The DMD Check-Up: Time to Break the Teeth-Whitening Monopoly?

February 12, 2016
Greg Kelly

Our weekly look at the top dentistry-related stories from around the web.

A prominent columnist calls for lawmakers to allow salons and other professionals to offer teeth whitening services. That story tops this week’s DMD Check-Up. Also making the list: Will green toothpaste fight tooth decay? And do electric toothbrushes cause it?

Time to Break the Teeth-Whitening Monopoly (The Washington Post)

One of the nation’s top columnists, George Will, offers some hard-hitting thoughts on the state of teeth-whitening in America and an upcoming US Supreme Court case. “Dentists are organized, salons are not, so at least 30 states have defended the strong by giving government-licensed dentists and dental hygienists a whitening monopoly.”

Losing Teeth Comes With the Game in NHL (CBS)

“Missing teeth have been associated with hard-nosed hockey—for better and for worse—for decades.” And “despite player safety being scrutinized by the league more than ever and technological advances in equipment, pro hockey players realize they are going to lose teeth.”

Can Green Toothpaste Fight Tooth Decay? (The Wall Street Journal)

A study by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers shows that a new toothpaste, called Plaque HD, resulted in a better than 50% reduction in plaque after brushing.” The product set to hit the consumer market later this month contains a plant-based dye that sticks to plaque left on the teeth.

Some North Dakota Counties Lack Dentists (Bismarck Tribune)

A US Department of Health and Human Services report “designates roughly a dozen North Dakota counties as dental health professional shortage areas.” To recruit dentists to the Rough Rider State, the government is offering students up to $100,000 in education loan repayments.

Minnesotans Go without Regular Dental Care (Star Tribune)

“Thousands of Minnesota families are lacking regular dental care because of high costs or low state payment rates to dentists,” according to state health officials. The dean of the state university’s dentistry school has called state oral health problems “a hidden epidemic.” Children in state are particular needy for oral care.

National Toothache Day in Great Britain (British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy)

Work missed due to oral health problems costs the UK economy more than $52 million annually, according to a new national study. “National Toothache Day is certainly not anything to smile about,” said the BSDHT president.

Dentist to the Stars on Scoring a Celeb-Worthy Smile (Hollywood Reporter)

Quick Q&A with a Beverly Hills dentist. Dr. Kevin Sands—“who works with everyone from Robert Downey Jr. to Kylie Jenner—spills on his clients' common concerns during awards season and why veneers are more popular than ever.”

Avoid These 10 Common Mistakes Among Dentists (Pacific Continental Bank)

Some straight business advice from a banker who heads his firm’s healthcare lending group. Some of the common blunders include: Trying to do everything on your own, waiting too long to purchase a practice, and buying an overly expensive home.

How an Electric Toothbrush Can Destroy Teeth (Daily Mail)

“Electric toothbrushes wear away the protective layer of tooth enamel, and expose the sensitive root, with inevitable, painful consequences.” In this report from the UK, dentists say that people are brushing too hard and fast with them and it is causing damage.