When it comes to the color of teeth, everyone’s teeth appear different. People usually desire to have bright and white teeth, but in reality, many people have gray, yellow or brown teeth. Discolored teeth are very common amongst people who have poor oral health. Others might have stained teeth due to bad habits like smoking or drinking too much coffee.
Thankfully though, discolored teeth is a common problem that has many home remedies. One of them is using an over-the-counter whitening toothpaste to improve the appearance of the teeth. But do these toothpastes actually work? Our dentists say it all depends on your expectations.
Before we talk about the effectiveness of whitening toothpastes, let’s look at what they’re made off.
What is Whitening Toothpaste made off?
- While regular toothpastes are made to improve the surface stains of the teeth as they clean and improve oral health, whitening toothpastes are made differently. These toothpastes are made to give you a brighter smile. They work by removing most surface stains on the teeth.
Whitening toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients including silica which usually scrubs the surface of the teeth as you brush. But not all toothpastes found at a departmental store work. So when you are looking for a toothpaste, make sure to look for a toothpaste that is approved by the American Dental Association.
How to Make Best Use of a Whitening Toothpaste
- After you start using a toothpaste meant to whiten the teeth, you need to be aware that the results don’t usually happen until several weeks have passed. This is because these toothpastes don’t really change the actual color of the teeth, they basically prevent and reduce the discoloration of teeth from habits that cause stained teeth.
If you love drinking coffee, smoke regularly, or drink red wine with every meal, you will probably not see the results you expect from tooth whitening pastes. Even eating healthy food does not guarantee that toothpaste will change the color of your teeth and convert them to pearly whites.
- This is because the color from food such as blueberries (a very healthy food) can also darken your teeth. So instead of avoiding everything that contributes to stained teeth, focus on drinking a lot of water when you are eating and brush your teeth immediately after a meal.
What is the Best Alternative to Whitening Toothpastes?
- Teeth whitening toothpastes, whether made with fluoride or activated charcoal will never give you dramatic results unless your teeth are naturally white. If you want to have bright and shiny white teeth, then you may have to consider a whitening treatment from a qualified dentist.
Teeth whitening treatment usually involves bleaching under a special light. There are even specialized whitening products such as the whitening pen to bleach your teeth at home but they are often not recommended. So it is always a good idea to talk to your dentist before using any product that you are not sure of.
- Exposing your teeth to such products especially when you have sensitive teeth can lead to serious gum diseases, tooth decay, and other oral health problems.
The best alternative to teeth whitening toothpastes is getting a whitening treatment. At Icon Dental Center we provide teeth whitening procedures that are usually completed in a single visit and produce much better results than over-the-counter teeth whitening products.
So, Do Whitening Teeth Actually Work?
- Some teens stand in the drugstore and wonder if toothpastes with “whitening power” really work. Whitening toothpastes contain chemicals or polishing agents that can remove stains from the teeth. (That said, all toothpastes have mild abrasives that help remove surface stains.)
If the teeth are darker than they used to be because of surface stains, whitening toothpastes can brighten a teen’s smile. On the other hand, if the teeth are darker because of deeper stains, perhaps from an injury or certain medications, whitening toothpastes will not give the teen effective results.
- Unlike bleaching, these toothpastes do not change the color of the teeth to a whiter, brighter shade. If a teen is interesting in choosing this route, he must be sure to choose a brand that contains fluoride. Teens are still very susceptible to tooth decay.
Visit one of our dentist offices at Everett or Seattle and talk to us for more information on how you can have healthy and whiter teeth.