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Teeth Whitening Toothpaste: Does It Work?

You’d like to make your teeth a little whiter. You’re standing in the toothpaste aisle thinking about switching it up. Perhaps a new toothpaste will do the trick. You’re wondering, “Does whitening toothpaste work?” It sure can. Here’s what you’ll want to know.

What's in Whitening Toothpaste

Regular, non-whitening toothpastes are made to improve your oral health and help remove some surface stains as they clean teeth. Whitening toothpaste, on the other hand, is designed to make your smile brighter. How does whitening toothpaste work? It includes ingredients to remove more surface stains than regular non-whitening toothpaste.

Stains are either extrinsic (on the tooth surface) or intrinsic (located inside the tooth). Different formulas are used to address each stain problem. Toothpaste containing silica, an abrasive ingredient, removes extrinsic stains by scrubbing the surface of your teeth. Products with hydrogen peroxide can whiten intrinsic stains by bleaching. Hydrogen peroxide actually removes surface stains and whitens, whereas silica only removes the stain.

Read on for some tips to consider when choosing your whitening toothpaste.

Getting the Most From Your Toothpaste

You have decided to make the switch to a whitening toothpaste. How long does it take to see results? It can take several weeks for you to see a difference in your smile. That said, if you’re still doing the things that stained your teeth to begin with, you may be undoing your newly found results or not seeing the results you expected. Here are some of the habits you should try to break:

  • Drinking coffee
  • Drinking red wine
  • Smoking or using smokeless tobacco products
  • Eating beets or blueberries

We get it. You don’t want to give up things you love for whiter teeth. Instead of avoiding those things (except for tobacco, you really should quit that), remember to brush after eating and drink plenty of water during your meal to rinse your mouth. Brushing after coffee and wine is a good idea, too.

Other Whitening Options

If you are looking for more dramatic whitening results, you may need a stronger solution. If you want an even whiter smile, there are other options. Some are done in your dentist’s office, your dentist may prescribe others for home use, and others are available at your local pharmacy. The best thing to do is to start with your dental professional for a consultation. Here are some of the options that might come up:

  • A teeth whitening treatment, which typically involves the use of bleach and a special light.
  • At-home whitening products to bleach your teeth. Tell your dental professional if you have sensitive teeth or gums.

Other things to consider

If you have grey or yellow teeth, you may not achieve a perfectly white smile. Also, whitening treatments won't change the colour of fillings, veneers, or crowns.

Whitening toothpaste is an inexpensive, easy way to remove stains. It will take a little time, and you may need to make some lifestyle changes (drinking less coffee, for example), but you can get good results. If you want to make your smile even brighter, talk to your dental professional about your options. A bright, white smile is a great way to make someone’s day – especially your own.


The above information is provided for informational purposes only. Colgate does not accept any liability should the above recommendations have an outcome contrary to the intended result. Always seek the advice of a qualified doctor or dental professional. Do not disregard professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

Not all Colgate products contain hydrogen peroxide. Optic White Expert is the only product in our toothpaste range that contains hydrogen peroxide.

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