I cannot stress the importance of good quality toothpaste enough. There is no point in trying to whiten your teeth if you cannot remove the plaque and other particles from food, tea, tobacco etc. which will cause staining of your teeth! It is better to remove the extrinsic stains rather than just bleaching them and even more important is to prevent the plaque and tatar from accumulating in the first place.
Toothpaste usually assists in whitening your teeth by:
- Preventing plaque build-up and tatar formation. The tatar often has a yellow or brown color and accounts for a lot of the ‘staining’ on people’s teeth.
- Toothpaste often has micro granules which help to scrub away stains and give your teeth a whiter appearance.
- Some may contain bleaching agents.
There are hundreds of bacteria that live in our mouths and your toothpaste also helps a few hours after brushing to prevent growth of bacteria. It helps to refresh your breath and prevent tooth decay and cavities. Gum disease is a very common problem and thorough cleaning with good quality toothpaste will also help to prevent problems with your gums.
It goes without saying that the use of your toothpaste needs to go along with a good quality toothbrush (preferably an electric toothbrush), good brushing technique to make sure that enough time is spent on all the tooth surfaces and flossing.
I cannot name just one type of toothpaste as the best whitening toothpaste for everyone, as individual needs and problems must be taken into account when deciding on the best toothpaste for someone.
- If you suffer from abrasion of your teeth (often due to incorrect tooth brushing techniques), you shouldn’t pick toothpaste with granules that will cause further abrasion.
- For very sensitive teeth it will be wise to be careful with whitening toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide.
- People who want their teeth sparkling white within a few days may be better-off bleaching their teeth with whitening gel e.g. Opalescence and then use the toothpaste for maintenance. Most whitening toothpastes take a few weeks before you get visible results.
- Do not whiten your teeth while wearing braces as they will prevent the toothpaste from making contact with the whole tooth surface and leaving you with an uneven result. However, make sure your toothpaste has a long-lasting anti-bacterial action and clean very thoroughly as plaque tends to accumulate around braces and may cause white areas (due to decalcification of the enamel) or even decay.
Maintenance of white teeth with Whitening Toothpaste
If you managed to get the white smile you longed for, you would want to maintain your white teeth, especially if you invested a lot of time and money into whitening your teeth. Fortunately it is not difficult to maintain them if you follow these suggestions.
- Use a straw: If you drink cold drinks which may stain your teeth e.g. Cola drinks, I would suggest that you use a straw. That will minimize contact of the drink with your teeth and not only protect them from getting stained but also from the damage that the sugar and acids in the cool drink can cause.
- Rinse with water: If you can rinse your mouth with clean water after eating foods that are likely to stain your teeth or drink tea, coffee, red wine or cola it will minimize the risk of staining.
- Brush your teeth regularly: Brush regularly and thoroughly, preferable with an electric toothbrush to keep them as clean as possible. You can also use your special whitening toothpaste once or twice a week to help and maintain the nice white shade.
- Flossing and mouthwash: Staining often occur between the teeth as it is hard to reach when brushing. Regular flossing and mouthwash will help to keep these areas clean. You can even buy whitening floss and mouthwash.
Best Whitening Toothpastes
They make a great range to cater for everyone’s personal needs. At the same time, they take care to strengthen your teeth and reduce sensitivity.
- Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening : This is specially formulated to help protect against the effects of acid erosion. Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening helps to re-harden acid softened enamel and contains fluoride for cavity protection. It gently whitens tooth enamel. You should brush your teeth after each meal or at least twice a day, making sure to brush all sensitive areas.
- Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste: It is the no 1-selling toothpaste for sensitive teeth in the U.S. It eliminates stains to get your teeth whiter while relieving pain caused by sensitive teeth.
- Sensodyne Full Protection Plus Whitening Toothpaste: When using this toothpaste it relieves sensitive teeth by building a protective barrier that blocks the pain caused by triggers and keeps it from coming back. It prevents cavites and fights tatar build-up. At the same time it whitens your teeth.
- Sensodyne Tatar Control Plus Whitening Toothpaste: Specially formulated to relieve sensitivity and fighting tatar build-up.
Dark teeth requiring something stronger
Rembrandt Deeply White + Peroxide Fresh Mint Toothpaste
This is one of the most popular whitening toothpastes! Rembrandt Deeply White contains powerful ingredients that both whiten and protect your teeth. It contains Sondium Fluoride which is an anti-cavity agent that strengthens teeth. It also contains rapid-release peroxide that gently reacts chemically to remove discoloration from teeth. It removes discoloration on the surface of the teeth but also penetrates into tooth enamel to actually whiten underlying tooth structure. Peroxide does not abrade/wear away tooth enamel. They advise that you brush twice daily and be sure to reach all surface areas of your teeth.
Stained teeth (Smoke, tea, coffee etc.)
White Glo offers great whitening toothpastes for daily oral use and include micro-particles.
- Professional Choice Whitening Toothpaste: Rated most effective whitening Toothpaste by a leading consumer trial. This toothpaste was originally developed for models and actors and will help to restore your teeth’s radiant shine with regular use.
- Smoker Formula Whitening Toothpaste: Helps to reduce smokers breath and remove stains due to tobacco. The formula is developed to remove stains and the extra strength maintains fresh breath throughout the day.
- Coffee and Tea Drinkers Formula – Whitening Toothpaste: This extra strength whitening toothpaste targets stains on the tooth enamel caused by coffee and tea.
- 2 in 1 Whitening Toothpaste with Mouthwash: This has a whitening effect in a mouthwash base formula.
- Anti-Plaque Whitening Toothpaste: This formula contains Cetylpyridinium, specially developed to fight plaque for those prone to have problems such as bleeding gums and tooth decay. It both whitens teeth and removes discoloration.
- Herbal Whitening Toothpast: This is the natural way to whiten your teeth with a formula based on natural herbs and minerals. It doesn’t contain Peroxide or harsh chemicals.
My personal favorites
Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White
This is one of the best selling tooth whitening products on the market. Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White removes up to 90% of surface stains. It has unique Whitelock Technology that actually prevents new stains from froming, even in the microfine lines of your teeth. The combination of micro-cleansing of your teeth and a refreshing foaming action helps to make your smile whiter in a very short period of time. You can expect a shinier smile after only one brush. Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White contains fluoride to help prevent cavities.
Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste
Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste removes 80% of surface stains. It has dual-silica technology that helps to remove stains and also helps to prevent new stains from forming. It fights germs for 12 hours and therefore is excellent in preventing plaque and tatar build-up, cavities, gingivitis and bad breath!
This toothpaste removes surface stains and leaves your mouth refreshed. All flavors and ingredients are natural. Opalescence toothpaste is excellent to use after bleaching your teeth to keep your teeth white and bright. It’s available in two formulations: Opalescence PF (with potassium nitrate –to limit sensitivity and fluoride to strengthen enamel and help prevent cavities.) You can use this toothpaste multiple times per day.