Council leaders are urging people not to use ‘dangerous’ DIY teeth whitening kits, warning they can cause mouth infections and damage to nerves and tooth enamel.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said many teeth whitening kits contain more unsafe levels of bleaching agents so should the procedure should only be carried out by a professional dentist.
The LGA wants tougher penalties for those selling the kits and for those performing unqualified teeth whitening treatments. It said one council alone had seized more than 15,000 dangerous kits in nine months, some containing more than 33% hydrogen peroxide. The maximum legal limit for use by the public in the UK is 0.1%.
‘Illegal DIY teeth whitening kits may promise fast results and a brighter smile but those containing dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide are the equivalent of brushing with bleach and can put oral health at risk,’ said cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board.
‘Trading standards are determined to remove any DIY teeth whitening kits with dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide from the market and will always seek to prosecute those involved in making and selling them. These whitening kits are enabling unlicensed practitioners, including some beauty salons, to cash in on the treatment, and some are using illegal gels.’