• July 5, 2012
  • Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

Lively discussion on the SMH website today regarding the misleading advertising of the ‘whitening’ toothpastes by the big brands. I thought it would be worth posting my brief comments on this.

We know you know this already, but toothpastes do not whiten teeth, they ABRADE teeth. This is risky for those who already experience erosion and abrasion from other sources, so be aware! The only way to WHITEN is to use a tooth-bleaching product, such as our wonderful Opalescence range!

In fact, the abrasive nature of toothpaste can sometimes lead to teeth grinding or bruxism, which can cause further damage to your teeth. It’s important to discuss any concerns about teeth grinding with your dentist and seek treatment if necessary.

Even though the big brands’ marketing is misleading, it is worth knowing that overall, these brands to have a huge body of research behind them and have been placed under scrutiny time and time again. Maybe they don’t whiten, but they do protect from tooth decay and gum disease, especially the Triclosan- containing pastes. 

Remember, most toothpastes do the same thing, but there are subtle differences in contents. If in doubt, always get the ‘plain’ version of toothpaste, but speak to your dentist about which type of toothpaste is best for you and why. 

As a dentist, I want to emphasize the importance of using the right toothpaste for your oral health. Toothpaste doesn’t actually whiten teeth; it simply abrades them. This can worsen existing dental issues, so it’s important to speak with your dentist about which toothpaste is best for you. While many toothpaste brands have faced criticism for misleading marketing claims, they do offer protection against tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist can help you choose the right toothpaste based on your unique needs.



Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh
About The Author

Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

Catherine-Anne is a New Zealand-qualified dentist. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Sydney University and she has a broad range of experiences from working in both the public and private sector.


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