Article at a Glance
- Whitening toothpastes work on surface stains but will not alter the natural color of your teeth or work on deeper stains in your teeth.
- There are many options for whitening toothpastes depending on what you want to spend and your desired result. Make sure you choose a toothpaste that is ADA approved and marked as safe for daily use.
- If whitening toothpaste doesn’t work for you, there are other options for whitening that you can discuss with your dentist to get the smile you desire.
Straight, white teeth are equated with healthy smiles while yellowish, brown, or gray teeth are associated with bad oral health. This has led many people to seek out ways to brighten their teeth. Even if you have excellent oral care habits, you may be wondering if whitening toothpaste can brighten your smile.
What is Whitening Toothpaste?
Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains from food and drinks. They are readily available, and many are safe for daily use. Whitening toothpastes generally use one of three ingredients to whiten teeth.
- Mild abrasives, like magnesium carbonate, can remove surface stains that make the teeth look yellow.
- Diluted hydrogen peroxide is a very common whitening agent used in most whitening techniques because it is safe to use and works very well. Note that some people may have mild sensitivity with hydrogen peroxide use.
- Because carbamide peroxide breaks down into hydrogen peroxide, it can be used to achieve quicker results.
Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?
Eating, drinking, and smoking can stain your teeth and give them a yellowish appearance. Even the best oral care routine can leave you feeling less than satisfied with the brightness of your smile. Will whitening toothpaste give you the smile you desire? The truth is, it depends on what you hope to accomplish.
Using abrasives or chemicals, whitening toothpastes can remove surface stains so the teeth will appear whiter. It’s important to understand that whitening toothpastes only work on the surfaces of your teeth, so they won’t affect any deeper stains, the natural color of your teeth, or the coloring of crowns or veneers.
Whitening toothpaste can take time to yield results. You probably won’t notice a big difference for a few weeks, especially if your stains are from certain drinks (like red wine or coffee) or from smoking (including smokeless tobacco).
What is the Best Whitening Toothpaste?
Which whitening toothpaste is best? There are many new products on the market at different price points. While slightly more expensive than other over-the-counter options, Colgate Optic White Platinum Express White Toothpaste is a safe, affordable choice that gives fast results. Crest 3D White Brilliance Teeth Whitening is effective, long-lasting, and requires two steps (cleaning then whitening).
Keep in mind, when choosing the best teeth whitening toothpaste for you, be sure it has the seal of approval from the ADA (American Dental Association) and is labeled as safe for daily use. If you have sensitive teeth, or if you notice sensitivity after using whitening toothpaste, you may have to alternate your whitening toothpaste with toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
What to do if Whitening Toothpaste Isn’t Working
If you’re looking to alter the natural color of your teeth or remove deeper stains, whitening toothpaste is not going to cut it. This doesn’t mean you don’t have options to get the smile of your dreams.
- Whitening gels can be purchased over the counter or through your dentist’s office. They can be applied with a brush, syringe, or clear strips and can be done at home.
- Charcoal whitening involves brushing your teeth with activated charcoal powder to remove stains.
- Laser whitening is done in your dentist’s office and involves using a laser to accelerate the whitening solution on your teeth. This is a great option for people looking to whiten an individual tooth or get results fast.
If you’re interested in teeth whitening, and whitening toothpaste just isn’t cutting it, the Jefferson Dental Care team can help you. Contact the office nearest you to make an appointment to get started. We’ll discuss your options and help you decide which method is right for you.
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