Like daisies, teeth whitening toothpastes seem to be popping up everywhere and it seems as if nobody knows if they really work. Probably, the reason of this phenomenon is our legendary dream of having those bright white teeth that Hollywood stars shows to us on a daily basis.

No one is able to go through their lives without attaining stains on their teeth. Between the foods that we eat and the things that we drink, teeth lose their whiteness as each of us grows older. This process can happen faster for people who smoke or drink dark colas or coffee, but the truth is that everyone has some stains on their teeth. One of the easiest ways to combat this problem and whiten teeth is by using whitening toothpaste. Obviously, there are other methods, but in this article we will focus on this particular technique.

white smile

Many toothpastes make whitening claims. In fact, if you carefully study the offerings in the oral care section of your local store, you’ll find that almost every brand claim the whitening property. So, the answer is: Does whitening toothpaste really work?

Before the answer, let’s talk a Little about the nature of our teeth and the whitening process. A tooth has several different layers that can become discolored for various reasons. Things we eat and drink change the color of our teeth because the outermost layer of our teeth (enamel) contains pores that can “hold” these stains. Some products, such as tea, coffee, wine, and cigarettes, stain teeth more than others. The innermost part of our teeth, called dentin, yellows naturally over time. Certain medications or excessive use of fluoride can also cause the dentin layer to yellow.

colgate whitening

Mmm, this should be enough for you to guess if they can really be effective. Ok, let’s cut to the chase. Because whitening toothpastes can only affect the outer enamel layer, they do not affect yellowing of the inner dentin layer. In fact, sometimes whitening toothpaste can make inner-layer discoloring more noticeable. So, the bottom line is that they could never do the job.

Whitening toothpastes contain strong abrasives or chemicals that can remove some stains on the outermost layers of a tooth. While these whitening toothpastes may be somewhat effective in removing stains from the outermost layer of your teeth, they can destroy tooth enamel in the process, particularly if used for extended periods of time. No toothpastes are effective for discoloration on the inner layers of your teeth.

supersmile toothpaste

So wether your toothpaste contain peroxide, titanium dioxide, baking soda, or Tide laundry detergent, the whitening power is pretty much going to be confined to its ability to get the dirt off your teeth. That’s about it.
Daily brushing (with non-whitening toothpaste) and flossing minimize discoloration, as can professional cleaning at your dentist’s office. Dentists also recommend rinsing your mouth with water after having wine, coffee, or other potentially staining foods.

I strongly recommend visiting your dentist before starting a whitening process. If you decide to use a teeth whitening toothpaste, be sure that it contains fluoride for extra protection against tooth decay.

Sources: GoAskAlice, MyNewSmile

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