The Scoop on Whitening Toothpaste


Should you use a whitening toothpaste every time you brush?

A person’s smile is often the first thing we notice about them. Whiter teeth help us smile more confidently and allow us to put our best face forward. Whitening toothpastes, with promises of delivering a dazzling smile, are easily accessible. But should you use a whitening toothpaste every time you brush?

How Whitening Toothpaste Works

Whitening toothpaste contains chemicals and abrasive agents which are designed to remove surface stains from the plaque on your teeth. Whitening toothpastes typically contain fluoride, silica, and baking soda. Some contain small amounts of hydrogen peroxide. Fluoride helps prevent cavities and gum disease but does not help whiten teeth. Silica and baking soda are abrasive agents which remove surface stains from the plaque on your teeth. Hydrogen peroxide aids in bleaching or lightening surface stains.

While whitening toothpaste can help teeth appear brighter and whiter, they can also damage tooth enamel and cause tooth and gum sensitivity when used incorrectly. The American Dental Association recommends that you discuss your use of whitening toothpaste with your dentist, as every patient’s needs are different.

You Can Use Too Much

Using too much whitening toothpaste or using it for too long a time period is generally what causes the most damage to teeth over time. Make sure you follow label directions and your dentist’s recommendations carefully. Generally, it is advised that a person use a pea-sized amount of whitening toothpaste only once per day. (Use a non-whitening toothpaste for additional brushings.) You may also be advised to only use the product for a limited time. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and remember to brush gently. Using small circular motions is far better for your teeth and gums than scrubbing vigorously.

Want a Whiter Smile? Your Dentist Can Help!

Your dentist offers professional whitening treatments that are safe and highly effective. Professional treatments can last one to two years, depending on oral hygiene habits, and patients typically see results after only one or two treatments. Professional treatments use potent cleaning agents that reach stains below the enamel, rather than focusing only on the surface of the tooth.

Regular Care Is The Best Care

The best way to maintain and achieve a healthy, beautiful smile is regular dental care. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time and floss at least one time daily. Visit your dentist once every six months for a thorough cleaning and exam. This is a great time to ask questions about teeth whitening and any other concerns or questions you might have!

Drs. Uddin,  and Crain, are happy to address any issues you may have with your gums, enamel, and teeth whitening at your exam.

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