Be careful of falling for false product claims and remember that certain products can be harmful.
This article will dispel many of the myths about teeth whitening.
Everyone Can Have Pearly White Teeth
Sorry, but genetics play a tremendous role in how white your teeth will get. That doesn’t mean you cannot brighten them up with professional whitening/bleaching treatments, using gel strips or investing in a good toothbrush.
Just don’t be surprised if you aren’t able to get your teeth as white as someone else’s.
As you may have read on this site’s homepage, redheads often have a thinner ectoderm layer. This exposes their dentin and can make their teeth appear more yellow or gray. On the flip side, some people have naturally whiter teeth that are easier to keep bright.
The Harder I Brush, The Better.
Brushing too hard (especially with electronic toothbrushes) can scrape your enamel. That’s a sure way to ruin your teeth. Enamel is important because if healthy, your teeth will look whiter and it protects your teeth.
Whitening Toothpaste is 100% Safe
Be careful with the whitening toothpastes that have crystals. Sometimes they can be too tough on the enamel.
Actually, many whitening toothpastes can be damaging if you use them too much. And now that my teeth are about as white as they are going to get, I don’t use a whitening toothpaste all the time.
Let me explain…
There are silica-like substances in whitening toothpastes — not to mention peroxide. Many dentists are concerned that over time, these products can eat away at the enamel.
So I alternate between whitening and non-whitening toothpastes because I don’t want to overdo it.
And if you think about it, over-the-counter whitening products are still relatively new (15-20 years). So we don’t really know the long-term effects of using these products day after day. That’s why I am very conscious of how many whitening products I use.
Yes, I do the gel strip application, but I don’t use them more than once a year (sometimes I go as long as 18 months). Plus, I get dental X-rays yearly to ensure my enamel is healthy.
Also, the FDA rates the abrasiveness of toothpaste by measuring the RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity). They recommend using toothpaste with an RDA below 200.
0-70 is considered low abrasive
71-100 is considered medium abrasive
101-150 is highly abrasive
151-250 can be considered harmful
You can actually check your toothpaste packaging to view its RDA. Not all will list it, but many of them do. Here are the RDA values for some of the popular toothpaste brands.
TOOTHPASTE ABRASIVENESS CHART
|Brushing with water||
|Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive||
|Arm & Hammer Dental Care||
|Crest Extra Whitening||
|Colgate Tartar Control||
|Colgate 2-in-1 Tarter Control/White||
As you can see, the whitening toothpastes have a higher RDA than the non-whitening ones.
Also, if you have braces, you should stay away from whitening toothpastes and products. They can loosen the cement that is used to hold the braces on your teeth and you don’t want to whiten your teeth unevenly and end up with yellowish squares when the braces are removed.
If you must use a whitening toothpaste, use one with fluoride to help protect your enamel.
Here’s a video where I discuss this in greater detail.
Baking Soda Significantly Whitens Teeth
Results seem to vary from person to person.
I believe baking soda may have some impact with removing some mild stains, but if you really want to whiten your teeth you should invest in a better toothbrush, get a professional whitening treatment or try gel whitestrips.
If your teeth are really yellow, then baking soda may not have as much of an impact.
Whitening Mouthwashes/Rinses Work
While mouthwashes can be great for reaching areas your toothbrush can’t, I’m not convinced they do a whole lot for making your teeth more white.
The main reason is they contain a much lower concentration of the whitening ingredients.
So they may help you maintain your teeth brightness, but don’t expect significant improvements in your teeth color. For example, mouthwash alone is not going to help your teeth go from yellow to white.
I Should Brush Immediately After Eating
No. If you’re are eating foods with acid, sugar, etc. you run the risk of brushing that right into your enamel. If you want to prevent stains, swish some water in your mouth and wait at least 30 minutes.
Great Articles About Teeth Whitening Warnings
Is DIY Teeth Whitening Safe?
A great article that helps you set realistic expectations.
Crest Addresses Dangers of Teeth Whitening
In a nutshell, teeth whitening is pretty safe. Just make sure you check in with your dentist.