The first impression you make on people often involves a smile. Your smile is important to you, and if your teeth are yellow or stained, smiling in public may be a bit embarrassing. Because of this, there is a wide market of whitening toothpastes available, all of them claiming to have dramatic results for your teeth. Whether they actually do have the effect they advertise may not be immediately apparent, however. You might wonder whether tooth-whitening toothpastes are truly any different from other types.
How Teeth Whitening Works
There are a variety of substances that toothpaste manufacturers use to get them to whiten your teeth. Some work by gently polishing stains away while others bleach your teeth. The way your toothpaste whitens your teeth ultimately depends on the types of chemicals it contains. Some of these chemicals are described below:
- Hydrated silica: This is a mild abrasive that polishes stains from your teeth. Sometimes, it is combined with calcium carbonate to help remove plaque as well.
- Calprox: This is a fairly new chemical that dissolves the layer of protein—called protein pellicle—that forms on your teeth. Bacteria, stains, plaque, and food tend to bond to this protein layer, causing discoloration and tartar buildup. When the protein is dissolved away, so are the stains. Calprox contains 17 ingredients and is nonabrasive.
- Blue covarine: Found in some toothpastes, this substance bonds to the surface of your teeth, making them look less yellow. While it doesn’t actually change the color of your teeth, its effect is immediate.
- Sodium tripolyphosphate: Commonly used in cleaning products and food preservation, sodium tripolyphosphate is also often used in toothpastes to dissolve stains.
- Carbamide peroxide: When applied to the surface of your teeth, this chemical breaks down, allowing oxygen into the tooth enamel to bleach it. The higher the concentration, the more dramatic an effect it will have, but also the more sensitive your teeth will feel afterward.
Generally, teeth whitening toothpaste takes between two and six weeks to have a noticeable effect. However, in the case of substances like blue covarine, the effect is immediate, even if it is superficial.
The type of tooth-whitening toothpaste you use depends on your own personal preference and your dental needs. For example, if you have especially sensitive teeth, you may want to avoid abrasive substances or high chemical concentrations, since they can make your teeth more sensitive. It is also important to note that many substances can gradually wear away at tooth enamel if used too frequently (which can actually make your teeth look more yellow).
If you are looking for ways to boost the radiance of your smile or remove unsightly stains, then we recommend consulting with an experienced dentist. At Lynn Dental Care, we offer a wide range of teeth-whitening products and services, and we can work with you to determine what will be best for your mouth. In addition to teeth whitening toothpastes, we also provide specialized whitening procedures such as Boost Whitening and KöR Deep Bleaching. For more information or to set up an appointment, call us today!