Thursday, April 16, 2015

What’s in whitening toothpastes?

June 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Articles

It is because of social pressures that we feel embarrassed to display a yellow smile. The foundations of our modern society rest on look and appearance; makeup manufacturers, plastic surgeons, fashion designers and cosmetic dentistry understood it well and know how to take advantage.   No wonder the dental industry is flooding the market with professional or home-used products to whiten your smile. Teeth whitening related products generate billions of dollars every year.  But what of the promises made by the industry?  Are the results worth it?  Does whitening your teeth in the comfort of your home really cheaper?  Is teeth whitening really so spectacular?

To some extent, yes, whitening toothpastes help you to a whiter smile. When they’re used properly, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and in the recommended quantities, whitening toothpastes help remove stains from your teeth and clean them from accumulated the rubbles that cause these unattractive stains.  Stains caused by coffee and tobacco can be removed by a whitening toothpaste if you use it daily, at least twice a day, and more importantly, if it is used as soon as you start smoking or drinking coffee. The simple use of whitening toothpaste cannot however, rid you of coffee and nicotine stains accumulated over years.

Whitening toothpaste is a daily treatment to keep teeth clean and bright and it is the most commonly used among the array of teeth whitening products. Unfortunately it is not designed to lighten the color of your teeth by several degrees. It can maintain the teeth that already had a whitening treatment, prevent stains from accumulating, but it won’t change the natural color of the teeth.  Nor will it eliminate the stains that have been seeping to the dentin through the enamel layer.

What set whitening toothpaste and whitening gel kits or whitening strips, is the active ingredients each contains.  While gels and strips work by interaction between the hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and the teeth to remove stains by oxidation, whitening toothpaste mostly contain special abrasive ingredients that makes it more effective than the usual toothpaste to dislodge the dirt in the tooth enamel. Some toothpaste will also contain peroxide, which together with abrasives will remove stains more easily.  But we must be realistic. While toothpaste contains carbamide peroxide or hydrogen, brushing 10 minutes a day will never replace a one-hour application of whitening gel.

According to specialist of dental health whitening toothpastes should be used twice a day. Whitening, teeth and gum protection must go hand in hand.  Brushing more than three times a day with toothpaste containing whitening agents can damage your gums.   Two to four weeks are required to see a result; disappearance of surface stains and improved whiteness of the teeth. A recent innovation in teeth whitening technology opens new avenues to whiter teeth: Covarine Blue.  This element, incorporated in toothpaste or mouthwash, leaves a blue pigment on the surface of the tooth in the form of a polymer. By optical effect this thin blue film neutralizes the yellow color of the teeth.  Periodic use of products containing the blue covarine can restore the illusion of whiteness; for in fact the tooth is not really bleached but hidden.

Modern whitening toothpastes and teeth whitening products are soft and safe enough for daily use when abiding by the manufacturer’s recommendation.  But when abused they can actually damage the teeth. Over brushing with whitening toothpaste serves no purpose.  A normal use will suffice because it’s on the long term that the product will show results.  For more safety favor products approved by the American Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association. A seal of approval ensures that the quality of the product is well recognized. Using a toothbrush made of soft bristles is more than enough to get good results. Stiff toothbrushes can damage sensitive gums and don’t necessarily dislodge more plaque. On the contrary, stiff hairs can be difficult to insert between teeth for a good dental cleaning.

It must be remembered that teeth whitening toothpaste is but one of the many options available to whiten your teeth.  It is an affordable and easy solution, without pain.  At your next visit, talk to your dentist about the possible options should you decide to whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening is sometimes more accessible than we think!

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