Do Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwashes Really Work?
When it comes to whitening your smile, there are so many whitening toothpaste 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 whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes. 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 as well?
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 whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes
The problem with most over-the-counter whitening toothpaste and mouthwash products is that they do not have a high enough concentration of bleaching agent to effectively remove stains. Whitening toothpastes help keep your teeth looking bright due to the abrasive materials that help to remove surface stains. Although it is possible to get some whitening results with these products, but they can only take you so far in achieving the beautiful and white smile you desire. Those 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 whitening toothpaste (whether purchased or homemade like the above-mentioned home whitening remedy) specifically is the abrasiveness of some products. So, while moderate use of these products will probably be just fine, prolonged use of abrasive products can eventually cause damage to your enamel and again leading to your teeth being sensitive.
Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes do contain a small amount of bleaching agent, but they mainly work to remove the surface stains from teeth, and are unable to penetrate deeper into the enamel to provide a more dramatic whitening result. 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 clean and bright, whitening toothpaste is a good option. To learn more about in-office professional whitening or take-home whitening, please click here.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Dr. Kelly O’Hara
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the best 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 toothpaste is formulated safe for daily use. Unless the label states otherwise, it is safe for daily use. Patients who have very sensitive teeth should avoid using whitening toothpastes not formulated with a desensitizing ingredient like potassium nitrate on a daily basis, as 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 whitening toothpaste every day to help control plaque, as a topical application of fluoride to strengthen the enamel as well as remove surface stains from the teeth from things like coffee and red wine. Patients who have extremely sensitive teeth should avoid using whitening toothpaste. Patients with sensitivity may be able to alternate whitening toothpaste with sensitivity toothpaste with good results.