Whitening Toothpastes: Do They Actually Work?
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Table of Contents
- Do They Work?
- How They Work
- Best Whitening Toothpaste
- Benefits & Downsides
- Alternative Options
- Frequently Asked Questions
Whitening toothpastes are effective at reducing or eliminating mild stains on teeth and giving them a bright appearance.
Tooth sensitivity can occur, but whitening pastes are safe if used correctly. The whitening effects are temporary, but you can re-use the toothpaste multiple times.
Do Whitening Toothpastes Work?
Whitening toothpastes are one of the most popular whitening products available. These toothpaste work because their formulas remove surface stains from your teeth. With low cost and few risks, these products are an excellent way to lighten teeth by a shade or two.
Teeth whitening treatments are in high demand. A survey showed that 80 percent of people ages 18-49 want whiter teeth, with the general population spending in excess of $1.4 billion on teeth whitening products.
How They Work
Whitening toothpastes use mild bleaching agents and abrasives to get rid of surface stains. The combination of the two elements makes the pastes effective for removing minor stains, such as those caused by coffee.
However, it is not strong enough to remove external stains that have built up for years or intrinsic stains that are built into your tooth enamel.
Among the ingredients you will find in a typical tube of whitening toothpaste:
- Mild abrasives
- Blue covarine
Best Whitening Toothpaste
The market is awash with different brands of whitening toothpastes. Here are some of the best options:
- Crest Pro-Health Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening
- Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste
- Arm & Hammer Extreme Whitening Toothpaste
- Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste
Crest Pro-Health Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening
Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste
Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste
Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste
Benefits and Downsides
There are both benefits and downsides to using whitening toothpaste.
- Whitens teeth
- Some formulas strengthen your tooth enamel
- Supplements dental cleaning by dentists
- Helps boost confidence
- Effects are only temporary
- May cause tooth and gum sensitivity
- Results are not as dramatic as professional whitening treatments
- Limited to surface stains
Alternative Whitening Options
You can whiten your teeth in other ways than using whitener toothpaste. Other options include:
- Dental crowns. Dental crowns can be used to cover entire teeth, instantly making them look whiter.
- Dental bonding. Dental bonding applies white composite resin to the front surface of a tooth, giving it a brighter look.
- Brushing with baking soda. Baking soda acts as a mild abrasive to help clean your teeth. It is also highly alkaline, helping you regulate the acidity of your mouth to keep bacteria levels low.
- Veneers. These thin porcelain shells give a natural-looking white appearance while functioning like regular teeth.
- Lumineers. Lumineers are similar to porcelain veneers, but they are made of ceramic instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are whitening toothpastes safe?
Does whitening toothpaste damage teeth?
Is it safe to use whitening toothpaste every day?
Some whitening toothpastes can be used every day without adverse effects. However, some are only intended for occasional use. Be sure to read the instructions on your toothpaste’s packaging carefully.
Sensitivity can still occur even when using the product as intended. To be safe, alternate whitening toothpaste with regular toothpaste unless advised otherwise by your dentist.
Does whitening toothpaste whiten teeth? (February 2021). Mayo Clinic.
Effects of a Novel Whitening Formulation on Dental Enamel. (April 2017). Dentistry.
Dental Bonding: Treatment, Causes, Risks, Outlook. (October 2018). Cleveland Clinic.
Dental Crown Procedure. (March 2021). Healthdirect.
Hydrogen Peroxide. (2022). National Center for Biotechnology Information.