Dr Mani Rohela, dentist at A J Dental, explains why we don’t need to put up with unattractive teeth.
One of the more common ‘specialist’ toothpastes that we see advertised on TV these days is for teeth whitening. We will come back to this product a little later on, but for now it is safe to say that the reason they are so widely advertised is that this is something that many people want to achieve.
Tooth discolouration can happen for a number of reasons. External factors that contribute to staining the teeth include smoking, red wine and tea consumption (due to the tannin in them), and many other products that we regularly eat also have a discolouring effect.
Even without these food and drink products though, our teeth will gradually darken as we get older. This is largely due to the dentin layer, the one beneath the enamel, growing darker as we age. Anyone who has thinner enamel on their teeth will also find that this shows through more.
Do teeth whitening toothpastes work?
It might seem that using a teeth whitening toothpaste is a sensible approach to achieving whiter teeth. The reality is a little more complicated though. If we have surface staining on the enamel, any toothpaste should remove at least some of this. This is largely done through the abrasive contact between the bristles of the brush and the tooth enamel.
Some toothpastes that claim to whiten teeth do so by including additional abrasive elements and an example of this is charcoal toothpaste. This may help to remove some of the surface staining on the teeth, but it also risks eroding the enamel much faster. When this happens, we might not only find that our teeth become more sensitive, but are also at a higher risk of tooth decay due to there being less protective enamel on our teeth.
Unfortunately, this ‘abrasive’ approach will do nothing to lighten the inner part of the tooth and this can only be achieved through a bleaching type process. The professional teeth whitening procedure that we offer here at our Woking practice will do just that, safely and effectively. Whilst teeth whitening toothpastes may claim to whiten teeth in a similar way, there is a very important distinction between them.