Beauty Salons Venture Into Teeth Whitening

With a rise in the popularity of device technology – teeth whitening has become a lucrative market for beauty salons wanting to expand their offering. Anita Quade chats to Maria Lucas and Alison Egan, who have joined forces to raise the standards in teeth whitening training. They chat about the latest treatments and the benefits for salons.

Alison Egan, Director at Sparkling White Smile, Founder & Master Trainer at Institute of Aesthetic Teeth Whitening (IATW)

Alison is the founder of Australia’s largest mobile and cosmetic teeth whitening brand, Sparkling White Smile. Since its inception in 2014, it has revolutionised the cosmetic teeth whitening world by allowing technicians in the beauty industry and other business owners to offer these services to their clients. Its continued growth in an ever booming industry, Sparkling White Smile has now expanded Australia wide and across shores to New Zealand and the US.

Alison, tell us why you set up Sparkling White Smile?

“Sparkling White Smile was set up as a side hustle whilst I was finishing my nursing degree. I saw a gap in the market for affordable and fast teeth whitening, I never imagined it would become what it is today.”

Cosmetic dentistry now is such a huge part of the beauty space – how have you seen cosmetic teeth whitening evolve over the past five years?

“When I started eight years ago there was no competition, it wasn’t even that big in the dental clinics, but with the evolution of social media the market has exploded. Teeth Whitening is now an $11 billion industry.”

With a rise in the popularity of device technology – teeth whitening has become a lucrative market for beauty salons wanting to expand their offering.

The two-hour triple treatment is painless so it’s perfect for anyone with teeth sensitivity. Tell us about the technology involved in the device?

“Yes, our treatments are for people wanting a white smile without the sensitivity. The new technology is Ultrasonic and has three modes on it, high, medium and low to ensure it accommodates all tooth types.

♦ The Beyond II Whitening Accelerator LEDs have 10 x high intensity LEDs opposed to other systems with only four.

♦ ULTRASONIC TECHNOLOGY – this serves to help the whitening gel more comprehensively target the enamel. It does not speed up the chemical reaction of the gel; rather, the cavitation process vibrates the gel so it can reach the area that it might not otherwise be able to.

♦ Air Ionizer Purifier – The Beyond II Ultra Whitening Accelerator comes equipped with an air ionizer that silently cleans and sanitizes air in areas less than 6000/cm3. The ionizer is designed to remove airborne pollutants, allergens, pollen, mold, smoke, unpleasant odors, dust and other airborne pollutants.”

Would you consider teaming up with beauty salons to offer the device as part of their treatment menu?

“Absolutely, I have already done so in clinics across the country!”

You also offer a mobile service – how important is that option for clients? 

“Mobile is where I started and it is now 50% of the business, people love getting their friends together and having teeth whitening parties, so it will always remain the core of the business.”

How often do people come back for a top up?

“After the initial treatment 4-6 weeks after, then every 3-6 months depending on lifestyle.”

Maria Lucas, Dental Practitioner, Founder & Master Trainer at IATW

Maria is a registered dental professional and Oral Health Therapist based in Sydney, Australia. Aligning herself with prominent dental practices, she embodies the importance of patient care, correct education and setting the standard in customer delivery.

Maria, can you tell us about the regulations in the industry?

“The regulations in the past around teeth whitening in Australia have often been viewed as relatively grey. The current position, as supported by the TGA and ACCC, is that the use of ‘”more than” 6% hydrogen peroxide (or its equivalent carbamide peroxide) may only be administered by a registered dental professional. This leaves the use of 6% hydrogen peroxide (or it’s equivalent precursor carbamide peroxide) open to be delivered by non-dental professionals. These rules have seen a surge in the cosmetic teeth whitening space allowing more operators to legally deliver these services to their clients.”

Can you share what training is in place for salons wanting to invest in the device?

“It is not currently mandatory to do any training when it comes to cosmetic teeth whitening (the use of 6% hydrogen peroxide or less.) One of the greatest issues with this, is that operators who aren’t educated or trained in this area would often lack the skill to not only practically do the procedure but to choose the right candidate for the treatment. Case selection is critical, as not all clients are suitable for a cosmetic teeth whitening procedure.

It is crucial that previous dental history, underlying medical conditions, the type and colour of discolouration and any other aspects are taken well into consideration before an operator proceeds to deliver these treatments. Without some sort of training, we see operators providing these services and in some cases, unethically making them available to those who perhaps shouldn’t be having it in the first place. Additionally, without training, operators are less likely to have a knowledge of their legal position and what is or isn’t allowed.”

How do salons make sure that the right procedures are in place?

“We, at IATW, believe that a level of training must be introduced before any operator considers delivering cosmetic teeth whitening services to clients. It is difficult to place a qualification on this as the current position is that of no mandatory training required. Some operators, due to a lack of education and training, are learning first hand on the job during a risky process of trial and error on their own clientele. We feel that education in this space, along with a close and harmonious relationship with the dental industry, would actually encourage better skilled and more competent cosmetic teeth whitening operators in the industry.”

IATW Masterclasses typically run every 4-6 weeks over a two-day session and can be delivered live online.

Tell us about the training course …

“IATW Masterclasses typically run every 4-6 weeks over a two-day session and can be delivered live online. The first day is aimed at delivering theory concepts and training to students, with a large emphasis on dental knowledge, case selection and client management. The second day is delivered hands on either via live stream or at head office based in Sydney’s Double Bay. This is a time that students can continue to practice and harness their skills to ensure competence in the procedure whilst being guided at all times. Upon completion of the course and passing practical training condusive to the standard IATW deliver, all students are issued with a Certificate of Attainment.”

This article originally appeared in the September-October 2022 print issue of Professional Beauty.

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