Dr. Amble and the hygienists at Grand Avenue Dental get that question quite often. The truth is that whitening toothpastes do not make your teeth whiter, but they can make your teeth appear whiter.
Whitening toothpastes, along with non-whitening toothpastes, work by removing surface stain and do not penetrate the enamel. The whitening agent in toothpaste is not on the tooth long enough to have any impact on the whiteness of your teeth.
Whitening toothpastes can cause tooth sensitivity over time however, and this can make it uncomfortable to eat or even more uncomfortable to use whitening gels or strips.
Dr. Amble and his staff recommend an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste. If you are not sure whether your toothpaste has whitening ingredients, assume it does.
A plain fluoride toothpaste is usually found on the bottom shelves of the toothpaste aisle.
If you happen to like your whitening toothpaste, try alternating its use with a plain fluoride toothpaste.
For more information you can look at the Mayo Clinic website or ask one of the hygienists or Dr. Amble the next time you come in.
by Janice, hygienist working with Dr. Amble for 12 years.