The Pros and Cons of Whitening Toothpaste
Everyone longs for that bright, white, movie star smile. Unfortunately, our mouths face a continual assault of stain-inducing foods and beverages that, left unchecked, can result in staining of our teeth. Of course, many don’t go to the dentist for teeth cleaning as often as they should, which leads them to turn to alternative methods of teeth whitening. The most common and readily available of these methods is whitening toothpaste – but just how effective is it?
Pros of Whitening Toothpaste
Even if you go to all your regular dental checkups and get your teeth cleaned every six months, there’s still a significant chunk of time that passes in between appointments. In that time, our teeth are exposed to a vast array of potentially staining foods and beverages. Even a biannual cleaning can’t protect your teeth from your daily cup (or two, or three) of coffee.
Whitening toothpaste is a good way to combat these daily staining culprits in between dental appointments. It’s just enough to eliminate any minor surface stains caused by eating, drinking, or smoking. When used in combination with whitening strips or other methods, whitening toothpastes can temporarily provide the desired results.
Cons of Whitening Toothpaste
While whitening toothpaste can resolve any minor damage done to the surface of the tooth, it’s not able to penetrate far enough into the enamel to eradicate deeper stains. Those who use it may notice a temporary improvement in the surface of the tooth, but stains deeper in the enamel may still show through. Whitening toothpaste is not as effective as whitening gels or strips, which have a higher concentration of whitening ingredients and stay applied on the teeth for a longer period of time.
In addition, whitening toothpastes contain active ingredients that are, by nature, abrasive. Because of this, they can wear down and potentially even damage tooth enamel, especially in people that are prone to over brushing.
Tips When Using Whitening Toothpaste
If you want to give whitening toothpaste a try, you may notice the best benefit when using it in combination with some other form of whitening. That way, the toothpaste can address the surface stains of the tooth while the other product works on more deep rooted stains.
Because of the abrasive nature of whitening toothpastes, it’s best not to use it more than twice a day. If you need to brush your teeth more than twice in a day, try using a standard toothpaste for those extra cleanings.
Lastly, ensure that whatever toothpaste you use does not contain plastic microbeads. After dentists discovered these plastic beads embedded in people’s gums, many of these toothpastes were removed from the market. However, you still want to ensure that the one you decide on is free of these damaging plastic beads.
For over 40 years, Dr. Steven Rice has been dedicated to building a practice centered around patient care, education, and preventative treatment. His gentle, patient-centered care is unmatched and his office is well-equipped for handling the gamut of dental care, from the routine cleaning to more intensive issues. His small, family friendly office will make you feel comforted and at ease. Don’t put off your next cleaning – contact the office to schedule your appointment today!