Do Whitening Toothpastes Really Work?
The short answer is yes and no…
While there are many brands of whitening toothpaste available, the fact is regular toothpaste is effective at cleaning surface stains, also called “extrinsic” stains, when you brush regularly. For more stubborn stains, however, a whitening toothpaste may help, depending on how deeply the stain has penetrated your enamel.
Whitening toothpastes can lighten those extrinsic surface stains but, unfortunately, it can’t change the natural color of your teeth or lighten a stain that goes deeper than a tooth’s surface.
What Results Can I Expect from Whitening Toothpaste?
Whitening toothpastes can lighten the tooth’s color by about one shade. In contrast, professional whitening conducted in your dentist’s office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.
How Do Whitening Toothpaste Work?
To remove surface stains, whitening toothpaste typically include silica abrasives that gently polish the teeth or peroxide or other chemicals that help break down or dissolve stains. Some whitening toothpastes may also contain the chemical blue covarine, which adheres to the surface of the teeth and creates an optical illusion that can make teeth appear less yellow. The blue color neutralizes the appearance of any yellow in your teeth as blue and yellow are opposite colors.
How Long Until I See Results?
When used 2x a day, whitening toothpaste can take from two to six weeks to make your teeth appear whiter. Keep in mind, however, that if you continue staining your teeth with coffee, smoking and certain foods such as blueberries or beets, your progress will be continuously thwarted. We recommend brushing after eating and especially after enjoying coffee and wine.
Whitening toothpaste is an inexpensive and easy way to remove minor surface stains. It will take time, and you may need to make some lifestyle changes but you can get reasonable, albeit not dramatic, results. If you want to make your smile even brighter, talk to Dr. Patel about professional whitening with Zoom2 at our Carrollwood or Wesley Chapel locations.