GDC and Thurrock trading standards stop sale of tooth whitening products

Dental regulator and Thurrock trading standards stop sale of tooth whitening products

2 March 2016

The General Dental Council (GDC) and Thurrock Trading Standards have joined forces to stop a leading high street retailer from offering tooth whitening services by individuals not on the register of dental professionals.

An investigation by the GDC found sales assistants in the Hair and Beauty by Regis UK concession stands in Tesco stores were offering tooth whitening services to in-store customers using kits and LED lamps. The GDC was concerned about this practice as the law makes it clear that only registered dental professionals should offer tooth whitening treatments.

In a separate investigation, Thurrock Trading Standards had concerns about tooth whitening products provided by the company Pearlys, which were being sold in Regis concessions in the Tesco Extra store, West Thurrock.

The GDC and Thurrock Trading Standards have spoken with Regis UK Limited and offered advice and guidance to help them to comply with the law in relation to the sale of products and the offers to provide tooth whitening treatment by unregistered individuals.

Regis has given assurances that, following the advice received it will no longer offer tooth whitening services, including within those concessions in any Tesco stores.
Katie Spears, Interim Head of Illegal Practice at the General Dental Council, said: "I am pleased that Regis has decided to stop offering tooth whitening services.

"The GDC will act to protect the public from potential harm. It is important that the public are aware that tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry and can only be legally and safely carried out by a registered dental professional.

"If anyone is considering having tooth whitening, I would advise you to either speak to your dentist or have a look at our website to check if the person providing the advice is registered with us. Tooth whitening can only be provided by a qualified and registered dentist, or a dental hygienist, dental therapist or clinical dental technician working to the prescription of a dentist.

"Working with Thurrock Trading Standards to secure compliance in cases like these, saves the need of a lengthy and costly criminal prosecution."


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Notes to editor:

Section 37 of the Dentists Act which makes it clear that the practice of dentistry includes providing “treatment or advice”​