Future regulation of whitening products

An agreement to amend the regulations governing the availability and use of tooth whitening products, which comes after longstanding lobbying, has been reached after a meeting of the European Commission’s Council has supported recommendations put forward by the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products in 2007.

The new regulations will mean that products containing or releasing over 0.1 per cent hydrogen peroxide cannot be provided directly to the consumer. Whitening products over 0.1 but less than six per cent hydrogen peroxide will only be available to patients following an examination and a first episode of treatment provided or supervised by a dentist. This is to ensure that patients are able to use products provided to them properly at home.  


Announcing the agreement, the European Commission has also asked the Council of European Dentists, via the dental associations in each member state, to monitor the use of whitening products and any ill effects they cause. It is hoped this will help build a fuller picture of the use of whitening products around Europe.

The agreement does not change the official position on products containing or releasing products of greater than six per cent hydrogen peroxide and these therefore remain illegal to use.  Dental Nurses are reminded that Tooth Whitening is not included in their Scope of Practice.


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