Are Whitening Toothpastes Really Effective?
It is widely known that certain food and drinks can leave stains on our teeth. To combat these stains, there are many products such as toothpastes on the shelves of our local supermarkets and convenience stores claiming they will whiten teeth and take off stains. But do any of them really work?
Read on to discover the effectiveness of these toothpastes, how they actually work and what to do if you need to whiten your teeth.
What Causes Stains on Teeth?
Everyone’s teeth are susceptible to getting surface stains called extrinsic stains. These stains are caused by foreign substances coming in contact with the outer surface, called enamel, of your teeth. Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are much harder to get rid of. An intrinsic tooth stain describes one in which the discoloration exists on the inner layer of the tooth, or the dentin. Even though dentin is beneath the tooth enamel, darkened dentin can give the entire tooth a discolored appearance.
There are many ways you can get intrinsic and extrinsic stains, a few of the most common ways are:
- Sodas or drinks high in sugar and acids
- Red Wine (contains tannins and pigmentation)
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Medical treatments
- Poor dental hygiene
Does Whitening Toothpaste Really Work?
While whitening toothpastes claim to get rid of stains, there are a few things to remember about our natural teeth. One, our teeth have a natural shade and that isn’t normally pearly white. No matter how much you brush, you may only be able to get to your natural shade and that may be a shade of yellow or gray and there’s nothing wrong with that.
You can always whiten your teeth if you do not like the shade, it’s important to know that whitening toothpastes only remove extrinsic stains and even then, they have their limitations. If you have daily habits that yellow your teeth, whitening toothpastes can help take away those discolorations before they become permanent, but don’t expect immediate results. They can take up to six weeks of regular use to see any changes and always use an ADA (American Dental Association) approved toothpaste to get the best results.
How to Get Long-Term Whitening Results?
While brushing is always necessary and using a whitening toothpaste is a nice, easy surface stain removing method, there are more efficient ways of whitening. If you want faster, more long-term whitening results, you can choose to either go over the counter or see a professional.
Over the counter bleaching products take less time than brushing with whitening toothpastes, but they can be overkill if you use them improperly. In contrast to whitening toothpastes, these over-the- counter products use stronger peroxides and some have mouth guards that keep your teeth submerged in the product for a specified amount. These whitening gels must be kept off the gums or irritation is possible.
The most effective and safe method of whitening is going to be your dentist. One of the main reasons in-office treatments are more effective is that your dentist will help determine the right course of whitening procedures for your teeth. They will select the treatment that is best suited to your needs. You can either get the whitening done with them in their office or get the kit and instructions from them personally. You will get a better product, more noticeable results and a much more professional look. Dentists know which shade to give you so the results look amazing and natural.
Most of the treatments done by professionals will show satisfying results after the first session, but more heavily stained teeth could require several treatments in order to achieve the level of whitening you are looking for. Professional treatments are more effective than at home treatments for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Custom-fit mouth trays molded just for you
- Protective measures such as rubber gum shields
- Tailored treatment to your specific needs
Come See the Bright Smile Experts at Carrie Muzny DDS
Carrie Muzny DDS provides the highest-quality dental services and care for our patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas. Our highly acclaimed team is exceptionally trained in modern preventative techniques, restorative dentistry, surgical procedures, and cosmetic dentistry.
With state-of-the-art technology and a vast range of smile-perfecting procedures, we stay at the top of our field and deliver smiles as sunny as the state of Texas! To let us help you get that perfect smile, contact us today. You can even request a virtual consultation!