New plans to regulate tooth whitening products in New Zealand

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The Environmental Risk Management Authority is considering new plans to regulate tooth whitening products.

The new plans will encourage all consumers interested in using whitening products to visit their dentist before having treatment; the proposals also suggest a ban on DIY whitening products and gels from the shelves of high street stores and supermarkets. If the plans go ahead, consumers will also be advised to check with their dentist before using certain types of mouthwash.

The Dental Council and health ministers say that the measures are essential to protect members of the public; the proposals concern products that contain hydrogen peroxide. Currently, the use of hydrogen peroxide is not regulated and dental experts say that this carries risks; representatives from the Dental Council told ERMA’s hearing committee that the current system was a danger to consumers, as people without dental qualifications can offer whitening services and consumers can buy whitening products without seeing a dentist.

Chairman of the Dental Council, Professor Robert Love said that some products contained more than the recommended level of hydrogen peroxide and this was increasing the risk of gum disease and chemical burns.

So far, ERMA has agreed that whitening products containing higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide should be provided by dentists only and further recommendations are expected in the near future.


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