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Teeth whitening toothpaste: Does it work?

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications


Most of us want our smile to look like a rapper’s car or diva’s jewelry – as shiny and dazzling as possible. Alas, the reality is that many people have yellowish, gray or brown teeth.

Discolored teeth are often attributable to poor oral health or to bad habits such as smoking. If surface stains are contributing to your teeth's discoloration, you can try using a teeth whitening toothpaste to improve their appearance.

Not sure what that entails? Then we should first examine teeth cleaning from a microscopic scale.

The silica secret: what's in whitening toothpastes?

Regular, non-whitening toothpastes are designed to help remove some surface stains as they clean teeth and improve the health of your mouth. Whitening toothpastes help make your smile brighter by removing even more surface stains.

These toothpastes typically contain more abrasive ingredients, such as silica, which scrub the surface of the teeth. Look for a whitening toothpaste such as Colgate® Visible White Toothpaste.

Once you’ve got the tools you need, it’s time to turn a beady eye on blueberries, and other foods.

Getting the most from your toothpaste (by banishing beets)

After you start using a whitening toothpaste, it can take several weeks for you to see results. But be patient – and be smart about your lifestyle.

Keep in mind that, because a whitening toothpaste doesn't change the actual color of your teeth, you can undo results by continuing habits that contribute to stains on the teeth.

If you continue to drink coffee and red wine, or smoke, you might not see the results you had expected from the toothpaste. Even healthy foods, such as beets and blueberries, can darken your teeth.

Instead of avoiding healthy foods in the pursuit of whiter teeth, just remember to brush after eating. Don’t neglect liquids, either. Drink plenty of water during your meal to rinse your mouth.

Still not getting the results you’re looking for? It’s time to kick it up a notch.

Other whitening options: the pen is mightier than the sword

Teeth whitening toothpastes won't give you dramatic, bright white results unless you naturally have very white teeth. If you want to actually whiten your teeth, you might consider bleaching them. See your dentist for a professional teeth whitening treatment, which typically involves the use of bleach and a special light.

Talk to your dentist before you use any whitening product, especially if you have a history of sensitive teeth or gums.

Original content by Amy Freeman

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