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NEW YORK -- Tooth whiteners that could enhance teeth's natural healing ability may soon be available in over-the-counter gels and strips, according to a dental researcher who shared his team's latest findings at the American Dental Association's national media conference yesterday.
Frederick Eichmiller, D.D.S., director of the American Dental Association's Paffenbarger Research Center (PRC) in Gaithersburg, MD, said his team created a "white with might" whitening formula that contains amorphous calcium phosphate, a compound originally developed to remineralize teeth and reverse early enamel lesions. "So far, successful clinical trials have been done involving professional whitening treatments," Eichmiller told Progressive Grocer during an interview after the conference. "The OTC companies have yet to conduct their own trials, but I see that happening soon."
Eichmiller explained that whitening can often open naturally occurring pores within teeth. These open pores can cause temporary sensitivity to air as well as hot and cold food and drinks, a common side effect from tooth whitening. Saliva contains minerals teeth need to heal themselves by closing these pores, but this process is slow. The "white with might" whitening formula replenishes essential minerals in teeth as it whitens, resulting in far fewer side effects for consumers. "It's like having your cake and eating it, too, when it comes to tooth whitening," Eichmiller said.
Currently, the whitening gel and the remineralization ingredients are stored separately, and combined just before applying to teeth. Eichmiller said PRC scientists are working on combining the two into a single product which could then be used in over the counter strips and paint on tooth whiteners. "The only product I'm aware of currently employing ACP is Arm & Hammer's Enamel Care paste," said Eichmiller. "It has a dual chambered tube to keep the ingredients from activating until they are in your mouth."