Tooth whitening claims include both treatments provided by the dentist at the surgery and also claims for over the counter tooth whitening kits.

The law surrounding tooth whitening remains unchanged and it is illegal for tooth whitening products which contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide or for any associated products which release greater than 6% hydrogen peroxide to be supplied or administered for cosmetic purposes.

In 2013 the Cosmetic Products (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (implementing Directive 2011/84 EU) were revoked and replaced with the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013 (and including amendments from Regulation 1223/2009, Regulation 344/2013 and Regulation 1197/2013) commonly known as the “EU Cosmetics Regulation”.

In addition, the new regulations continue to state that tooth whitening products containing or releasing between 0.1%-6% hydrogen peroxide should not be made directly available to the consumer, other than through treatment by a registered dentist (or dental hygienist or dental therapist or clinical dental technicians working to a dentist’s prescription).


Breach of these regulations is a criminal offence. The GDC does not enforce the law around the Directive, as this is the responsibility of Trading Standards and the Health and Safety Executive. Should the GDC receive information concerning the supply or use of a product, they will however refer this information on to Trading Standards.