What are the disadvantages of using whitening toothpaste?

Whitening toothpastes have some disadvantages. They don't actually whiten your teeth. Instead, they contain an abrasive that grinds away stains on the enamel, making your teeth seem brighter. When used for a long time, the abrasive can remove so much enamel that your teeth can get stained even more easily. In addition, using abrasive whitening toothpastes can dull veneers and crowns. Toothpastes with hydrogen peroxide for whitening don't really help much. Because the toothpaste gets all over your mouth, including your gums, and because you might swallow some, the amount of hydrogen peroxide is small. In addition, you probably won't brush long enough for the hydrogen peroxide to have much of an effect.

All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. Whitening toothpastes contain polishing or chemical agents, rather than bleaches, to improve tooth appearance by removing surface stains. They do this through gentle polishing, chemical chelation, or some other non-bleaching action. Several whitening toothpastes that are available over-the-counter have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which assures they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

If you decide you would like to use whitening toothpaste to make your smile look brighter, talk to your dentist. He or she can tell you whether this will be effective for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.