The new regulations on tooth whitening bring heavy penalties for those who breach the conditions which accompany them, warns Head of Healthcare Regulatory Andrea James of George Davies Solicitors.

If you breach the new law, which came in on 31 October 2012 in response to an EU directive on consumer safety, the maximum penalty is six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000. Trading Standards Officers can legally enter and inspect a dental practice at any time to see if a breach has occurred. In addition, the General Dental Council (GDC) will consider fitness to practise proceedings separate to any criminal proceedings against any dental practitioner involved in breaching the regulations.