Which toothpaste whitens best?

Written by sabrina ashley
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Which toothpaste whitens best?
Whitening toothpaste is both affordable and effective for a shiny, pearly white smile. (Christopher Robbins/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Teeth whitening products have become a huge industry as more and more people want bright, white teeth. There are a few ways to get whiter teeth. The most expensive is having your teeth bleached at a dentist's office. While there are whitening kits that include a paste you paint on each tooth and overnight whitening strips, one of cheapest ways to get whiter teeth is to use a tooth-whitening toothpaste.

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Types

"Consumer Reports" magazine notes that teeth-whitening toothpastes are really stain removers rather than products that lighten the colour of the teeth. One type of toothpaste controls tartar, which is the hardened mineral deposits that comes from food debris and bacteria. These toothpastes remove the brown and yellow stains caused by tartar. Many tooth-whitening toothpastes contain hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent.

Function

Toothpaste can remove minor stains on the teeth due to its abrasive quality. Some toothpastes are more abrasive, and so are able to remove more of the stains. Still other toothpastes contain hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent. The amount of hydrogen peroxide in the toothpaste also affects how much the teeth are whitened. Hydrogen peroxide in toothpastes ranges from 10 to 22 per cent. Use whitening toothpastes the same way you use any toothbrush--put the toothpaste on the brush and brush for about 2 minutes.

Prevention/Solution

In comprehensive comparison testing of dozens of toothpastes, Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening is considered the top whitening toothpaste. This inexpensive toothpaste is excellent at removing stains. Ultra Brite has fluoride to help protect against cavities. It also has a tartar-controlling agent. Two other toothpastes that do a very good job of removing stains are Colgate Max Fresh and Colgate Luminous, both of which are more expensive than Ultra Brite. Both these toothpastes also contain fluoride. Colgate-Palmolive manufactures all three of these whitening toothpastes.

Benefits

One of the benefits of whiter teeth is the possibility of better self-esteem. Once unattractive stains are removed from the teeth, people feel better about themselves and are more willing to smile. People can feel better about their overall appearance if they are not hiding their teeth or ashamed of the colour of the teeth. Another advantage is the added ingredients that help with oral hygiene. Teeth-whitening toothpastes don't just whiten teeth--they also help keep teeth and gums clean and the breath fresh.

Considerations

According to WebMD, "Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth's colour by about one shade." The whitening techniques used in the dentist's office can lighten teeth up to eight shades. Therefore, teeth-whitening toothpastes are good for a mild whitening effect.

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