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How Whitening Works

Course Number: 657

Toothpaste, Mouthrinse & Tooth Gels

A variety of dentifrice and mouthrinse products are commercially sold containing ingredients that are associated with oxidative tooth whitening. These products can contain various sources of oxidation, though 1-3% hydrogen peroxide is common. Hydrogen peroxide gels are also sold as an ancillary to be added to regular toothpastes to promote whitening. Clinical data is available for a number of these products so some levels of tooth whitening are possible.128-133 It should be realized that these products are limited in many ways compared to other forms of oxidative tooth whitening. First and foremost, the duration of treatment in brushing and rinsing forms is obviously quite low. In addition, the concentration of ingredient which can be safely used in toothbrushing is limited as well. Though efficacy claims in the marketplace are dramatic, toothpastes are typically not the most effective routes to true intrinsic whitening. These forms can be highly valuable in maintaining tooth whiteness through the control of stain formation on the teeth between prophylaxis or following tooth bleaching with more effective forms.