Whitening Toothpastes – Do they really work?
Everyone wants white teeth. Subconsciously we associate a nice white smile with health, youth and vitality. A nice smile is appealing, friendly and confident.
But how do we achieve and maintain a healthy white smile when genetics, food and drink play such a part in spoiling our efforts.
Many people turn to whitening toothpastes; they are advertised heavily on TV and are often on promotion at supermarkets with buy one get one free campaigns tempting the buyer to try.
If you decide to try (are are currently using) a whitening toothpaste then considering the following information may help you.
All toothpastes contain abrasives; they provide the cleaning power needed to keep the teeth clean and help prevent gum disease by removing plaque, stains and debris. If the abrasive content is too high however the teeth and gums and attack the enamel.
If you are using toothpaste that is too abrasive what actually happens is that the enamel begins to wear and the dentine beneath the enamel becomes more visible which makes the teeth appear more yellow in colour.
Some whitening toothpastes are particularly abrasive and can damage your teeth. So if your whitening toothpaste leaves your gums a little sore or your teeth feeling dull or “scratched” then stop and change brands.
It’s also worth considering only using a whitening toothpaste once a week rather than twice daily.
There are good brands on the market however, a recent study showed that the range of Beverly Hills Formula whitening toothpastes remove up to 90% of stains and are not so abrasive as to damage enamel. It’s not as easy to get hold of as other leading brands but you can usually get it at Superdrug. (this report was sponsored by the manufacturer).
Bear in mind if you do see toothpastes advertising what percentage of stains they will remove, that water alone will remove 48% of staining!
So in conclusion, yes some whitening toothpastes can remove stains without damaging your teeth. But we would also remind you that these toothpastes are designed to remove stains – they will not make your teeth “whiter” than their own natural colour.
In order to achieve a whiter shade than your natural tooth colour you need to see a dental professional.
The law in this country states that only dental professionals can perform tooth whitening and there are strict limits as to the strength the whitening product can be.
Home whitening can give very satisfying results. Custom trays are worn for 2 to 4 hours a day for up to 2 weeks. “Top up” treatments can be applied every 2 to 3 years to keep your smile bright.
The downside of tooth whitening is that the teeth can become sensitive during the whitening treatment. This can usually be alleviated by using Sensodyne toothpaste. The sensitivity should pass once the treatment is concluded.
For any questions on tooth whitening or oral hygiene speak to your dentist or ask at reception.