A woman at the party smiling

Whitening Toothpaste 101: The Basics of Daily Whitening

Did you know there are many different kinds of whitening toothpaste available? Learn about whitening ingredients, what they do for your teeth, and how to choose the best whitening toothpaste for your needs.

How Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?

There are numerous whitening toothpaste options available on store shelves, but not all options are the same. There are two basic types that each use different key ingredients. Some are actually surface stain removers; they whiten by gently polishing your teeth. This can remove the discolouration from staining foods and drinks.

Some whitening toothpaste types have bleaching ingredients to truly change the colour of your teeth. Bleaching toothpaste typically works faster and has longer-lasting results. However, My Health Alberta notes that you should always speak with your dental hygienist or dentist before trying a whitening product. Bleach-based products can cause sensitivity and may not be suitable for use with dental devices or on restorations, such as crowns or veneers.

How to Choose a Whitening Toothpaste

The whitening ingredients can change how effectively a toothpaste whitens your teeth. Usually, whitening toothpaste includes one of these two types of ingredients:

  • Mild abrasives. My Health Alberta explains that some types of whitening toothpaste contain mild abrasives to gently lift surface stains off your teeth. These ingredients don't bleach or change your teeth's colour; they can only remove surface stains by gently abrading the enamel.
  • Peroxide. Many whitening toothpaste contain either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent used in store-bought whitening products and professional treatments. These products change the colour of your teeth, rather than simply removing surface stains. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in whitening toothpaste is lower than you would find in single-use products. However, hydrogen peroxide can provide noticeable results over a more extended period of use.
  • Carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is essentially a bleaching agent that breaks down into other compounds like hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is also a widespread whitening ingredient that you can find in whitening gels and trays too.

Is It Safe to Use Whitening Toothpaste Every Day?

Read the instructions on your toothpaste. If your toothpaste reccomends daily use for best results, then you can use it daily. If you experience increased tooth sensitivity, you can alternate use with regular toothpaste or find a whitening toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Protecting Your Enamel After Whitening

It is essential to maintain enamel strength while whitening your teeth. By keeping your enamel healthy, you can prevent surface stains from coming back. You can speak with your dental hygienist for recommendations.

How to Use Whitening Toothpaste

The great thing about whitening toothpaste is that it also provides the benefits of regular toothpaste. Brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time will reduce your risk of cavities, freshen your breath, and keep your gums healthy.

Remember that the ADA recommends speaking with your dentist before using a whitening product, especially if you have crowns and fillings. If you already experience tooth sensitivity, your dental professional can recommend the right product for your needs.