Everybody wants a healthy smile, and these days more people than ever before are taking matters into their own hands. Teeth whitening has never been a more relevant or popular subject, both across the United Kingdom and all over the world. Which comes down to two things for the most part – an awareness that it is perfectly possible to whiten teeth, along with a seemingly endless array of products, kits and treatments available for getting the job done.
Technically speaking, there are just two options available when it comes to teeth whitening approaches.
The first of these is to book yourself in with a dental professional and have the treatment carried out by those who know exactly what they’re doing, using the best equipment and devices available. The advantage being that there is no approach to teeth whitening that can even come close to replicating the kinds of results the professionals are capable of. On the downside, you could be looking at a relatively high price for the pride of walking away with a gleaming white smile.
As for the second, the market is largely overflowing these days with so many different products, DIY treatments and accessories – all of which claim to be able to get the job done brilliantly. These range from simple strips to gel kits with mouth trays to pens to pastes to lasers and pretty much everything else you can think of. But what’s important to know when it comes to this particular approach to teeth whitening is that differences in performance from one product to the next can be enormous.
Not only this, but there are plenty of products out there that make the kinds of promises they simply cannot keep.
Prevention Vs Removal
Which is precisely where the small matter of whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes comes into the discussion. You know them, you’ve seen them and most major brands are producing plenty of them. Colgate, Aquafresh, Sensodyne, Crest and so on – there really isn’t a big-name brand on the market right now that doesn’t offer a wide range of whitening pastes and rinses. And while the vast majority are different from one another in terms of performance, price and their ‘exclusive’ formulas, there’s one thing pretty much all of them have in common:
They don’t work!
Or at least, they don’t deliver the kinds of results or performance that a lot of customers tend to expect.
The thing is, when it comes to whitening toothpaste and mouthwash, you need to be realistic with regard to your expectations. This is because in most instances, you could say that those producing and marketing such products are doing so in a manner that is somewhat misleading. For example, when you come across a toothpaste or mouthwash which simply claims to whiten teeth with on-going use, this is usually only a half-truth. The reason being that in the overwhelming majority of examples, such products are designed to help protect teeth from future stains and to get to work on minor surface stains only. They cannot and do not penetrate the surface of the teeth to get to those more important stains and discolouration, meaning they cannot and will not make a big difference all on their own.
It’s also the same case with those products that claim to be able to make teeth ‘one shade whiter’ within a week, or make similar claims to fame. In all such instances, you are only looking at products that have an effect on the surface of the teeth and are designed to help protect the teeth from future stains. In some instances, they may contain the kind of technology which leaves behind something of a film/coating, which works with the way light reflects off the teeth to create the illusion of whiteness. Whichever way you look at it, this doesn’t amount to actually whitening your teeth.
The simple fact of the matter is that everyday toothpastes and mouthwashes simply cannot utilise the same ingredients and formulas as powerful teeth whitening kits/treatments. If they did, they’d pretty much rip your mouth to shreds after a few uses! Everyday toothpaste and mouthwash have to be comparatively gentle, in order for them to be used every day. Which is precisely why expecting these kinds of products to have a remarkable impact on the whiteness of your teeth is to expect way too much.
That said however, such products should not be written off as without their own unique value and importance. Quite to the contrary in fact, as when used as part of a wider stain removal and prevention regime, many are clinically proven to make a big and noticeable difference.
As mentioned before, it’s simply a case of understanding that there is a key difference between whitening and stain prevention. Teeth whitening kits and professional treatments are designed to effectively whiten teeth by removing stains and discolouration. Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes by contrast are more about preventing stains from setting in and leading to discolouration. Or in other words, you really need to use these kinds of products in conjunction with one another, if you want your teeth to look whiter and stay whiter for longer.
You’ll find plenty of information about the best whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes on the market on our website. Or for more information on anything to do with oral health and hygiene in general, speak to your dentist or any other qualified healthcare professional.