Whitening toothpastes are a popular option for everyday teeth whitening. If you have mild surface stains on your teeth, brushing with one of these specially formulated toothpastes can help reduce or remove them. Whitening toothpaste can also help you maintain the results of a professional whitening procedure.
How Do Whitening Toothpastes Work?
Most whitening toothpastes contain baking soda, which acts as a mild abrasive to remove stains from the tooth surfaces. Some also contain peroxide, which is a bleaching agent. Peroxide is the main ingredient in professional teeth whitening agents used by your dentist. Using a whitening toothpaste in your everyday hygiene can help prevent or remove staining that occurs due to exposure to staining agents like coffee, tea, or nicotine.
If your staining is severe, however, you’ll need to see your dentist for the best results. Your dentist can use professional-strength whitening agents to lighten your teeth five to ten shades in a single, one-hour appointment. If your teeth still don’t respond to treatment, you might need to use a take-home kit supplied by your dentist. Very severe staining or intrinsic staining will require veneers to return your teeth to their natural color.
Are There Side Effects to Whitening Toothpastes?
In general, whitening toothpastes—and whitening treatment in general—are extremely safe and produce little to no side effects. You might experience a slight increase in sensitivity, since whitening treatment opens the pores in the teeth, making it easier for sensation to pass through the hard enamel and into the more sensitive pulp. This is more common with whitening treatments than with toothpastes. If you experience increased sensitivity, switch to a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth or talk to your dentist about treatment options.
Because whitening toothpastes are slightly abrasive, you should ask your dentist before using them if you have particularly sensitive enamel. Some people have very soft enamel that can be easily damaged even with a soft toothbrush. For these people, whitening toothpaste might not be recommended.
Contact our team at Bliss Dental to discuss your own treatment.