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Who wouldn’t want radiantly white teeth? Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with them. So-called whitening toothpastes like charcoal toothpaste promise whiter teeth. In this article we address the questions: How does whitening toothpaste work and what results can you expect from it?
A whitening toothpaste restores the natural whiteness of teeth with the help of various ingredients. Contrary to popular belief, such a toothpaste does not make teeth even whiter.
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Whitening toothpastes contain various microparticles which are said to make teeth whiter. The microparticles in different whitening toothpastes make it easier to remove yellow deposits. These microparticles help to break the adhesion of the yellow deposit on the enamel, which makes it easier to polish off. There are different types of whitening toothpastes on the market, which all work in a different way. Read more about the best toothpaste for whiter teeth here.
Whitening toothpastes often have additional abrasives added to them. You will recognise this by the mention of substances such as sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, phosphates, polyethene, silicates etc.
Yellow tarnish on the tooth surface, caused for example by red wine or coffee, can be removed with this. This gives the appearance of whitening, but in fact only the yellow deposit is removed and the teeth are as white as they were before the deposit appeared. The colour of your teeth is primarily determined by the colour of the dentine. Dentine lies beneath the enamel. Toothpaste can never reach the dentine.
If a whitening toothpaste with abrasives is used too much, the enamel can become thinner. Eventually your teeth will become darker instead of lighter. Therefore, use this type of toothpaste only occasionally, never daily. A good whitening toothpaste should preferably contain no abrasives.
Active oxygen can help reduce discolouration or stains. You can compare it to hydrogen peroxide in a professional bleaching treatment. The active oxygen content of whitening toothpastes is so low (less than 0.1%) that it is safe enough for short-term whitening. It does not produce a lasting effect. To really change the colour of teeth, a reasonably high level of active oxygen is required. Only dentists are allowed to provide this.
When a whitening toothpaste contains blue covarin (also called blue active foam), it puts a blue layer, as it were, over your teeth. This makes your teeth optically whiter. Ultimately, the colour of your teeth remains unchanged.
Natural whitening toothpastes contain herbal and plant extracts and oils rather than chemicals. Think of a toothpaste with active charcoal. Again, superficial discolouration of the tooth surface can be reduced and removed, but nothing will change to the original colour of the teeth (i.e. before the discolouration occurred).
A whitening toothpaste in many cases removes discolouration on the teeth, making them at least appear whiter than they were before. Tooth discolouration cannot be prevented, but it can always be polished away
Frequently asked questions
How does a whitening toothpaste work?
Various substances in the form of micro-particles are added to whitening toothpastes, which are supposed to result in whiter teeth. The microparticles in the various whitening toothpastes make it easier to remove yellow deposits.
Does whitening toothpaste make your teeth whiter?
A whitening toothpaste restores the natural whiteness of teeth with the help of various ingredients. Contrary to popular belief, such a toothpaste does not make teeth whiter. But it does provide a whiter look because the yellow, black and brown discolouration is lightly abraded.
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