Does whitening toothpaste actually work?

Whitening toothpastes will work for some people and be of no benefit to others. Everyone wants to look better and what easier way to do it by just changing your toothpaste?! Whitening toothpastes can cost more than double compared to regular toothpaste but it is worth it if it works.

 An obviously photoshopped image of teeth whitening. The smiles are 100% the same in position and size. Don’t trust everything you see online! Such a dramatic difference is rarely achieved in reality.

An obviously photoshopped image of teeth whitening. The smiles are 100% the same in position and size. Don’t trust everything you see online! Such a dramatic difference is rarely achieved in reality.

Who it will work for

If you read what is written on the manufacturers’ websites about whitening toothpastes, you will start to understand how they work and whether it will for you. From the Colgate website, they say “Whitening toothpastes contain mild abrasives for stain removal.” The key is stain removal. If your teeth are stained by food and drinks, then whitening toothpastes will be beneficial for you. Have a look in the mirror and see! Stains are brown, black and even orange. These toothpastes will basically scratch off the stains that are covering the surface of your teeth.

What I tell my patients when they ask what the difference between whitening and cleaning is the difference between repainting and cleaning your car. Whitening will change the actual colour of your teeth, whereas cleaning will just clean the teeth but does not change the true colour.

Your dentist will be able to tell you whether you have much stain on your teeth. You should be able to tell yourself by how much different it looks before and after your dentist scales and polishes your teeth.

Who it won’t work for

If you have nice clean teeth already, there is little benefit. It might even be harmful! The abrasiveness may cause sensitivity.

How to actually whiten your teeth

To do true whitening, you will need to get the hydrogen peroxide/carbamide peroxide whitening gel treatments. I always suggest take home whitening as it is more effective, cheaper and less painful. The safest and most effective whitening is of course performed by your dentist but the stuff you can buy in the chemist can work too.