Do Whitening Toothpastes Make Teeth Yellow?

By: John Morris

When toothpastes first came about, they were simply tasked to just clean the teeth - probably just to wash out tonight's dinner. As time went by and with the innovations in science and technology, toothpastes are now seen with a different face. Toothpastes are now manufactured to cater solutions to many of the different dental problems that people face. Aside from that, toothpastes are now diversified not only in function, but also in packaging, appearance and flavor. One can also choose between a gel or paste consistency toothpaste or by which flavor they fancy: spearmint perhaps or maybe wintergreen. With so many kinds of toothpastes, how does the consumer find out which is ultimately the best for him?

Everything you ever wanted to know about flouride, and some things you didn't

- Fluoride-containing toothpastes actually strengthen teeth and were shown to prevent the formation of cavities.
- Fluoride acts by incorporating itself on the enamel of the teeth thereby making them resistant to the bacteria and everyday food and drink
- Fluoride might as well be considered as the most important ingredient inside a tube of toothpaste.
- Ingesting too much fluorine can lead to discoloration of the permanent teeth.

Toothpastes contain abrasives which give them their cleaning power. Abrasives remove teeth stains and plaque and also polish the teeth. Unfortunately, some brands of toothpaste are too abrasive and damage the enamel of the teeth. Damaged tooth enamel is a cause of the yellowing of the teeth as the yellow dentin layer beneath the enamel is exposed. Excess abrasives in a toothpaste can also make the teeth sensitive to hot, cold and sweet food. It is advisable to choose a toothpaste which is minimally abrasive, or the one which is abrasive enough to remove plaque and teeth stains but not to strip out the teeth's enamel.

Aside from the fluoride-containing toothpastes, there are many other types out there in the market which offer solution to different dental problems. It is for the person to consult his family dentist to find out which type of toothpaste will best suit his needs. Some types of toothpastes are listed below:

1. Whitening Toothpaste

Contrary to popular belief, whitening toothpaste does not increase the whiteness of the teeth. What they do rather, is strip out the stains clinging on the teeth thereby making the natural whiteness of the teeth more apparent. Whitening toothpastes, however, contain harsh abrasives. These toothpastes strip the enamel of the teeth over time, leaving the inner yellow dentin layer to show through. This results to having yellow teeth instead of white and making them sensitive as well in the process. It is recommended that one use a whitening toothpaste which does not contain harsh abrasives but uses gentler methods for removing teeth stains.

2. Mouth Sore (Canker Sore) Toothpaste

Mouth sore toothpastes are free from SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). SLS is a detergent found in toothpastes which promotes canker sores. Canker sores are small oral ulcers which nearly twenty percent of the population suffers from.

3. Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste

Tooth sensitivity occurs as temporary tooth discomfort after eating hot or cold foods or sweets. This occurs when the gums recede or when the tooth enamel is stripped away. These conditions leave the dentin layer exposed. The nerves in the dentin layer are triggered by pressure, hot stimuli and cold stimuli which cause pain and discomfort to the individual. Toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth contain potassium nitrate which desensitizes the nerves in the dentin layer so that they would not get easily stimulated.

4. Toothpastes for Gum Disease

There are several products in the market today which show to improve significantly the dental condition of those who suffer from bleeding gums caused by periodontal disease. These products, however, contain irritating SLS. Fortunately, there are some products now available on the market that prevent and ameliorate gum disease without using artificial and irritating ingredients such as SLS. Ask your dentist about them.

Finally, some degree of personal preference should also be considered. Choose a toothpaste which tastes and feels best. It is also wise to select a product approved by the American Dental Association. Although these products maybe safe and effective, their performance have not been evaluated or endorsed by the ADA.

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