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Does whitening toothpaste actually whiten teeth?

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Whitening toothpaste can whiten teeth slightly by removing surface stains, such as those caused by drinking coffee or smoking. Whitening toothpaste can also be used after a bleaching treatment to help maintain results. However, whitening toothpaste can't change the natural color of teeth or reverse discoloration caused by excessive exposure to fluoride during tooth development, penetrating surface stains or decay. To remove surface stains, whitening toothpaste may include: • Special abrasives that gently polish the teeth • Chemicals, such as sodium tripolyphosphate, that help break down or dissolve stains When used twice a day, whitening toothpaste typically takes two to four weeks to make teeth whiter. However, new research shows that whitening toothpaste containing the chemical blue covarine can make teeth appear immediately whiter. After use, blue covarine adheres to the surface of the teeth and creates an optical illusion that makes teeth appear less yellow. Whitening toothpaste ... more
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