Does whitening toothpaste work?

Posted on August 29th, 2017 by bevanheaton

Most of you have probably seen the numerous whitening toothpaste products on the shelves at the local grocery store.  Some of you may even be using one of them.  I often get the question, “Does whitening toothpaste really even work?”

Whitening toothpaste can appear to whiten teeth slightly by removing surface stains, like those caused by coffee or smoking. However, they can’t change the natural color of your teeth or lighten a stain deeper than a tooth’s surface.


Unlike other tooth-whitening products, whitening toothpastes don’t contain peroxide.  To remove surface stains, whitening toothpaste typically includes:

  • Special abrasives that gently polish the teeth
  • Chemicals that help break down or dissolve stains

Some whitening toothpastes contain the chemical blue covarine, which adheres to the surface of the teeth and creates an optical illusion that can make teeth appear less yellow.

When used twice a day, whitening toothpaste can take from two to six weeks to make teeth appear whiter. The ones that contain blue covarine can have an immediate effect. Although these toothpastes are typically designed to maximize cleaning and minimize wear on tooth enamel, be careful to follow manufacturer recommendations.

If you’re considering using one, look for a brand that has a seal of approval from a reputable dental organization — such as the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. This seal indicates that the toothpaste is safe and effective at removing surface stains.

If you’re not satisfied with the effect of whitening toothpaste, ask your dentist or dental hygienist about other tooth-whitening options — such as over-the-counter or professional bleaching products or in-office treatments.  Come visit us today at My Family Dentist Garland to have a free whitening consultation today! 

My Family Dentist Garland

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