Whitening toothpaste is an oral hygiene product designed to remove stains, and make teeth appear whiter. It typically contains an abrasive ingredient to scrub stains, as well as ingredients such as baking soda, peroxide, or sodium tripolyphosphate, which can help to dissolve stains. While whitening toothpaste can help remove and prevent surface stains, it does not truly whiten teeth or change their color like whitening treatments do.
Whitening treatments may be performed at home or at the dentist, and typically contain relatively high levels of hydrogen peroxide that is applied to the teeth for a longer period of time. The peroxide is actually able to change the underlying color of the teeth, and make them appear many shades whiter. Though many whitening toothpastes claim to whiten teeth, in truth, they are simply removing some of the stains. This does not mean they are not beneficial, however.
Whitening toothpaste uses its included active ingredients to remove stains and prevent new ones from forming, as well as to prevent cavities. The abrasive ingredients included in the toothpaste act like tiny polishers for the teeth. For most people, it is perfectly safe to use a whitening toothpaste every day. Some people experience tooth and gum sensitivity when using whitening toothpastes, however, so it may then be a good idea to switch off, and use a non-whitening toothpaste every few days.
For people who want especially white teeth, or whose teeth are particularly stained, it might be beneficial to begin with a tooth-whitening treatment at home or at the dentist. Then, whitening toothpaste may be used to keep teeth looking their best and to prevent new stains from forming. Almost all major brands of toothpaste make a whitening version, and they are almost always the same price as regular toothpaste.
Whitening toothpaste will have the best effects if used in conjunction with good oral hygiene practices. Teeth should be brushed two to three times per day, and flossed once per day. Regular cleanings every six months from a dentist are very important. In addition, knowing foods that cause staining can be helpful; these include red wine, tea, coffee, and cola drinks, among others. After consuming these foods, it is a good idea to rinse the mouth out with water, both to remove some of the potential staining ingredients from the teeth, and to cut down on the levels of acidity in the mouth, which can contribute to tooth staining.