Everything You Need to Know about Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is everywhere these days.  We see it in the grocery store, online and through multi-level marketing schemes.  There is a lot of confusion surrounding whitening toothpaste, so we will help you understand everything you need to know about it in this week’s blog.

Whitening Toothpaste Doesn’t Actually Whiten

Even the name “whitening toothpaste” is misleading.  That’s because whitening toothpaste does not truly whiten your teeth.  True teeth whitening requires a peroxide chemical that can penetrate past enamel into the underlying dentin in order to oxidize (break down) darkly-colored pigments within the tooth.  Even those whitening toothpastes with peroxide in their ingredients list cannot accomplish this. 

Whitening toothpaste actually functions as a polisher, gently scrubbing away superficial stains from the outermost layer of the teeth.  This means that whitening toothpaste will effectively create a whiter appearance of the teeth without actually bleaching them.

Whitening toothpaste, with its superficial polishing, is a great method of consistently removing external stains that our teeth accumulate from habits like coffee, tea, and tobacco.  It does not work to remove deep internal stains.  If you’ve used whitening toothpaste and have not achieved the color you would like to see in your teeth, talk to your dentist about your teeth whitening options. 

Whitening Toothpaste May Make Your Teeth More Sensitive

The method of polishing that whitening toothpastes use is a minor abrasiveness, similar to sandpaper.  Using whitening toothpaste too often, or using one that does not contain the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance for safety, could cause the enamel to become thinner and thinner over time.  Any enamel thinning may make the teeth sensitive.

If you already have sensitive teeth, you should NOT use whitening toothpaste.  Instead, talk to your dentist about whitening options that are safe and effective.

Whitening Toothpaste is Bad for People with Gum Recession

When someone has gum recession, the condition leads to exposure of the roots of the teeth.  Our roots do not have a protective covering enamel like the rest of the teeth.  Roots are much more susceptible to wearing away from the abrasiveness of whitening toothpaste.

The sandpaper effect on the softer substance of roots can cause serious, irreversible damage.  This damage can cause sensitivity to hot, cold and sweets.  The defects that may develop sometimes require dental restorations to repair and seal from sensitivity.  If you have receding gums, do NOT use whitening toothpaste.

Whitening Toothpaste with an Electric Toothbrush Can Help You Fight Stains and Maintain Your Bright Smile

It seems like we have focused on a lot of the negative aspects of whitening toothpaste so far.  While there are several important contraindications to whitening toothpaste, that doesn’t mean they don’t serve a good purpose.  The best use of whitening toothpaste is for maintenance of a white smile.  Those who have already used professional teeth whitening to reach the desired shade of teeth are at risk for relapse because of continual staining.

In order to maintain your white teeth shade, you must consistently remove the external stains that collect on the teeth every day.  Whitening toothpaste can be most effective when combined with an electric toothbrush.  It is important that both the toothpaste and toothbrush have the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance.  This means that they have passed all safety standards required by the American Dental Association. 

The electric motion of the toothbrush combined with the toothpastes mild abrasivity leaves a smooth, highly polished surface on the teeth.

More Questions about Whitening Toothpaste?

Call Prosper Family Dentistry at 972-347-1145 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jill, Dr. Cara and Dr. Summer.  They can answer any question you have about whitening toothpaste or anything else regarding teeth whitening.  We love helping our patients maintain beautiful bright smiles.

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