Are Whitening Toothpastes True to Their Name?
The name of the game in today’s supermarket is shelf space. That’s why you see 14 different types of Special K cereal when a decade ago there was but one. Or six kinds of Oreos, when there is really just one true Oreo.
Toothpastes aren’t immune to the phenomenon. It can get downright confusing trying to figure out what each offering promises, and, more importantly, if those promises are simply marketing hype or if they actually help your teeth.
When you stop before the assortment of toothpastes these days, the choices can be daunting. There is “tartar control,” “enamel strengthening,” “bad breath fighting,” “yoga posing” (OK, that may not actually be there). And, then there is “whitening” toothpaste.
But do whitening toothpastes actually whiten your teeth?
Whitening toothpastes focus on surface stains on your teeth, such as those caused by drinking coffee or red wine. These stains are on the outermost surface of your tooth enamel. Whitening toothpastes can break down these stains, although not with instantly dramatic results.
Unlike our teeth whitening options at Kalil & Kress, whitening toothpastes do not contain peroxide. This is the ingredient that gives teeth whitening programs their real power to whiten teeth. Instead, whitening toothpastes use special abrasives that gently polish the teeth, along with other chemicals that help break down stains.
There is a fine line here — too much abrasion and the tooth enamel can be worn down. That’s why whitening toothpastes can only go so far. Without peroxide, they must remove stains by gently scrubbing off the stains. These toothpastes are somewhat related to the polishing paste we use once your teeth have had the tartar removed during a regular cleaning. They are far less abrasive than our polishing paste, but that’s the idea.
Some whitening toothpastes contain the chemical blue covarine. This adheres to the surface of the teeth and creates an optical illusion that can make teeth appear less yellow. We don’t recommend these types of whitening toothpastes.
Instead, you can get moderate whitening with a whitening toothpaste that simply attacks stains. Be sure to look for approval by the American Dental Association, however.
Our whitening kits
For deeper whitening, check into our three teeth whitening options at Kalil & Kress. We offer custom-made trays for at-home whitening, a 1.5-hour in-office whitening treatment, and an option that combines at-home and in-office options.
Want whiter teeth? You can try a whitening toothpaste, but to get them really white, call us at 603-880-7004 and ask about our professional teeth whitening options.