Do Whitening Toothpastes Work?

toothpasteSometimes it seems that it would be nice if we could return to the days when toothpastes simply promised to clean your teeth and help fight decay. Today, there are more toothpaste types than ever before, each promising something else. Whitening toothpastes are one of the newer varieties.

But do whitening toothpastes actually whiten your teeth?

Limited goals

Whitening toothpastes focus on surface stains on your teeth, such as those caused by drinking coffee or red wine. These stains are on the outermost surface of your tooth enamel. Whitening toothpastes can break down these stains, although not with instantly dramatic results.

Unlike teeth whitening options, whitening toothpastes do not contain peroxide. This is the ingredient that gives teeth whitening programs their real power to whiten teeth. Instead, whitening toothpastes use special abrasives that gently polish the teeth, along with other chemicals that help break down stains.

There is a fine line here — too much abrasion and the tooth enamel can be worn down. That’s why whitening toothpastes can only go so far. Without peroxide, they must remove stains by gently scrubbing off the stains.

Some whitening toothpastes contain the chemical blue covarine. This adheres to the surface of the teeth and creates an optical illusion that can make teeth appear less yellow. Dr. Miller doesn’t recommend these types of whitening toothpastes.

Instead, Dr. Miller believes you can get moderate whitening with a whitening toothpaste that simply attacks stains. Be sure to look for approval by the American Dental Association, however.

Our whitening kits

For deeper whitening, check into our home whitening kits at Dr. Miller’s. We make custom trays and provide you with professional-strength whitening gel. You wear the trays for just 20 minutes a day for about one week and your teeth will become many shades whiter.

Interested in whiter teeth? Call Dr. Miller at 503-640-9310 to make an appointment.

Posted in: Oral Health

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