Every year, millions of consumers spend millions of dollars on millions of ounces of products that claim to whiten and brighten teeth. Unfortunately, many of these dollars are wasted down the drain with the last mouth rinse swish and spit. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering which brand of whitening toothpaste to choose and whether or not it actually works.
Toothpaste is a substance that works only on the surface of the tooth enamel. It has no ability to penetrate beyond surface stains into the tooth structure. Compare this to the whitening gel that your dentist uses. Peroxide dental gel is much stronger than whitening toothpaste and can actually penetrate the tooth to bleach from the inside out.
Another type of toothpaste contains abrasive material, such as baking soda, that scrubs away the surface stains. This abrasive material can also be harmful to surface tooth enamel and should be used with care only on the recommendation of your dentist. You should take extra care if you have cosmetic dental work, bonding, fillings, or other items that may compromise tooth structure integrity.
As you can imagine, there is a big difference between the results obtained with the professional whitening processes used by your dentist and a simple whitening toothpaste from the drugstore shelf. That said, maintenance can be achieved with regular use of a whitening toothpaste. It is also important to avoid things that stain teeth such as coffee and red wine.