What Ingredients Can Help You Whiten Your Teeth?

Posted on: 11 February 2018

Plaque, lifestyle choices, and foods and beverages can all cause tooth discoloration. If you aren't happy with your teeth shades, you may be wondering what you can do. Thankfully there are many effective ingredients out there that can help you get a whiter, uniform smile.

For Mild Discoloration, Use Toothpaste with Whitening Ingredients

If you have very mild staining, then you may be able to see good results by just changing your toothpaste brand. Look for a toothpaste that has fluoride as well as active whitening ingredients, such as aluminum oxide, calcium carbonate, and magnesium carbonate. While fluoride cannot whiten your teeth by itself, it does protect your teeth from bacteria that feed on sugar and starch debris, meaning that your enamel will be stronger and less likely to wear down from acids.

The whitening ingredients, like calcium carbonate, are mildly abrasive, so they don't wear don't your enamel, they wear down stains so that your teeth look whiter. Lastly, you may want to look for a toothpaste brand that contains the chemical blue covarine. Blue covarine doesn't eliminate stains, but since it has a blue tint to it, it can create an optical illusion that makes your teeth look less yellow. If you use a good whitening toothpaste, you should be able to see some improvements in about a few weeks to a month.

For Mottled White Spots, Try MI Paste

Even if your teeth aren't stained, the presence of mottled white spots — often from ingesting too much fluoride as a child — can make your teeth appear more yellow. To fix this problem, ask your dentist about MI paste. MI paste is able to lessen the appearance of white lesions or hypo-calcified enamel. MI paste contains the ingredients Amorphous Calcium Phosphate and Casein Phosphopeptide, both of which release minerals that can let your enamel remineralize and achieve a uniform color. However, since Casein is a milk-derived protein, you'll have to talk with your dentist about other options if you have a milk allergy.

For Deep Stains, Use Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide

Your dentist can use a peroxide for in-office whitening or for take-home trays. Both ingredients are effective, and one isn't better than the other. However, carbamide peroxide's results are more apparent sooner than hydrogen peroxide, but both ingredients produce the same white shades over time. If you take good care of your teeth with brushing and flossing, the whitening results of these ingredients can last many months or even up to three years!

Keep in mind that peroxide gels only work for stains on the enamel. As people age, their dentin — the yellow portion under the enamel — can sometimes show through, making the teeth more yellow. However, you'll have to look into veneers, dental bonding, or other cosmetic treatments to get rid of that kind of discoloration since whitening cannot penetrate dentin.

Talk with your dentist for more information on teeth whitening services.