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Up From the Dentist's Chair
By: Leslie Benson
Posted: February 3, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.
With natural oral care ingredients on the rise, brands are also looking into offering more sustainable options in packaging. Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, for example, uses postconsumer recycled materials for cartons and master cases, which by their nature are recyclable. “Use of aluminum tubes is on the rise,” says Sheffield’s Ana de Oliveira, “and there’s a focus by tube manufacturers to offer postconsumer resin tubes.”
- In the next five years, the U.S. and developing global markets will experience a continuing demand for cosmetic teeth whitening treatments through beauty spas and salons.
- Formulation challenges include the creation of natural whitening ingredients that meet consumer expectations.
- Mouth rinses will continue to play an important role in accompanying bleaching whiteners.
- Interest in natural formulas for oral care products and in the whitening market overall will encourage the production of more specialized products.
Five years ago, most industry analysts would have claimed that teeth whitening was a passing fad and that demand for whitening products would diminish,” says Tara Eriksen, senior international marketing manager, Beyond Dental & Health. “Today, it’s a billion dollar industry and still going strong.” According to Eriksen, the turning point in the market came with the invention of at-home products such as whitening strips and personal LED devices sold by mass retailers. “This served to familiarize consumers with the concept of teeth whitening and created a new demand—teeth whitening in more comfortable and familiar settings than in a dentist’s office,” she says.
Diann Bomkamp, president of The American Dental Hygienists’ Association, says whitening is one of the most common aesthetic dental treatments for adults. In 1995, marketing research firm Packaged Facts reported a $3.8 billion oral hygiene market in the U.S., of which teeth whitening was a growing player. In 2007, it estimated the market worth $7.5 billion at retail, headed for $8.9 billion by 2012.
In the U.S., spas and salons have cashed in on this revenue by introducing chair-side whitening treatments through vendors and distributors such as Beyond Dental & Health, Whiter Image and RevitaBright. For instance, Beyond Dental & Health offers the WhiteSpa Select salon edition treatment, which combines a hydrogen peroxide-whitening gel with a halogen light source for one hour to achieve an average of five shades improvement. “This powerful light source is filtered through more than 12,000 optical fibers and 30 layers of coated optical glass, removing all harmful heat and UV light, delivering a tailored beam of intense, safe blue light,” Ericksen says.
Cosmetic teeth whitening is designed, according to ISmile LLC, to remove plaque from the pores in teeth and lighten enamel discoloration caused by age, illness, food, beverage and tobacco products. Combining whitening agents with light acceleration technology through halogen, LED or plasma arc lights allegedly accelerates the rate of results. “Aside from the obvious advantage to seeing instant, dramatic whitening results,” Eriksen says, “light-accelerated technology also reduces the amount of time that the user is exposed to hydrogen peroxide, making teeth sensitivity from the treatment less likely.”