Tooth whitener ‘did not know’ it was against the law

Tooth whitener ?did not know? it was against the law

A woman convicted of illegally whitening people’s teeth has told BBC Scotland she did not know what she was doing was against the law. Brenda McFadyen was fined £1,000 after she pleaded guilty to the illegal practice of dentistry, by offering illegal tooth whitening treatment from her home address. She used the name “Pearly Whites Teeth Whitening”.

Ms McFadyen said she was angry that she had been prosecuted and she now wants to warn others not to get involved in offering teeth whitening products and services. The 63-year-old said she is still struggling to come to terms with what happened and she wants to warn others against getting involved in teeth whitening. "Nobody should be out doing this," she said, "There will be someone out there who will come for them and they (the GDC) will come sooner rather than later."

Figures suggest one in eight Scots have had their teeth whitened but it is against the law for anyone who is not registered with the GDC to practise dentistry. But Ms McFadyen said she did not know she was doing something illegal until the police knocked on her door in Clydebank on a Saturday night earlier this year.

She told BBC Scotland: "I had been teeth whitening for three or four years. In my eyes I wasn’t doing anything illegal but I had to go to court and plead guilty and I was hit with a £1,000 fine. It was just a bit of extra income. We are both retired, you’re trying your best to get on in life. And at my age, this is what I’ve had to go through. They’ve taken my name and they’ve ruined it."

Although dentists regularly carry out teeth whitening, private companies also train lay people in how to oversee the procedure. The GDC has not brought any cases against training companies but it has prosecuted 31 individuals across the UK this year.

Head of criminal enforcement at the GDC, Katie Spears, said: "There are big training providers who try to mislead members of the public into signing up to their training courses and buying their equipment and they make claims which are simply not true. The law in relation to tooth whitening is very clear and the only way you can have it safely done is through a registered dentist."

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