Do Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwashes Really Work?
Many people today are in the market for “quick” remedies. Whether it’s trying to “get rid of a headache fast” or “whiten teeth overnight,” there are many suggestions online. But how do you know what really works or what’s safe to try? Often times, the only way to know, is to seek professional advice, which usually comes at a cost. At Lincoln Family Dentistry, your dental health is our priority and it all starts with education. Whether you are in-office or looking us up online, we want to make finding answers easy for you! Here we’ll cover:
- Does whitening toothpaste actually work? We’ll let you know the cons of whitening toothpaste.
When it comes to whitening your smile, there are so many whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes to choose from that it can be pretty overwhelming. We strongly recommend professional level bleaching. But, we know that patients are always looking for quick fixes with toothpastes and mouthwashes. However, with our in-office professional teeth whitening procedure or our take-home kit, we can guarantee beautiful whitening results. We using the Opalescence whitening system, which has clinically proven results. But can whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes produce a great result, too?
The whitening gel that we use from Opalescence® is a peroxide-based bleach. Countless studies have shown that peroxide is an effective, long-lasting teeth whitening solution. This as it actually changes the molecular makeup of the stains within the teeth. The peroxide is able to penetrate the tooth and change the stain. It’s like a little chemistry project for your teeth!
Cons of toothpastes and mouthwashes for whitening
The problem with most over-the-counter whitening toothpaste and mouthwash products are that they do not have a high enough concentration of bleaching agent. Because of this, they can not effectively remove stains. Whitening pastes help keep your teeth looking bright due to the abrasive materials that remove surface stains. Although it is possible to get some whitening results with these products, they can only take you so far. These products tend to make your teeth and gums sensitive. Even natural remedies circling the internet like baking soda and lemon juice may appear to be effective. Some of these natural methods are actually dangerous for your teeth and can lead to weak enamel and higher rates of decay.
Another concern with the use of toothpastes (whether purchased or homemade like the above-mentioned home whitening remedy, specifically) is the abrasiveness. So, while moderate use of these products will probably be just fine, prolonged use of abrasive products can eventually cause damage to your enamel. Thus, leading to sensitive teeth.
Toothpastes and mouthwashes for whitening do contain a small amount of bleaching agent, but they mainly work to remove surface stains. Unfortunately, they are unable to penetrate deeper into the enamel to provide more dramatic whitening results. Our advice is to use a professional strength whitening system if you want noticeable results. If you simply want to keep your existing shade looking bright, whitening toothpaste is a good option. To learn more about in-office professional whitening or take-home whitening, please click here. At Lincoln Family Dentistry, we offer a variety of affordable dental services. Your smile is our priority.
Wishing you health and happiness – Dr. Kelly O’Hara
Commonly Asked Questions
What is an excellent whitening toothpaste? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…
Any whitening toothpaste that contains a peroxide-based active ingredient has some bleaching potential. For those who have sensitive teeth, it is a good idea to use Sensodyne® whitening toothpaste. This toothpaste is safe to use regularly, and can help reduce sensitivity from professional whitening.
Is it safe to use whitening toothpaste every day? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…
Generally, most over-the-counter whitening toothpastes are safe for daily use. Unless the label states otherwise, it is safe to use on a daily basis. Patients who have very sensitive teeth should avoid whitening pastes that are not formulated with a desensitizing ingredient like potassium nitrate on a daily basis. Some of the bleaching agents in whitening toothpastes can increase tooth sensitivity with prolonged use.
Does charcoal toothpaste whiten teeth? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…
Charcoal is a popular ingredient marketed as a natural alternative to whitening toothpaste. Charcoal toothpaste has not been proven to be a safe or effective method of whitening teeth according to the ADA. Regularly using charcoal as a toothpaste can potentially make teeth more yellow due to the excessive abrasion of the enamel, revealing the darker dentin deeper into the tooth.
How often should you use whitening toothpaste? Your Lincoln, NE dentist answers…
Many patients can use toothpaste with whitening agents every day to help control plaque. In addition, it can also be used for a topical application of fluoride to strengthen the enamel as well as to remove surface stains from the teeth. Patients who have extremely sensitive teeth should avoid using toothpastes for whitening. Patients with sensitivity, however, may be able to alternate toothpastes. In this case, alternating whitening and sensitivity toothpastes, might offer good results.
The information on this page was written by Dr. Kelly O’Hara.
This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “I perform gentle dentistry for the entire family and focus on children’s dentistry, extreme smile makeovers, cosmetic dentistry and placing mercury-free dental fillings. Moreover, I also want to provide a better quality of life to patients who have lost their teeth by making implant retained dentures. I have many goals, but one that is very important to many of us: to keep dentistry affordable by taking all of the primary dental plans and by also offering dental payment plans to patients that seek them. I am fully committed to making sure all patients feel comfortable while in my care.”
You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or his partners, online 24/7 at a Lincoln Family Dentistry Location near you. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Lincoln. Some of the communities include Eagle, Walton, Weeping Water, Avoca, and many more!
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Preserve Family Dentistry – East Lincoln
Coddington Dental – West Lincoln
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