brushing teeth

Are Whitening Toothpastes Effective?

There are so many products on the market that promise almost magically whitened teeth. 

Toothpastes, plastic strips, and even gum claim to help whiten. Before you ask your dentist in Edmonton about which product is right for you, here’s some information about how they work.

How do teeth whiteners work?

There are two main whitening methods on the market today. Whitening toothpastes use the first method, which works through a combination of elements:
1. Abrasives: small particles in the toothpaste that polish your teeth and remove foreign matter as you brush.
2. Chemicals: substances in your toothpaste that chemically react with surface stains to break them down and flush them away when you rinse.

These toothpastes can be more or less effective at getting rid of superficial stains depending on the brand. Repeatedly using abrasives on your teeth, however, has the danger of not only removing the stains on your teeth but damaging the enamel underneath them as well.

The other main method of whitening involves a form of bleach. Since products that use this method need to stay on your teeth for a period of time to have an effect, they usually come in the form of plastic strips that you place on your teeth. If they’re used improperly, the bleach they contain can irritate your mouth or simply be swallowed rather than left to work on your teeth.

Both whitening toothpastes and bleaching products are effective to a varying degree for stains that are on the surface of your teeth. The problem is that not all stains are on your enamel (the white outer layer of teeth). Just below your enamel is the dentin of your teeth, which is naturally a yellow colour. Dentin can also become stained over time, and superficial whiteners will not do anything to help these stains that show through the enamel.

Is it more effective to have a professional whiten my teeth?

It is often more effective to have a professional whiten your teeth. Although sometimes more costly than mass-produced products, a dentist will be able to tell exactly what kind of stains you have and what the most effective way of removing them will be. There are a number of products and techniques available only through your dentist that may be the right choice for you.

Janz Family Dental provides excellent cosmetic dentistry advice and services to the Edmonton area. We are a family owned business that tries its best to get you an appointment the day after you call so we can show you our commitment to giving our patients a great experience. We hope you make us your choice for a dental clinic in Edmonton.