Ireland scrutinizes teeth-whitening businesses
Article Thumbnail ImageFebruary 27, 2013 -- The Irish Dental Association (IDA) has expressed concern that a number of businesses that offer teeth-whitening services could be operating illegally in the U.K.

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The warning comes after four teeth-whitening businesses were unable to provide details on the gels they use for teeth whitening, while only one of the four said their clients were examined by a dentist (Journal of the Irish Dental Association, February/March, Vol. 59:1, pp. 13).

A new European Council Directive, passed on November 1, 2012, bans the use and sale of teeth-whitening products that contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide. Products containing more than 0.1% and up to 6% can only be administered in the first instance by a dentist, and thereafter by the prescription of a dentist. Teeth whitening is also restricted to those older than 18 years of age. Any course of teeth whitening has to be preceded by a full clinical examination to ensure the suitability of the case, in particular the absence of any oral pathology. The law is the first of its kind in the European Union.

The IDA is slated to discuss the issue at its next National Council Meeting on the March 8.

The purpose of the new Cosmetics' Directive was to properly regulate the whole teeth-whitening sector and put an end to unregulated operators, in the interests of patient safety, noted Tom Feeney, BDS, a member of the IDA.


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