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Do Whitening Toothpastes Work?

Wednesday, 01 Dec 2010 02:09 PM

There are many varieties of teeth whitening toothpastes on the market and more brands appear everyday. This can make it difficult to find out which brands actually work. Aggressive marketing and hype can sway buyers into buying toothpaste that doesn't work. After all, a tooth whitening toothpaste is far cheaper than spending a thousand dollars on a dental whitening procedure at your dentist. If you are looking for the cheapest way to brighten your teeth, you need to know a few things about your teeth and how teeth whitening toothpastes work.

teeth whitening toothpaste brands
The structure of teeth
Every tooth is made up of three or more layers of special dental material. Any of these layers can get discolored, resulting in stains. Foods and drinks that you consume, and even things that your mother ate during pregnancy, can influence the color of your teeth. Tea, coffee, and nicotine stain the outermost layer of teeth, called enamel, while dentin, an inner layer, discolors naturally with age. Toothpastes come in contact with the outer layer of teeth or the enamel only. They cannot change the color of the inside of the tooth as they remain in limited contact with the outside of teeth. Also, toothpastes do not contain strong bleaching agents. 
So how do teeth whitening toothpastes work?
Teeth whitening toothpastes contain abrasive particles that will actually scrub the stains off the surface of your teeth. These abrasive particles may be particles of aluminum oxide, dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, calcium carbonate, and hydrated silica. These particles will act like scouring agents to scrape the stains off the surface of teeth. On the other hand, bleaching products will cause a chemical change that will actually lighten the stain and remove parts of it from the tooth surface. A few special bleaching toothpastes contain about 1% of a bleaching agent, but this concentration is far too mild to cause any significant change.
Does that mean that there aren't any good whitening toothpastes?
Most doctors will thoroughly evaluate your dental health and recommend the right course of action. For a significant change in tooth color, you should use professional dental bleaching agents. This doesn't mean that teeth whitening toothpastes don’t work. They do work on special dental discolorations, like surface stains due to tea or coffee. You do have to combine teeth whitening toothpastes with a professional dental cleaning, and even regular dental flossing, to get the best results.
What is the best whitening toothpaste on the market?
There are several popular brands on the market, but a particular brand cannot be declared the best whitening toothpaste. It’s a good idea to check with unbiased review sites where you will get a detailed breakdown of teeth whitening toothpastes on the market and how they work.
No matter what kind of teeth whitening toothpastes you choose, remember that toothpaste will only go so far. It is necessary to get your teeth checked at least once every six months.

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