Tooth Whitening by Non-Dental Professionals

There was some controversy regarding tooth whitening services provided by non-dentists, such as beauty therapists.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Dental Council (SDC) take a serious view of the practice of Dentistry being performed by non-dentists or in unlicensed premises and will take legal actions against any individual contravening the law.

The SDC's jurisdiction is restricted to matters relating to the practice of dentistry in Singapore as defined in the Dental Registration Act. The Act however does not categorically state that 'teeth whitening" is a practice of dentistry.

Furthermore, teeth whitening products are also available over the counter. Under the Health Products (Cosmetic Products-ASEAN Cosmetic Directive) Regulations 2007, as long as the concentration of hydrogen peroxide or other similar chemicals present in a finished oral hygiene product is less than or equal to 0.1%, it will be allowed for sale to the public. Regardless of the efficacy of the treatment, no act or legislation has been violated provided the whitening products used by these non-dental professionals contain less than or equal to 0.1% hydrogen peroxide.

MOH will continue to monitor and review this. The dental profession should continue to educate their patients and remind the public that tooth whitening or bleaching should only be done by trained dentists.

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