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Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm

Tuesday -Thursday
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Monday 9:00am - 5:00pm

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Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


Whitening Toothpaste or Not?

Whitening Toothpaste or Not?

Dental Services Mount Pleasant MIWhen you hit the toothpaste aisle at Meijer’s, what used to be so simple is now daunting. Before you stands an impressive assortment of every conceivable toothpaste. There are toothpastes that tout an assortment of toothy benefits: breath freshening, enamel boosting, whitening, fluoride filled, and just about everything short of saying they will massage your tongue.

What’s a poor buyer to do when confronted with this plethora of possibility? It can make you long for the days when your choices were regular Crest or Colgate, and that was about it!

One of the many options you’ll see in modern toothpastes is “teeth whitening.” Everyone knows you can have this done professionally or you can do it at home with Crest White Strips and other options. The question is, does whitening toothpaste actually do anything, or is this marketing mumbo jumbo?

Since Dr. Egger deals with the diligence, or often the lack thereof, of home hygiene, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and see if whitening toothpaste actually whitens your teeth.

Not exactly dramatic

Whitening toothpastes focus on surface stains on your teeth, such as those caused by drinking coffee or red wine. These stains are on the outermost surface of your tooth enamel. Whitening toothpastes can break down these stains, although not with instantly dramatic results. This is partly because what can be in these toothpastes.

Unlike teeth whitening options, whitening toothpastes do not contain peroxide. This is the ingredient that gives teeth whitening programs their real power to whiten teeth. Instead, whitening toothpastes use special abrasives that gently polish the teeth, along with other chemicals that help break down stains.

There is a fine line here — too much abrasion and the tooth enamel can be worn down. That’s why whitening toothpastes can only whiten so much. Without peroxide, they must remove stains by gently scrubbing off the stains. If you think about abrasives, think of what we use when we polish your teeth at Dr. Egger’s during your regular cleanings. That stuff is pretty gritty and it seriously scrubs away some surface stains. But because you only have that done twice a year, it’s fine. You couldn’t brush your teeth every day with that kind of grit.

Some whitening toothpastes contain the chemical blue covarine. This adheres to the surface of the teeth and creates an optical illusion that can make teeth appear less yellow. Dr. Egger is not a fan of these types of whitening toothpastes.

Instead, Dr. Egger believes you can get moderate whitening with a whitening toothpaste that simply attacks stains. Be sure to look for approval by the American Dental Association, however.

So, don’t be perplexed by the overabundance of toothpaste options at the store. Go ahead and get the whitening option, if you choose. And then be sure to schedule your next professional cleaning and exam with Dr. Egger at  (989) 773-3560.