New Teeth Whitening Regulations

Author:Mr Tom Hayes
Profession:Matheson Ormsby Prentice

The Irish Dental Association (IDA) has previously expressed concern in respect of some teeth whitening products, claiming that many of them range from "useless to dangerous". In this context, a new EU Council Directive was passed on 20 September 2011 which will control the use of hydrogen peroxide in teeth whitening products. Hydrogen peroxide is the chemical agent used in the teeth whitening process. The new directive regulates the amount of hydrogen peroxide that can be used in any such product depending on the dosage, which has been divided up into three different categories. These are a hydrogen peroxide content of 1) up to 0.1%, 2) between 0.1% and 6% and 3) over 6%.

Teeth whitening products which contain up to 0.1% hydrogen peroxide will continue to be freely available to consumers on the open market for self-administration. The rules are much more stringent when it comes to products which contain between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide. These will necessitate a clinical examination and the first treatment must be administered by a dentist. The idea behind such a formality, is to ensure that there are no underlying risk factors or oral complications. Following on from this, the dentist can give the patient the all clear to continue the whitening treatment themselves. It must be noted that the use of such products will not be permissible, in...

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