First impressions are important, and your smile says a lot about you. As well as making you appear more attractive to others, your smile also makes you feel better about yourself.

However, if your teeth are discolored, you certainly won’t feel happy about showing them off with a beaming grin. That’s when many people turn to teeth whitening toothpastes in a bid to get back their winning smile.

But do these products really work or is professional dental attention the only answer? Let’s find out with the help of Lancaster Dental, your Kitchener dentist…

Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes are designed to minimize wear on tooth enamel while optimizing cleaning. They remove surface blemishes such as those caused by smoking, sodas or coffee. But they can’t lighten deeper stains or change the natural colour of your teeth.

These toothpastes consist of abrasives to gently polish the teeth, and chemicals to break down stains. These components include calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxide and magnesium carbonate.

Whitening toothpastes usually take up to six weeks to produce visible effects, although a brand containing hydrogen peroxide to bleach teeth will work faster.

Some whitening toothpastes contain a chemical called blue covarine, which sticks to the teeth to make them instantly seem less yellow, although the effects don’t last as long as other teeth-whitening methods.

Bleaching Agents

Alternatives to whitening toothpaste are available to treat stains that go deeper than the tooth surface.

Over-the-counter teeth-bleaching products such as strips and gels remain in contact with the teeth longer than toothpaste and are therefore more effective.

No whitening or bleaching agent is without risk. They can result in minor irritation of gums and other areas of the mouth. Increased tooth sensitivity may be another issue.

There is also a danger that the abrasives in teeth whitening products might erode the enamel, exposing the underlying dentin, which is often discoloured.

If you’re considering using a whitening toothpaste or at-home bleaching agent, look for a brand approved by the Canadian Dental Association, which validates oral health products.

Professional Treatments

The best way to get your teeth sparkling white and healthy is by seeking professional treatment. Products available to your dentist contain stronger bleaching agents than you can buy over the counter, and so produce better results. Your dentist will also take measures to protect your gums from irritation during treatment.

A dental teeth whitening treatment generally takes less than one hour and produces the same results as weeks of repeat applications of messy, over-the-counter teeth whitening products.

Ask Lancaster Dental, your Kitchener dentist, about professional bleaching and other alternatives to whitening toothpaste and over-the-counter bleaching products. Zoom Teeth Whitening is a new, quick, risk-free dental procedure that’s becoming increasingly popular with Lancaster Dental patients because of its immediate results in lightening discoloration of enamel and dentin to achieve remarkable results.

If you need further advice on teeth whitening or dental hygiene in general, contact Lancaster Dental or visit our Tooth Whitening Page.