed this safe limit have been found to be on sale in Norfolk, however as a precaution Norfolk County Council Trading Standards has issued advice about safe levels of hydrogen peroxide in teeth-whitening treatment to beauty salons in the county.

Ann Jackson, trading standards officer at Norfolk County Council, said: “Teeth whitening is becoming more popular and the fact that these DIY kits with unsafe levels of hydrogen peroxide are widely available over the internet is worrying. We have passed on the details of all the online retailers who sold these illegal products to their local trading standards department who will contact them to ensure that any unsafe products are removed and give further advice as necessary.”

The BACD recommends that any teeth-whitening treatment should be carried out by a dentist.

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards advises people who are considering using DIY teeth- whitening treatments to consult a qualified dental professional first and always buy from a reputable, known trader.

Anyone with concerns that a product may contain more than the permitted amount of hydrogen peroxide should call Norfolk County Council Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06.

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