Peter Ngai, DMD and Penny L. Phipps, DDS
6 McBride and Son Center | Chesterfield, Missouri 63005

Will whitening toothpaste and mouthwash actually whiten my teeth?

While whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes can be used to maintain the brightness of your teeth after a professional teeth whitening treatment and can slightly improve the appearance of some teeth by removing stains from coffee, tea, wine, or tobacco, they are not an effective whitening treatment.

Whitening toothpastes contain abrasives and polishes to remove surface stains. Whitening mouthwash and some toothpastes also contain enzymes to help make teeth more stain resistant, but they do not actually contain any bleaching agents. These polishes and chemicals are not strong enough to penetrate deep stains or reverse natural discoloration from age or genetics.

If you only have surface staining from smoking or food and drink, whitening toothpaste may improve the appearance of your teeth slightly by removing or minimizing these surface stains. Expect it to take at least four to six weeks or longer for any improvement in the appearance of your teeth. Using whitening toothpaste for an extended period is not recommended, as the abrasives can actually damage your enamel over time.

If you want faster, safer, and more reliable results or your teeth are discolored from age, medication, flouride, or deep staining, whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes won't be an effective choice. Call your Elk Grove, CA dentists Dr. Phipps and Dr. Ngai to schedule an appointment for professional teeth whitening.