Dentists welcome new rules for tooth whitening & mouthguards and issue top tip guide for better dental health in 2013

Dentists welcome new rules for tooth whitening & mouthguards and issue top tip guide for better dental health in 2013

(10 Jan 2013)

The Irish Dental Association, has welcomed the introduction of new rules on tooth whitening and mouthguards which it says will offer greater dental protection to the public in 2013.

Late last year a new European Council Directive came into force which strictly regulates the use and sale of hydrogen peroxide – the chemical used in tooth whitening. Under the Directive tooth whitening can only be carried out by a dentist.

From the 1st of January 2013 it is compulsory for juvenile gaelic footballers to wear mouthguards in football games and training.

The President of the Association, Dr Andrew Bolas said he hoped that GAA coaches all round the country enforced the new rules from the start. 

“I frequently get called into Sligo General Hospital to treat the results of sports related injuries. Some injuries to teeth from a clash of heads or a stray elbow can be quite horrific, with teeth broken, displaced or completely knocked out” he said. 

Dr Bolas said that whilst off the shelf mouthguards provide some protection and are certainly better than no mouthguard, care should be taken when fitting to ensure a good tight fit around the front teeth. 

“It is well worthwhile talking to your dentist about the best options. While customised mouthguards are more expensive initially they could well prove much cheaper than the treatment needed to repair or replace traumatised teeth” Dr Bolas said.

All the top tips and further information relating to dental health are available at 


  1. Ensure that children who play contact sports have a well fitted mouthguard which offers maximum protection and fits tightly around the front teeth;
  2. For consistent cleaning, brush your teeth and gums at the same time every day, e.g. after breakfast and before going to bed. Supervise children under seven. Only use the recommended amount of toothpaste and ensure all teeth and gums are cleaned thoroughly;
  3. Make a special effort to quit smoking. Smoking is a major cause of preventable death and oral problems include bad breath, stained teeth, tooth loss and oral cancer. Your dentist can advise;
  4. Change your toothbrush every three months and make sure to floss at least once a day;
  5. Take time to read the sugar content of your food and drink and reduce intake of high sugar content foods. Keep snacks between meals to low-sugar or sugar-free foods;
  6. Remember there is a relationship between oral health and general health and ask your dentist if a visit to your medical practitioner is appropriate;
  7. Make a resolution to visit your dentist regularly so that small problems can be resolved before they become bigger, more complicated and expensive;
  8. If you decide to whiten your teeth, contact your dentist as s/he can ensure safe and professional teeth whitening under the care of a qualified dental practitioner;
  9. Arrange preventative fissure sealants for children reaching the age of six or seven as directed by your dentist. Follow up at six or twelve months intervals;
  10. If you notice ulcers or lumps in your mouth or neck persisting for more than a week, arrange to have an oral cancer screening appointment with your dentist.