Walk down the dental aisle of any local convenience store and you will be bombarded with stacks of toothpastes claiming to make your teeth “X shades whiter.” It seems like every toothpaste these days provides some sort of teeth whitening. But does whitening toothpaste actually whiten your teeth?
Whitening Toothpastes vs. In-Office or Take-Home Teeth Bleaching
Daily use of toothpaste does help to continuously remove surface stains on teeth from food or drink and subsequently keeps teeth whiter. However, this is true of all toothpastes, not just whitening toothpastes. The abrasivity of toothpaste allows for plaque and surface stain removal while fluoride helps to strengthen enamel. But this does not actually help to whiten the natural color of your teeth or lighten any stains that go deeper into the tooth’s surface. In-office or take-home bleaching gel, provided by dentists, contains either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, which is not found in over-the-counter whitening toothpastes. Hydrogen and carbamide peroxide use free radicals to actually lighten the natural color of your teeth and remove many internal enamel stains. If you’re not happy with the results of your whitening toothpaste, contact Gallery Park Dental in Glenview for in-office or take-home teeth bleaching options.
What to Look For When Purchasing Toothpaste
The most important ingredient to consider when shopping for toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride is still considered the most effect way to strengthen enamel and protect against cavities. While different toothpastes may offer different formulations of fluoride, making sure the toothpaste contains some form of fluoride is important. Different toothpastes may also offer different degrees of abrasiveness. More abrasive toothpastes, such as “tartar control toothpaste,” can be more effective at removing plaque but may also be harder on enamel. Finally, sensitivity toothpaste can provide relief to people suffering from sensitive teeth. Sensitivity toothpaste generally requires around 2 weeks of consistent use to notice the effects. Consult one of the dentists or dental hygienists at Gallery Park Dental for help in selecting the right toothpaste for you.