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Do Teeth Whitening Toothpastes Actually Work?

Toothpaste is big business. Standing in the supermarket aisle you are confronted by an overwhelming selection of products with varying prices, all claiming to have some benefit over the others. In the UK it’s estimated that consumers spend £100 million on whitening toothpastes each year.

That’s a lot of money… but do these products actually work?

Last month someone approached us on Twitter asking if we recommended any tooth whitening toothpastes.

Our answer was a resounding ‘no’ and the reason is this: many of these toothpastes are abrasive and can be harmful to your tooth enamel.

This isn’t the case for all whitening toothpastes on the market but it’s a risk that many people are not aware of.

There are many reasons why a patient may want whiter teeth. Smoking, red wine, tea and coffee can all contribute to stained enamel.

Many whitening toothpastes have a consistency that is intended to actually rub away the stains on your enamel and this can, over time, cause damage to both the enamel and the gums.

Instead of whitening your teeth you may actually be scrubbing away your enamel and leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay.

Additionally, the discolouration of teeth that happens as we age is at the dentine which is the main part of the tooth, not at the enamel. These toothpastes don’t help to whiten this part of the tooth!

Keep on brushing!

Many people see regularly brushing their teeth as a way of whitening their stained and discoloured teeth – don’t let the above information put you off. We’ve said it before and we will say it again: keep on brushing your teeth. It’s so important for your oral health.

Our advice remains the same: brush your teeth with toothpaste twice a day for two minutes. Both stains and decay may get worse if not and you’ll be at a high risk of gum disease.

Instead of focusing on whitening toothpastes, a much more important ingredient to a good toothpaste is fluoride which helps prevent tooth decay.

I want whiter teeth – what should I do?

We understand the appeal of a cheap, quick fix but for whiter teeth the best option is always to speak to your dentist. In the UK only qualified dentists can legally provide teeth whitening treatments. Beauticians who offer whitening services are operating outside of the law and often use dangerous products. Don’t settle for an illegal and unsafe treatment – you could end up with your teeth being badly damaged!

If you are unhappy with the colour of your teeth talk to a dentist. At Redmires Dental Care we offer safe teeth whitening services and would be happy to give you quality advice. Find out more about our teeth whitening services or get in touch with us to begin the conversation about what will work for your teeth.


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A very caring and conscientious dentist, and cooperative and helpful staff. They provide a relaxed atmosphere, are reliable, friendly, and punctual!

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