How Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?

Woman using Sensodyne True White to whiten her sensitive teeth

If you’re looking for a whiter, brighter-looking smile but can’t afford the time or money for professional whitening treatments, you may consider using a whitening toothpaste. However, like many people, you might also be wondering if whitening toothpaste really works. The answer is yes – whitening toothpastes like Sensodyne True White help to remove surface stains to make your teeth appear whiter and brighter.i

There are lots of whitening toothpastes on offer, but they vary in their effectiveness. Knowing how whitening toothpastes work and what ingredients to look for will help you choose the right product for you.

Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?

Brushing your teeth with a whitening toothpaste twice daily can be an effective way to help your natural teeth appear whiter. Unlike whitening products that contain bleach, whitening toothpastes don’t try to change the color of your teeth. Instead, their abrasive ingredients help to scrub away surface stains and brighten your smile – working together with other ingredients that also aid stain removal.i, ii

Whitening toothpastes are often a better option than bleaching for anyone who experiences tooth sensitivity, as bleaching can cause sensitivity for a few days following use.iii

How Sensodyne True White Works

Sensodyne True White is specifically formulated for people with tooth sensitivity. With twice a day brushing, it helps to whiten teeth by gently lifting surface stains and creating a shield to help prevent new stains from forming – all while being gentle on the sensitive areas of your teeth.

Sensodyne True White Ingredients

The formulation of Sensodyne True White makes it an ideal way to whiten sensitive teeth. Its main ingredients work together to help whiten your teeth gently while protecting against the pain caused by sensitive teeth and helping to strengthen enamel. Ingredients include:

Potassium nitrate

Sensodyne True White contains potassium nitrate to provide effective relief from the pain of sensitive teeth with twice daily brushing. Potassium nitrate is a desensitizing agent that penetrates the layer of dentin to calm the nerves inside your teeth. Its soothing action prevents these nerves from sending pain signals triggered by everyday things, such as a burst of cold air or hot coffee, to your brain.iv

Pentasodium tripolyphosphate (STP)

Pentasodium tripholyphospate (STP) is a cleansing agent that helps to remove stains. It helps whiten teeth chemically, gently lifting surface stains and preventing new ones from forming.v

Sodium fluoride

Sodium fluoride is one of the best-known and most widely tested ways to prevent tooth decay and keep teeth strong and healthy. A key ingredient in Sensodyne True White and many Sensodyne toothpastes, fluoride works by strengthening tooth enamel. It can also help to remineralize tooth enamel in the early stages of decay.iv

Tips for Keeping Teeth White

Whitening toothpaste can help to lighten your teeth, but you’ll need to continue your efforts in order to keep them white. Follow these simple tips to help maintain your brighter, whiter smile.

  • Where possible, try to avoid drinking beverages like red wine, coffee and tea. These are all high in color pigments called ‘chromogens’, which can attach to your tooth enamel and cause staining.vi
  • Drink sodas through a paper straw to avoid contact with teeth. Fizzy drinks can lead to acid erosion that can thin the tooth enamel, exposing the yellow dentin beneath.vii
  • Don’t smoke. Not only is it bad for your health, but the tar and nicotine in tobacco can also cause stubborn yellow or dark stains to form on your teeth.viii
  • Follow a good oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes, and floss at least once daily to remove plaque.
  • Use Sensodyne True White daily to help remove surface stains for whiter teeth.
  • Pay regular visits to your dentist or dental hygienist, who can remove surface stains with professional cleaning and polishing.

SOURCES

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  1. Whitening. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening. Accessed 10/03/20.
  2. Whitening Toothpastes. Journal of the American Dental Association. https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(14)63664-3/fulltext. Accessed 10/03/20.
  3. Whitening. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/whitening. Accessed 10/03/20.
  4. Toothpastes. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes/. Accessed 10/03/20.
  5. Effect of Sodium Tripolyphosphate on Polished and Roughened Bovine Enamel. HSOA Journal of Internal Medicine and Primary HealthCare. http://www.heraldopenaccess.us/article_pdf/41/effect-of-sodium-tripolyphosphate-on-polished-and-roughened-bovine-enamel.pdf. Accessed 10/03/20.
  6. Whitening. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening. Accessed 18/02/21.
  7. Dietary Acids and Your Teeth. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/dietary-acids-and-your-teeth. Accessed 10/03/20.