Illegal whitening warning for Belfast businesses

Belfast City Council has issued a public warning of the dangers of illegal tooth whitening after noticing an increase in the number of business offering the service in the city and surrounding area.

Last month (September) the authority sent a letter to more than 500 businesses reminding them of the law governing tooth whitening and offering further advice and information.

This move comes a matter of weeks since a BBC investigation highlighted that a Belfast-based illegal tooth whitener was still practising despite being convicted in April and fined more than £1,000. Samuel Irvine-Madine pleaded guilty at Belfast Magistrates Court to unlawfully holding himself out as being prepared to practise dentistry at HD Smile Clinic on the Shankhill Road.

A Belfast City Council spokesperson said: “While cosmetic piercing businesses must be registered with Belfast City Council, any business which offers tooth whitening without being registered with the GDC is breaking the law.

“If the council becomes aware of an individual or business offering this service illegally, we must inform the GDC which may bring legal proceedings.”

The warning letter advises business that council staff will visit any business that is selling tooth whitening products to ensure they are compliant with the legislation. If found to be in breach, council staff are allowed to seize the products, and any subsequent enforcement action could result in a fine of up to £20,000.