Question: Do Whitening toothpastes, rinses, flosses, and chewing gums actually work?
Answer: Over-the-counter whitening products such as the whitening toothpastes, rinses, flosses and whitening chewing gums are relatively ineffective at best, and some of these whitening pastes actually cause damage to the enamel. Brushing with whitening toothpaste removes the extrinsic stains by mechanical means; little to no change in color actually takes place. The ‘Whitening’ is deceiving on these products because if it rubs off a little extrinsic stain, does that mean the teeth have been whitened? You need a bleaching agent such as carbamide peroxide, or hydrogen peroxide, in order to intrinsically whiten the teeth. These agents must remain in contact with the enamel for a certain period of time in order to be effective. Even toothpastes that claim to have these agents are not very effective, because they have a mild concentration of peroxide and they are not in contact for long enough duration to make any difference.
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