What To Expect from the Best Whitening Toothpaste
One of the most prominent claims on toothpaste is the ability to whiten teeth. But that might be misleading. Whitening toothpastes do not actually make the teeth a lighter color or reverse the discoloration from excessive fluoride, deep stains or tooth decay. The real reason that teeth will appear whiter after using a whitening toothpaste is from removal of surface stains caused by such things as coffee, tea or smoking. So, even the best whitening toothpaste will only remove light staining of the teeth to uncover the natural white color.
The reason that advertisements can claim to whiten teeth is because the term “whitening” has not been defined by either the FDA or the American Dental Association. Realizing that the best whitening toothpaste is not going to actually lighten teeth is important. The best that can be expected is effective stain removal. Also, using a whitening toothpaste following a bleaching treatment may help to maintain the results for longer.
Consumer Reports tested 41 different toothpastes and found absolutely no relation between whitening claims and stain removal capabilities. There were 7 toothpastes with peroxide which is the key ingredient used for bleaching by professionals and over-the-counter whitening strips. But even those did not perform any better overall than regular toothpastes without peroxide.
Common Ingredients found in Whitening Toothpaste
To encourage stain removal, whitening toothpaste can contain:
- Specialized abrasives for gentle teeth polishing
- Chemicals to help dissolve or break down stains (for example sodium tripolyphosphate)
- Peroxide is a common ingredient but it is not effective at low concentrations found in toothpaste
How Long To See the Results of a Whitening Toothpaste?
Teeth will typically appear whiter due to stain removal after using a whitening toothpaste twice a day for two to four weeks. There are some whitening toothpastes that contain a chemical called blue covarine which can cause teeth to appear whiter immediately after use. That is because the chemical sticks to teeth surfaces, creating the illusion that teeth are whiter.
Is a Whitening Toothpaste Safe to Use?
Whitening toothpaste is considered safe to use daily but extremely heavy could cause damage to tooth enamel. It is a good idea to choose a brand that has been approved by a recognized organization such as the American Dental Association (ADA). A toothpaste bearing the ADA Seal of Acceptance is more likely to be an effective stain remover as well as preventing tooth decay.
The Best Toothpaste for Stain Removal
However, there is one toothpaste that did excel as a stain remover, and can be considered as the best whitening toothpaste. It is: Ultrabrite All in One Advanced Whitening (containing no peroxide). Surprisingly it is one of the lowest priced toothpastes that was tested, costing about 10 percent the price of the most expensive brand.
The main downside of Ultrabrite is its abrasiveness which is higher than average. While not extremely abrasive, it might not be recommended for sensitive teeth or gums. For those cases, a gentler product should be considered.