Many people would like to have the perfect smile. The brighter and whiter your smile is, the happier you may feel and for that reason you may be willing to pay for it.

And with experts and aesthetics establishments selling the idea of a perfect smile through gels and cosmetic procedures, many are having these procedures without even thinking twice.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) warns against teeth-whitening treatments by beauty salons.

According to the HPCSA, dental therapy and oral hygiene can only be done by appropriately trained and experienced oral healthcare professionals who are registered with the council.

Dr Wim de Beer, a cosmetic dentist at The Cosmetic and Dental Emporium at the V&A Waterfront agrees that the whitening procedures should be done by a dental professional and not at a spa.

“All patients interested in teeth whitening must first undergo a full dental consultation to see if they are suitable candidates for the procedure and if it will work without any complications,” said De Beer. He says this trend was set by Hollywood.