The go-to solution for most people after our coffee, tea, or red wine has left its mark is to buy a whitening toothpaste. Countless varieties of toothpaste today claim to bestow brighter smiles. Besides, you brush at least twice a day anyway, right? So, why not clean away the stains and the plaque simultaneously?
Toothpaste’s real purpose is to clean and strengthen our teeth’s outer layer of enamel. That’s what it was designed to do and what it does best. When manufacturers try to offer another benefit to the toothpaste’s use, it can hinder the cleaning and strengthening capabilities of the product rather than improve it. That’s why any claims of whiter whites may not be entirely accurate or even healthy.
True, whitening toothpaste can yield results within six weeks. However, regular brushing habits with standard toothpaste will maintain your teeth’s natural whiteness. Whitening toothpaste is designed to go the extra mile with additional ingredients, and we categorize those ingredients into one of two groups, each with their pros and cons.
The most popular method over-the-counter whitening toothpastes uses is to add special abrasives that polish your enamel. This method makes sense, because conventional toothpaste also uses mild abrasion to clean your teeth. With this method, you’re essentially scrubbing away the stuff that makes your teeth look not-so-white.
But, here’s the deal — these toothpastes may clean your stains away, but often at the expense of that protective external layer of enamel. Any toothpaste’s level of abrasivity can be measured using a standardized and recognized scale. The higher the number, the rougher the toothpaste.
Logically, the abrasiveness of whitening toothpaste tends to be higher than that of standard toothpaste. Another drawback of abrasion whiteners is that they only reach the surface. They cannot penetrate through to the inner layer of dentin, which can naturally yellow with age.
Chemical-based whitening toothpastes are meant to bleach away stains and discoloration. Typically, a hydrogen peroxide concentration is used to break down the stains of your enamel and dentin. These toothpastes can work, but the chemical reaction takes significantly longer than the time it takes to brush. This means that chemical-based whitening toothpastes are mostly ineffective. Additionally, leaving toothpaste on your teeth longer than recommended to accommodate for this drawback can cause sensitivity by weakening your enamel.
Chemical whitening treatments are most effective when appropriately applied by a dental professional. Over-the-counter toothpastes are slower, less reliable, and less visible in their results. The in-office whitening treatments at IKON Dental Group will noticeably and safely brighten your smile in about an hour. We suit our practices to meet your needs by giving you the whiteness you’re looking for in a relaxed, professional environment. So, if you’ve been thinking about a brighter smile, schedule your consultation with Dr. Khan today!