Teeth Whitening DIY? Do not be dazzled!

Sbiancamento Denti

An EU directive sets the content of the peroxide to 0.1%, but in Italy things are different.

Who does not like having a dazzling and bright smile? A possible dream for many, thanks to the modern techniques of professional teeth whitening carried out in a dental clinic.

Others, instead, resort to do-it-yourself methods, from toothpaste to pastes to be applied, up to strips. Peroxide products that can be bought in pharmacies or in supermarkets. According to the European Directive for cosmetic products (76/7 68 / EEC), the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the oral care products cannot exceed O, 1%, those with a higher concentration cannot therefore be freely sold.

In Italy, however, for non-transposition of this directive, these products are freely available. The Commission of the Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products, (SCCP), an independent body with advisory functions, has repeatedly expressed a negative opinion on the matter, requiring the dentist’s supervision and authorization (medical prescription). Thereby the Commission issued a directive binding the sale of these products. “Today, the European legislation – the scientific consultant of the Department of Dentistry at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan explains – indicates that whitening products with peroxide concentrations higher than 0.1% have to be used under a specialist’s supervision.”

In Italy, their use is now accepted without restrictions or almost any. Few know the concentrations of peroxide contained in the products on the market and their possible consequences. Dr. Roberto Callioni of Andi (National Association of Italian Dentists Doctors) adds: “Having white teeth has become a cultural phenomenon, but it is not the same thing as having healthy teeth, that it is, instead, a right. I am in favour of selling these products on prescription. The indiscriminate use of whitening substances, added to the use of the toothpaste with “mechanical” abrasive effect, chewing gums, etc., puts at risk the enamel, eroding it irreparably.”

The excess or daily use of whiteners with high peroxide doses can cause hypersensitivity, damage the enamel, tooth decay, gingivitis and, in susceptible individuals develop sensitization. But how can we become aware of exaggerating? “A suggestion is to go to the dentist at the first sign of sensitivity, one of the first negative effects that may arise,” Callioni explains.

A proposal is to subject the use of these products to a medical prescription, in order to avoid their indiscriminate use. But the EC has chosen a different path, even going against the advice of the Scientific Committee: carry out a five-year  “trial” period to have the long-term study data. “In this way, citizens are treated as guinea pigs. Rather, we should wait before placing the products on the market until their safety in the long term is proven.” When in doubt, better to rely on a dental clinic.


Source: La Repubblica Salute