I bought a sonic toothbrush and whitening toothpaste. I’ve used both for three months, but I don’t see any difference. The toothpaste instructions say to leave the paste on my teeth for at least a minute, but I leave it on for five minutes, and it still doesn’t help. I was trying to get an easy smile makeover, but this isn’t doing it. Will leaving the toothpaste on any longer help? Thank you. Brandon from Idaho Falls
Thank you for your question.
Does Leaving Toothpaste on Your Teeth Help Whiten Them?
Whitening toothpaste may remove surface stains but leaving the paste on longer will not get your teeth whiter. Some whitening toothpaste is abrasive and scratches tooth enamel. Professional teeth bleaching gel contains carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or both. Carbamide and hydrogen peroxide penetrate tooth enamel to break down embedded stains that whitening toothpaste will not budge.
Whiten Your Teeth with Caution
Even if you whiten your teeth with bleaching gel, ensure you know the cause of the discoloration. Teeth stains from coffee, tea, or smoking will break down readily; however, stains from medications or certain medical conditions will look worse if you bleach your teeth.
Getting Safe, Predictable Teeth Whitening
Safe, predictable teeth whitening is dentist-supervised. The American Dental Association recommends talking to your dentist before whitening your teeth to assess the risks accurately. A dentist will examine your teeth before recommending whitening. The findings may reveal that dental bonding or porcelain veneers are safer and healthier for your teeth than bleaching them.
A dentist will take these steps:
- Determine the cause of staining
- Make custom bleaching trays that fit your teeth precisely
- Anticipate whether your gums or teeth might be sensitive to the bleaching gel
- Recommend an appropriate strength of gel based on the condition of your teeth, sensitivity, and your whitening goals
Although whitening toothpaste and do-it-yourself kits are less expensive than treatment from a dentist, you can get dramatic results with professional whitening. Ask your dentist about teeth whitening and how to make treatment affordable. Professional whitening can give you a quick smile makeover or be the first stage of completely transforming your smile. Request a consultation with a cosmetic dentist.
Baton Rouge cosmetic dentist Dr. Steven Brooksher sponsors this post.