Would you visit a dentist for a bikini wax? How about a dermal lift?
Few dentists would dare take on such a challenge. But turn the tables, and you’ll find a growing number of beauty therapists brave enough to carry out dental whitening alongside spray tans and eyebrow shaping.
In 2013, the regulations on cosmetic products were toughened so peroxide whitening could only be administered by a licensed dentist. While this might sound petty, the reasoning is sound.
The peroxide used in dental whitening is the same stuff used to bleach hair and bathrooms. It’s noxious stuff that easily burns skin. More sensitive lips and gums don’t stand a chance.
The case of 18-year-old Abbi Kilbride from Renfrewshire should be a lesson to us all. Her ten-minute whitening turned into a frightening when a dodgy salon appointment caused excruciating third-degree burns to her lips and gums.
“I looked like I’d been in the boxing ring,” Abbi told the Daily Mail. She went on to warn: “DO NOT just go to anyone to get your teeth whitened!”
In Abbi’s case, the unnamed practitioner failed to carry out basic allergy tests. But that’s not the only danger. Using the wrong concentration of peroxide, or leaving the treatment on too long, can also cause burns, blisters and other nasties.
The humble dentist studies for five years before being let loose on the public, usually undertaking further training before carrying out potentially risky extras like peroxide whitening. Spray tans and eyebrow shaping aren’t on the syllabus – they’re best left to the experts.
The lesson should be clear. But let’s leave the last word to Abbi: “I was completely unaware that only a dentist can do you this treatment,” she said. “So if you’re booked in anywhere other than a dentist/dental nurse. Please, please stay away!