Does Whitening Toothpaste Really Work?

There’s nothing quite like having a brilliant smile to make every day go a bit more smoothly and boost your self-confidence. In addition to regularly visiting the dentist, many people choose to use toothpastes that claim to whiten your teeth. The question, of course, is do they actually work? This guide is here to answer that question.

Finding The Truth About Whitening Toothpaste

Anyone who has used whitening toothpaste for more than a month or two can tell you that their teeth likely got a little bit whiter. That is because whitening toothpastes wash away and whiten the surface of teeth with ingredients like peroxide. Others that have blue covarine in them even coat your teeth in a product that makes them seem whiter even though they aren’t actually. The truth is that whitening toothpaste generally only rubs away surface stains and can’t get at anything deeper on your teeth like yellowing that’s occurred over years of smoking or from genetics.¹

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste vs. Professional Whitening

Using whitening toothpaste is not going to have the same strong effect as going for a professional whitening at the dentist or buying stronger teeth bleaching products, however whitening toothpastes with covarine are likely to have the biggest noticeable effect in the short term after only several weeks to a month. Most whitening toothpastes will take at least several months to have a noticeable effect, but they can’t change your teeth if their natural color is already off-white. Make sure to ask your dentist if you have more questions about whitening toothpaste and its advantages and downsides.²

The Variety of Teeth Whitening Experiences

The fact is that everyone who uses teeth whitening products will have their own different levels of success depending on a variety of factors including how non-white their teeth are to begin with. In various surveys only around half of respondents say they noticed much difference while the other half said they had noticeable teeth whitening occur after around one month. One control factor here is that if you brush several times a day or for longer your teeth may also become cleaner and whiter because of the intensive brushing not only because of whitening ingredients in your toothpaste.³

Sorting Out Myth From Fact

When it comes to teeth whitening products including toothpaste and strips it’s important to sort out myth from fact. The importance of a bright smile can extend well beyond personal self-confidence and even into how your job performance is assessed and the interpersonal and professional impressions you make on those around you. Basically the way the science works is that your teeth have an inside layer called dentin and an outside layer called enamel which shields your teeth from damage. Everything you eat, smoke and drink has an effect on your teeth and can turn them yellower over the years by caking up a substance called pellicle film that seeps into your enamel and discolors your teeth. Whitening toothpastes generally use carbamide peroxide which is then brushed onto your teeth and breaks down at the chemical level to become hydrogen peroxide and eventually wear away the pellicle film.²

Don’t Just Buy Any Whitening Toothpaste

It’s important to be somewhat careful when choosing what whitening toothpaste to buy and to follow any recommendations and instructions that are listed on them. Look for whitening toothpaste that is approved by the American Dental Association.¹ In addition, be on the lookout for abrasive ingredients in your toothpaste that can do serious damage to your teeth and its enamel, particularly pyrophosphate which is hydrated silica and can significantly hurt your teeth.³