Everyone wants a gleaming set of pearly white teeth. The perfect Hollywood smile has created a multi-billion-dollar global industry. However, not all is shiny and bright behind this business. A report from the BBC states that illegal teeth whitening is putting people at risk of serious health problems. These include burnt gums and lips, blisters and lost teeth. The UK's General Dental Council reported a 26 per cent increase in complaints last year from people who had suffered problems after teeth whitening. In many cases, those performing the teeth whitening were untrained and unqualified.
The UK's teeth-whitening industry is regulated. Only professionals who have registered with the General Dental Council can do it. The BBC went undercover and unearthed "thousands" of ill-qualified teeth-whitening practitioners. Two researchers paid nearly $400 each to attend a five-hour teeth-whitening course at a London beauty college. The researchers received a certificate and were told they could earn $100 an hour to treat customers. Anyone attending these courses and setting up their own businesses are doing so illegally. They could end up with a criminal record.