Does Whitening Toothpaste Work? The Truth Revealed

Does Whitening Toothpaste Work? The Truth Revealed

A gleaming, pearly white smile is something that many of us dream of. In fact, our smile is often one of the first things people notice about us. 

But is it realistic to achieve this from your toothpaste alone?

In this article we will discuss whether or not you can achieve a dreamy white smile in the comfort of your own home, using, you guess it- toothpaste!

We’ll discuss what can cause stains in our teeth, how whitening toothpaste works, what ingredients to look out for, and how to choose the perfect toothpaste to help whiten your teeth gently yet effectively. 

Let's get into it!

Understanding Stains & Whitening

Before you decide on the best way to whiten your teeth, it is important to know what different kinds of stains your teeth can have, in order to know how to tackle them effectively. 

Surface Stains 

Surface stains are typically the most common kind of discoloration you will experience. Surface stains, as the name suggests, only affect the top layer of your teeth, called the enamel. 

Unfortunately, your enamel is easily stained by foods we eat, drinks we consume and other factors such as poor dental hygiene and tobacco smoking. 

The good news is that this type of stain is arguably the easiest to remove, leaving behind whiter teeth. This type of stain responds the best to whitening toothpastes that can buff away the top layer of staining to reveal whiter teeth.

Common Sources of Surface Stains 

One of the best ways to achieve white teeth is to avoid consuming drinks and foods that can easily result in surface stains. 

These include: 

  • Food and Beverages: Common sources include coffee, tea, red wine, cola, berries, and foods like curry, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar¬†
  • Tobacco: Both smoking and chewing tobacco can cause surface staining¬†
  • Poor Dental Hygiene: If you do not floss, or brush your teeth at least twice a day, it is likely that the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth can cause staining of the enamel¬†
  • Certain Medications: Some medications can result in surface staining as a side effect¬†
  • Grinding or Clenching Teeth: Habits such as grinding or clenching of teeth cab accuse small cracks on the surface of the enamel, making it easier for surface stains to accumulate¬†
  • Too much fluoride: Fluoride is a highly effective way to prevent cavities when used in appropriate amounts. However, individuals who were exposed to excessive levels of fluoride during childhood may develop a condition called fluorosis, which can cause white patches to appear on the tooth enamel.
  • Dental procedures and injuries: Sports-related injuries, automobile accidents, and falls can cause trauma that can lead to tooth discoloration. The use of certain dental materials such as silver amalgam in metal fillings may also give the appearance of grey teeth. Additionally, tooth discoloration can occur during root canal therapy in some cases.

Intrinsic Discoloration

Intrinsic discoloration is less common, but is much harder to treat in comparison to surface stains. 

Intrinsic stains occur in the deeper layer of the tooth called the dentin, which is found underneath the enamel. Because these stains occur deep in the tooth, it is much more difficult to whiten. 

Intrinsic stains occur due to developmental changes or certain damage that occurs as the teeth are developed. Oftentimes, these stains will require expert dental treatment, or veneers to achieve a perfectly white smile. 

Genetic factors are the reason behind intrinsic stains. Individual differences exist in natural tooth color, brightness, and translucency.

What is Whitening Toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste is now found everywhere on the market. However, very few people actually understand how it works, and how it is designed to work. 

How it works

Whitening toothpaste is designed to remove surface stains which accumulate on the enamel of teeth. 

Whitening toothpaste is made with ingredients that gently buff away at the surface layer of the teeth. 

They can also be made with certain chemicals which help to dissolve the small layer of enamel that is stained, allowing it to be cleaned away. 

By removing the surface staining found on the outer layer of the enamel, whitening toothpaste allows a whiter enamel to be exposed, leaving you with a brighter smile than before. 

Ingredients Used In Whitening Toothpaste 

When you are looking for the perfect whitening toothpaste, it is important to know what ingredients to look for, and which to avoid. 

The most common ingredients found in whitening toothpaste include: 


 Studies using hydroxyapatite have found that it can immediately help to whiten teeth by filling small pores in the enamel which cause light to reflect in a way that makes the tooth appear yellow.

After long term use, it can provide a white layering over the teeth which can help to make our teeth appear brighter and healthier. 

According to Hardy Limeback, professor in dentistry, ‚Äúthe regular use of hydroxyapatite-containing oral care products effectively whitens teeth‚Ä̬†


Silica is often used in whitening toothpaste. It works by scrubbing away the very top surface of the enamel where the surface stains often accumulate, to reveal a whiter layer of enamel beneath. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural ingredient which is often used in non-toxic whitening toothpaste. 

Baking soda helps to dissolve surface stains in the teeth and gently scrubs them away to leave you with whiter teeth. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent used to whiten teeth. It works by dissolving a small layer of enamel on the surface of the teeth, lifting the surface stains. 

Although effective, peroxides are strong agents which can cause enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity. 

Carbamide Peroxide

Carbamide peroxide is another ingredient which is commonly found in whitening toothpaste. 

When this ingredient comes into contact with water, or saliva, it turns into hydrogen peroxide, which can whiten teeth. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has long been used in oil pulling procedures, it is believed to help with a number of dental conditions. 

Scientists have confirmed that coconut oil has a range of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These antimicrobial properties may help to prevent surface staining due to plaque build up. 

Pros and Cons of Using Whitening Toothpaste 

Like anything, there are benefits and drawbacks of using whitening toothpaste. It is important to know what the pros and cons of whitening toothpaste are, in order to make the best decision for your dental care. 


  • A Whiter Smile: The most obvious benefit to using whitening toothpaste is that for most people, it is an effective way to whitening their teeth.
  • ¬†This helps people feel more confident and outgoing when interacting with others around them. For many of us, yellowing teeth is a great source of insecurity.

  • Cheap: Compared to other whitening products, especially those that are given at a dental office, whitening toothpaste is a much more budget friendly option.¬†
  • Accessible: Whitening toothpaste allows you to whiten your teeth slowly, from the comfort of your own home. Whitening toothpaste has allowed people to effectively brighten their smile without the need to visit a dentist.¬†
  • Relatively Gentle: Compared to other whitening products, whitening toothpaste is designed to be used every day, which means oftentimes it is designed to be more gentle on the teeth.¬†

  • Cons¬†

  • Slow Process: Patience is the key when it comes to using whitening toothpaste. Unlike other whitening procedures, such as those offered by dentists, whitening toothpaste achieves its effects slowly.¬†
  • It may be a couple of weeks before you notice any difference in your teeth‚Äôs appearance.¬†

  • Can Contribute to Sensitivity: Some whitening toothpaste, particularly those that contain harsh chemicals such as peroxides, can erode enamel in such a way that your teeth become more sensitive.¬†
  • Even whitening toothpaste with gentle ingredients may not be suitable for people with sensitive teeth.¬†

  • Not All Stains: Unfortunately, whitening toothpaste can only tackle surface stains which are found on the top layer of the enamel.¬†
  • People who have had injuries to their teeth, or have congenital stains originating in the deeper layer of their teeth, will not benefit from whitening toothpaste.¬†

    What to Expect & Choosing the Right Toothpaste?

    When To See Results 

    It is important to have realistic expectations when using whitening toothpaste. 

    Whitening toothpaste works slowly and gradually. You will not see results in the first few days of using any whitening toothpaste. Rather give it a few weeks, up to a couple of months to really notice a difference. 

    In order for whitening toothpaste to be safe to use, it is designed to work a little bit each day, instead of all at once.

    Choosing The Right Whitening Toothpaste 

    Not all whitening toothpaste is made the same. 

    When choosing the right whitening toothpaste, it is important to check the ingredient. Often the best ingredients are those with whitening properties which do not cause significant damage to your teeth’s enamel. 

    Many people will opt for peroxide-free whitening products such as Boka’s whitening toothpaste, formulated with gentle, yet effective ingredients. 

    Our toothpaste is made without harsh chemicals, and helps to buff away surface stains using natural baking soda, and n-Ha to help fill microscopic pores which make teeth appear more stained than they are. 

    Boka’s range of whitening products helps to remove surface stains and whiten teeth all the while fortifying the surface of teeth. 

    Whitening Toothpaste: Myth Vs Fact 

    Myth: Whitening toothpaste can dramatically whiten teeth in a short amount of time.

    Unfortunately whitening toothpaste is designed to work gradually, with consistent brushing and good oral hygiene. You will not see results within a few days with whitening toothpaste, rather you can expect to start seeing results after a few weeks. 

    Myth: Whitening toothpaste is suitable for everyone.

    Unfortunately, whitening toothpaste cannot be used by everyone. Some people who have existing dental conditions, or very sensitive teeth, cannot use whitening toothpaste. 

    It is recommended that these people visit their dentist if they are looking for whitening treatments. 

    Additionally, whitening toothpaste does not work for everyone. People with deep stains in their teeth will not benefit from whitening toothpaste compared to people with common surface staining on their teeth. 

    Myth: All whitening toothpaste products are the same.

    Whitening toothpastes vary greatly in how they’re formulated, their safety and their effectiveness. 

    It is important to check for the ingredients in whitening toothpaste. Some whitening toothpastes are made with harsh chemicals such as peroxides, which can cause damage to the surface of our enamel, for example. 

    It is best to look for whitening toothpaste with natural and safe ingredients which do not contribute to tooth sensitivity or other discomfort. 

    Beyond Toothpaste

    Whitening toothpaste is one of many whitening products which is available on the market. 

    Some common whitening products include: 

    Whitening Gels and LED lights

    Whitening gels, such as Boka’s Rapid Radiance teeth Whitening Kit, works using a whitening gel that is developed in order to powerfully remove surface stains on the surface of teeth. 

    This gel is placed in a mouth guard-like device which is placed on your teeth for 15 minutes while the stains lift. 

    This works faster than whitening toothpaste, but is usually more expensive. Most people see results in a week. 

    Whitening Strips

    Tooth whitening strips are specialized strips that stick onto your teeth, and are left there for 30 minutes whilst the strips get to work on dissolving the surface stains. 

    Most people notice results within a week. 

    Whitening Pens 

    Whitening pens are another common tooth whitening product available on the market. They work by dispensing a small amount of whitening product onto a brush-like pen, which is painted onto your teeth and left to whiten. 

    Whitening pens, such as Boka’s Express Glow Whitening pen can be used in certain areas of your teeth that are particularly stained, offering target whitening. 

    Good Oral Hygiene 

    One of the best ways to ensure your teeth look, feel, and are healthy is by making sure you have good oral hygiene. 

    This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and visiting the dentist at least once a day for a check-up. 

    This helps not only eliminate surface stains which make our teeth less white, but also helps to make sure we do not develop any cavities which impact on the appearance of our teeth. 

    Join the Boka Tribe for a Healthier Smile 

    Here at Boka, we pride ourselves on using cutting edge technology to help you achieve your dream smile. 

    We believe that our products are the best on the market, and are committed to upholding that standard. Our team of clever scientists have created dentist approved toothpastes which help mimic your natural teeth composition and achieve lasting results. 

    If you’re looking for a safe, cost-effective way of whitening your teeth, why not give our tried and tested line a try? 

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