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Our lifestyle choices can affect how bright our smile looks and how long lasting whitening products will be effective. If you consume coffee, soda on a regular basis, or smoke cigarettes you will need a whitening method that will do away with the surface stains that accumulate. Understanding what the active ingredients are in whitening toothpaste and the differences between various products will help you make an educated decision about what treatment will best meet your needs.

How do I get immediate results and a brighter smile?

If you are dealing with day-to-day surface stains from drinking coffee or soda, or from smoking cigarettes, whitening toothpaste will help you remove the discoloration that results. This will usually take between two and six weeks of regular use to obtain a whiter smile. You will want to use whitening toothpaste that has the ingredient blue covarine (http://www/ncbi.nih.gov/pubmed/19998663) to help remove the yellowing stains on the surface of your teeth in addition to other tooth whitening approaches.

What are the long term results from using whitening toothpaste?

You will need to brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste on a daily basis, at least twice a day to obtain a whiter smile.  You should start seeing results after about a two week period of time, and must maintain this routine to do away with surface stains.  To achieve long term benefits requires the use of a combination of abrasives that polish the teeth and chemicals that will break down any stain.  These common abrasives include:

  • Hydrated aluminum oxide
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Carbamide peroxide
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Toothpaste containing carbamide peroxide usually works faster to whiten teeth (http://www.ncbi.nih.gov/pubmed/10986827), but any of these abrasives and chemicals will give you the results you are looking for after about a two week period of regular use.

How can I be sure a product is safe?

You will want to make sure any whitening toothpaste that you purchase is safe for you to use. The American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance is on products that have undergone a thorough evaluation for safety and efficacy. Manufacturers of these products voluntarily participate in the ADA seal of approval program, and those that do demonstrate their commitment to safe and effective toothpaste.

There are some possible downsides to using whitening toothpaste.  The most common problems when using these products are a mild gum or mouth irritation.  Long term use can also cause removal of some of the tooth enamel, since whitening toothpaste does contain abrasives. The enamel can wear away and expose the dentin beneath, which will give your teeth a darker appearance (http://www/dailymail.co.uk.news/article 2218773).

Dr. Ted Melchers and his staff provide dental care to patients and their families throughout the low country of South Carolina. Our patients are our primary concern.  Our dental team is here to help develop a treatment plan that is right for you.  Contact us today at info@oldmtpleasantdentistry.com.