Does teeth whitening tooth paste work?

If your hopes are to turn a yellow smile white and bright with teeth whitening tooth paste be prepared for disappointment because you should expect to see no more than 1 shade lighter. However if you already have a white smile and would simply like to maintain it you should be satisfied with the results.

So what’s the difference between the standard hygienic tooth paste and those marketed to whiten your smile? There are 2 main ingredients used in tooth whitening tooth paste: 1) carbamide peroxide or 2) sodium tripolyphospate with an added abrasive agent such as silica or calcium carbonate/dicalcium phosphate. Without the abrasive materials included the whitening results would be minimal if any change at all due to the fact that the whitening agents require 30-120 minutes to take full effect. The added abrasive agents help break down the stains and allow the carbamide peroxide or sodium tripolyphospate combat the stains. Even with the abrasive agents the results are still minimal because we only brush our teeth for a matter of a minute or two.

Dental professionals and clinical studies have difficulties distinguishing a difference between brushing with normal tooth paste and teeth whitening tooth paste; reason being is because the tooth brush without the abrasive additive causes enough abrasion to remove light stains.

Risk of using teeth whitening tooth paste

Even when brushing your teeth with standard non-whitening tooth paste we risk brushing too hard or frequent causing our enamel to wear down. Enamel cannot be replaced which means once gone our dentine is exposed which is NOT good. When we brush with the added abrasive materials found in teeth whitening tooth paste we are significantly more likely to wear down the tooth’s enamel; in fact in recent years dentist have been expressing concerns based on observation of patients reporting tooth sensitivity. When the dentist examines the patient, notices worn enamel, and ask a series of questions there is a high ratio of patients who report recently using whitening tooth paste.


Enamel can NOT be restored and the repercussions of losing your tooth enamel are significant pain and VERY costly dental procedures to protect the dentin; because of this the risk/reward is not justifiable. Instead it’s in your best interest to maintain your dental hygiene through standard routine brushing as well as using custom teeth whitening trays once or twice a month for 60-120 minutes at a time. To determine if you’re a candidate for teeth whitening click here. You can either purchase custom teeth whitening trays from your dentist or sells custom teeth whitening trays for a fraction of the price.

Erin Stelbrink

Erin Stelbrink is a Registered Dental Hygienist with 11+ years of experience as a licensed hygienist and oral health care professional. She holds a passion for researching and acquiring awareness of the latest technologies and methods for providing valuable health care service and clinical treatment. Have more questions? Email Erin at