In the past, dentists sometimes advised against using a whitening toothpaste because it would be an abrasive. It would polish away your enamel, or at least make it rough so that dyes and dirt could easily adhere to it. Is whitening toothpaste really bad for your teeth? And will it make your teeth whiter, temporarily or otherwise?
Is whitening toothpaste bad for your teeth?
No, whitening toothpaste is not bad for your teeth. There are slightly more abrasives in it than regular toothpastes, but they really can’t break or roughen your enamel. They do effectively brush the dirt off your teeth. In addition, there are substances in this type of toothpaste that make it harder for dirt to adhere to your teeth. So, your teeth just get really, really clean with a whitening toothpaste.
The color of your teeth is determined by your dentin and the layer of enamel over it.
Does a whitening toothpaste make your teeth whiter?
According to studies on the effect of whitening toothpastes, they do not make your teeth whiter, if at all. Because of the term “whitening,” you might think that a whitening toothpaste has a whitening effect. This is not true. The color of your teeth is determined by your dentin and the layer of enamel over it. So if you have yellow teeth then this is determined by the color of your dentin. A whitening toothpaste does not have a whitening effect. What it does do is attack and prevent the dirt that adheres to your teeth. Some toothpastes also contain some blue dye, which makes your teeth appear optically whiter. This is a temporary effect.
The dentist’s opinion
The Royal Dutch Society for the Advancement of Dentistry does not advise against, but neither does it recommend the use of whitening toothpastes. An ordinary good toothpaste will clean your teeth just fine. You may use it if you like, but it’s probably not worth the money.