Illegal teeth-whitening is leaving people with ‘horror burns and missing teeth’

2020/08/21 17:02

Today's Vocabulary

1.undercover (adj)
working secretly using a false appearance in order to get information for the police or government

2. surged (v) 
to increase suddenly and strongly

3. blisters (n) 
a painful swelling on the skin that contains liquid, caused usually by continuous rubbing, especially on your foot, or by burning

4. catastrophic (adj) 
involving or causing sudden great damage or suffering

5. comply (v) 
to act according to an order, set of rules, or request

6. prosecute (v)
to officially accuse
someone of committing a crime in a law court, or (of a lawyer)  to try to prove that a person accused of committing a crime is guilty of that crime 

7. qualifications (n) 
an official record showing
that you have finished a training course or have the necessary skills,etc.

8. illegitimate (adj)
not legal
or fair

Illegal teeth-whitening is leaving people with ‘horror burns and missing teeth’

ILLEGAL teeth-whitening is leaving people with life-changing burns and missing teeth, a shocking new investigation has revealed.

An undercover study, from the BBC, found that the number of unqualified beauticians offering illegal teeth-whitening in the UK has surged by 26 per cent in the past year.

Teeth-whitening can only be performed legally in the UK by professionals registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). And failure to comply with this requirement to be registered can result in a criminal record and an unlimited fine.

However, experts found one beauty school had provided “thousands” of untrained beauticians with illegitimate qualifications.

They found many untrained beauticians have been using teeth-whitening kits that can cause tooth loss, burns and blisters.

“It would be catastrophic for the patient and the person who’s been trained and told it’s legal to do it.”

In 2019, 732 cases of illegal teeth-whitening were reported to the GDC, a 26 per cent increase from 582 in 2018.

The number could be much higher, however, as the dentists’ regulatory body relies on reports from customers.

The GDC said it had launched 126 prosecutions against illegal teeth-whiteners since 2015.

It lacks the powers to prosecute those performing training, such as those filmed by the BBC.


  1. What was wrong with the people doing teeth whitening in many cases?
  2. Who are the only people that can do teeth whitening in the UK?
  3. What should happen to the illegal teeth whiteners?

"If government were a product, selling it would be illegal."

P. J. O'Rourke