4 Pros and Cons of Whitening Toothpaste

Everyone wants a beautifully white smile, but food, age, and many other factors cause teeth to become yellow, brown, or just dull. Luckily, you can find a ton of ways to whiten your teeth. One of the easiest ways is to use whitening toothpaste. Many Americans choose whitening toothpaste to keep their smile looking great, but is it really the right choice for you?

If you want a healthy white smile, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of whitening toothpaste. Keep reading to learn more and determine if whitening toothpaste is right for you.


  1. Pro: It’s Perfect for Organic Stains

Drinking soda, red wine, and coffee (as well as eating some foods such as berries) can slowly stain teeth overtime. These are considered organic stains because they are caused by organic substances. These types of stains may also be referred to as extrinsic stains. Because these stains are on the outside of the enamel, whitening toothpaste may help reduce the appearance of stains between cleanings.

  1. Con: It’s not Effective Against Major Stains

Whitening toothpaste is not a good choice to treat major stains. Inorganic stains or intrinsic stains are stains that develop on the inside of the tooth. One common example of an inorganic stain is trauma to the tooth. The dentin (the layer under the enamel) may begin to darken, making the tooth look dark. Whitening toothpaste is not effective for these types of stains.

Whitening toothpaste is best used as a way to maintain a white smile after whitening or before stains appear. This is because unlike professional whitening, whitening toothpaste does not contain a sufficient amount of whitening chemicals. Instead, the toothpaste works like regular toothpaste: scrubbing away small surface stains.

Unlike regular toothpaste, however, it is more abrasive to better rub away stains. If you have intrinsic stains, whitening toothpaste is not going to work, but professional whitening may be able to help. Lastly, whitening toothpaste will not change the natural color of your teeth.

  1. Pro: It’s a Cheap and Easy Option

One of the biggest advantages of whitening toothpaste is the price. You can get whitening toothpaste for about the same as regular toothpaste. Of course, different brands will have different strengths, so you may want to play around before you find the perfect toothpaste for you. Professional whitening can cost up to $500.00 for-in office treatments, but take-home trays are a less expensive alternative.

Whitening toothpaste is also easy to acquire and use. You can simply buy it at any grocery store, and you just use it like regular toothpaste. You do not have to sit for dental molds to fabricate custom whitening trays. You also do not have to worry about sticky gels or strips on your teeth.

  1. Con:  It Can Scratch Enamel

The main drawback of whitening toothpaste is that it may reduce your enamel. Brushing too hard alone can scratch enamel, but if you use abrasive toothpaste, it increases the risk of scratches even when you brush gently. If the enamel gets scratched, more stains may appear, and the risk of decay increases.

When you use whitening toothpaste, make sure you do not brush too hard. Let the natural abrasives in the toothpaste do the work. Make sure you never use whitening toothpaste right after vomiting or ingesting anything acidic. Acid softens the enamel, which makes it easier to scratch with abrasive whitening toothpaste.

Whitening toothpaste is not an alternative for professional whitening services, but it can prevent some stains or keep the teeth whiter for longer. Since the toothpaste is abrasive, it may not be a good choice for those with weak enamel or gingival recession. For more information about tooth whitening services and products, contact us at Silverstone Family Dental today.