Regulation is long overdue

New regulations on bleaching are welcomed by the IDA

In anticipation of upcoming European legislation on the use of hydrogen peroxide, the Irish Dental Association (IDA) has warned that many tooth whitening products on the market today range from “useless to dangerous”.

The European Commission is expected to shortly introduce new regulations on whitening, recommending that only fully qualified dentists should be permitted to provide this service.

Tom Feeney, Dublin-based dentist and the IDA’s representative on the Council of European Dentists, welcomed the move, saying regulation of the sector is “long overdue”.

He continued: “Dentists are qualified to carry out a full oral examination, take a history, make a diagnosis and then decide if the use of a whitening product is appropriate.

“Other people practising tooth whitening do not have the ability to do that and the use of tooth bleaching products may be totally inappropriate and may cause serious problems. ”

Feeney also warned that many tooth whitening products available online can range from potentially lethally high doses of hydrogen peroxide to those with negligible amounts that are next to useless. He said: “To be effective, a product has to have over three per cent hydrogen peroxide and the new regulations will prohibit products containing over six per cent. The new regulations will ensure that properly qualified dentists are carrying out what is a dental procedure and that safe products are being used.”