Whitening trends and the effect the products have on your mouth
It seems like everywhere you turn you find a new product claiming to make your teeth whiter. With all the different whitening toothpastes, strips, and even scrubs, how are you supposed to know what is actually safe to use? Your first clue would be the seal of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). A couple of the more popular trends right now are charcoal toothpaste scrubs and a toothpaste called AP-24 by Nu Skin. While not much research has been done on these products because they have not been on the market for a long time, we do know that they do not have that ADA seal.
So how do these products actually whiten your smile? It’s important to know that whitening toothpastes don’t work by changing the color of your teeth. They contain abrasives that help to remove stain from the tooth surfaces. Even if they contain a bleaching agent, these agents require at least 30 minutes to work which is far longer than toothpaste sits on your teeth. If toothpaste contains a higher content of abrasive agents, there is a risk of erosion of the enamel layer. That enamel layer can never redevelop and sensitivity becomes a huge factor.
Other than sensitivity, one other complaint we have heard from users of AP-24 toothpaste is the appearance of multiple canker sores following use of the toothpaste. It is clear that cosmetic dentistry is important because we all want our smiles to look as amazing as possible, but should the products we use wreak havoc on our mouths in order to get whiter teeth? Our answer is a definite NO!
So what is the best way to whiten your teeth without causing harm? According to the ADA, brushing two times a day for two minutes (using whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance) and flossing one time a day is a great start. Steer clear of foods that can stain your pearly whites such as coffee and tea. Avoid smoking or using tobacco as well.
So before you begin any of the new whitening trends, contact us! We would be happy to discuss the best options for you. The health of your smile means everything to us.