Whitening toothpastes are intended to be a gentle method of whitening teeth. With very low concentrations of whitening chemicals, these toothpastes are made to avoid damage to enamel and dentin that often accompanies harsher bleaching treatments.
Is It safe to use whitening toothpaste every day? Whitening toothpastes are safe for daily use as long as you follow usage instructions.
Because of the peroxides and abrasives that are commonly used, you may begin to experience sensitive teeth and gums if you brush your teeth with whitening toothpastes more often than recommended.
Whitening toothpastes typically use at least one of two ingredients to brighten your teeth. Abrasives are a major ingredient in most formulas. These are rough, scratchy particles that are non-reactive and not dangerous to ingest – silica is the most common. These little particles add a rough texture to your toothpaste, and help scrub away surface stains. With these, you might start to have sensitivity due to wearing away the surface layer of enamel. If your whitening toothpaste uses hard abrasives, avoid using it after consuming acidic foods which may soften your enamel.
Peroxides are also commonly used in whitening toothpastes. These cleaning agents may be used in whitening products to remove stains from the surface of your teeth. These chemicals are safe in small amounts, but frequent use may begin to soften your tooth’s surface.
Avoiding Sensitivity With Long-Term Whitening Toothpaste
To help with any sensitivity caused by whitening toothpaste, pay attention to the ingredients.
Certain enzymes have also grown in popularity in whitening toothpastes. Papain – a papaya extract – is one such enzyme. It is reported to have healing and anti-inflammatory properties which make it particularly useful for sensitive teeth. In addition, enzymes break down stains and plaque without damaging or softening dental tissue since they are not acidic.
Fluorides are very common in most formulas, as well as for improving dental health. Not all fluorides are the same however, with stannous or titanium fluorides being better for sensitivity than sodium fluoride. For particularly sensitive teeth, you may find it necessary to ask your doctor about fluoridation options.
Because most whitening toothpastes contain these ingredients are in varying amounts, you may need to experiment a bit to find one that works for you. Check out our top picks for more information, as well as a good starting point.
How Often Should You Use Whitening Toothpaste?
This will depend on the specific brand of toothpaste that you use, but it’s typically recommended that you limit your use of whitening toothpastes a few times a week – 2 to 4 times as a general guideline.
Does Whitening Damage Teeth?
Not on their own. Teeth are among the hardest and strongest bones in the body. Whitening may cause an increase in sensitivity, due to removing minerals and making teeth more porous as a side-effect. Acidic foods and drinks may add to this, making teeth more likely to chip or break. Make sure to practice good hygiene by brushing and flossing twice a day!