As we grow, our sparkling white teeth get stained due to wear and tear, the food we eat and various other causes. There are two basic types of stains. Extrinsic stains are the discoloration caused to the surface of the teeth by smoking or consuming dark colored beverages and foods. These can be usually removed by regular oral hygiene and periodic teeth bleaching. Intrinsic stains form in the interior of our teeth and are caused due to exposure to certain medicines, excess fluoride use, age or trauma to the teeth. Dental procedures have expanded so much that even these stubborn stains can be removed.
Teeth whitening refer to the process of bleaching teeth to remove stains and make them whiter. This process can lighten the existing color by a few shades but will not make teeth a brilliant shade of white. There are many teeth whitening products and home kits available which are simple to use and quite effective.
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Teeth Whitening Toothpaste – Benefits and Issues
At-home teeth whitening products and systems are available at the local store or at online websites. Popular among these are teeth whitening toothpastes, gels, trays, rinses, and strips. Teeth whitening toothpaste is meant to remove extrinsic or surface stains. It is also called a surface whitener. These contain mild abrasives like silica or compounds that can remove stains formed on the tooth enamel and also act as a polish if they contain an additional chemical or polishing agent. If you get such toothpaste, it can effectively remove surface stains and prevent yellowing of teeth. They can whiten teeth by one shade. Teeth whitening toothpastes are considered a great way to maintain a newly whitened set of teeth. While some teeth whitening toothpastes do not contain any bleaching agent unlike certain other OTC or dentist recommended at-home whitening products like strips or mouth trays with gel, others like ‘Colgate Optic White’ do contain hydrogen peroxide for improved whitening effects. The right whitening toothpaste can also fight cavities, reduce plaque buildup and prevent bad breath. Since most teeth whitening toothpastes contain similar compounds as regular toothpaste but are often finer versions, they may not cause excessive wear and tear of teeth enamel and can be used more frequently.
Teeth whitening toothpaste is a simple, inexpensive and effective way to maintain teeth that have been whitened using other procedures. Home teeth whitening have the advantage of not having to spend time at the dentist’s clinic. Teeth whitening toothpaste can simply be a part of your daily brushing and flossing routine. However, since these toothpastes can only deal with surface stains, they must not be substituted for regular visits to the dentist for professional cleaning.
Another advantage of at-home teeth whitening is that you can combine various products to make them more effective and achieve a brighter smile. For example, if you use a dentist-recommended whitening tray or whitening strips, you can also use whitening toothpaste and rinse at the same time. In fact, some products are sold as an entire kit to be used in conjunction with each other. You can check your progress and see if the teeth whitening toothpaste is really effective by taking frequent photographs of your teeth and comparing them etc. However, always check with your dentist before doing so.
Popular Teeth Whitening Toothpaste Brands
There are many popular brands of teeth whitening toothpaste available. You can get the recommendation of your dentist or read online reviews to check the effectiveness of the product.
- “Crest 3D White Advanced Vivid Stain Protection Toothpaste’ can clean stains as well as prevent formation of new ones. You can see a perceptible whitening of your teeth within 14 days.
- ‘Colgate Advanced Whitening Toothpaste’ offers dual-silica technology to eradicate stains and prevent formation of new ones.
- Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste’ has a refreshing mint flavor which can also whiten teeth.
- ‘Sensodyne Proenamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste’ whitens teeth enamel, removes stains, fights cavities and protects against acid erosion.
- ‘Crest 3D White Radiant Mint Flavored Whitening Toothpaste’ can whiten teeth in 14 days and the gentle foaming action can whiten even hard-to-reach areas.
Usually two side effects can occur due to teeth whitening – sensitivity and irritation of the gums, caused due to reactions to the bleaching agent. Both these are temporary and will stop once the process is over. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these side effects. You may be advised to stop the process for a few days to allow your teeth time to get adjusted to the bleaching agent. Brushing with toothpaste for sensitive teeth and getting a fluoride product to re-mineralize teeth can also help.
Usually children, pregnant women, those with allergies to hydrogen peroxide, those with gum disease, sensitive teeth, cavities, worn enamel and exposed roots, those having crowns, fillings and other types of restorative work on their teeth are all not considered to be ideal candidates for teeth whitening – professional or at-home. Do not have unrealistic expectations about the color your teeth will become after whitening. While it can get lighter, it will not turn a brilliant white. Also darkly stained teeth may not respond well to any kind of whitening process. Always consult your dentist before opting to use any teeth whitening product on a regular basis even if it is just toothpaste.