As a beautician is fined, experts are urging us to go online to check if our teeth whitening is legal

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Dental experts are urging us to check the credentials of any teeth whiteners before going ahead with the cosmetic treatment.

Failure to do so may result in ruined teeth and gums and comes with a hefty cost to remedy any damage, the General Dental Council (GDC) warns.

The news follows the prosecution of a Welsh beautician who charged a 23-year-old woman £89 for the illegal treatment, causing her teeth pain and sensitivity.

Jane Taylor, of the Skin Within in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, pleaded guilty to one charge of unlawfully practicing dentistry and was ordered to pay a total of £1,609 by Llandudno Magistrates’ Court for carrying out illegal teeth whitening.

In seeking advice from a dentist following the treatment, the 23 year old learnt that, due to serious gum disease, she should never have undergone teeth whitening – illegal or otherwise.

The General Dental Council lists all qualified dental professionals on its website – www.gdc-uk.org – and suggest we should all check if practitioners are qualified to carry out the treatment.

It’s important to realise that, like most cosmetic treatments, teeth whitening isn’t cheap.

In the UK, average prices start at £550 and can rise above £1,000. These prices often encourage us to take good care of our teeth to avoid undoing all the good work we saved so hard for.

When carried out by a dentist or other qualified dental professional, teeth whitening is a safe and reliable way to get the smile you really want.

Stained teeth are extremely common – our morning fix of coffee and festive glasses of red wine all contribute – but can easily be transformed into a dazzling smile. The world of whitened teeth is no longer just for the rich and famous – with a bit of saving and planning, your teeth can be transformed.

Drinking and smoking are both major contributors to stained teeth. Post-whitening, the first should be limited (particularly red wine) and the latter should be cut out completely.

Not only will this help you to maintain your pearly whites, it also means you’re generally healthier.

Teeth whitening brings endless benefits but remember, it’s only safe when legally carried out by a dentist or another dental professional.

Key points to remember about teeth whitening:

• It boosts confidence
• It can make you feel good
• You’ll need good oral hygiene before you can have the treatment
• You should avoid coffee and red wine that can stain teeth
• It stops any embarrassment about stained teeth
• It may make you better at looking after them
• It should only ever be carried out by dentist
• You can touch up with custom-made trays (ask your dentist)
• It can last for one to two years (dependent on diet and lifestyle)
• You’ll look great for pictures and selfies
• Make sure you book an appointment in good time
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