Whitening toothpastes

Do whitening toothpastes actually whiten? I’m primarily looking for a response along the lines of “The tumtytum in the toothpaste reacts with the tiddlypom in our teeth, and presto! InstaWhite!”
Of course, an “It worked for me and my uncle” sort of reply would be welcome too. Sampling, however skewed, is still fun.

Whitening toothpastes contain abrasives that can remove some surface stains but generally don’t work so well. Bleaching treatments that use peroxide work on stains that are a little deeper and also whiten the natural color of the teeth. Some whitening toothpastes also contain peroxide, but because of the small amount contained and how long its in contact with your teeth, the results aren’t very noticable.

Well, if you look at the active ingredients of most toothpastes (whitening or not), almost all of them contain exclusively sodium flouride as the only active ingredient. It used to be at 0.15%, but some of them are bumping them up.

Some of the tartar control and whitening formulas contain more silica or chalk for the added abrassiveness. Kinda like sanding your tooth enamel – yes, doing that way too much would be bad. My dentist actually told one of his patients to use a softer brush and no more gritty toothpasts because it was having a dentrimental effect on his tooth enamel (but this guy also brushed for like half an hour at a time!)

The peroxide products, like the whitening strips, do exactly what they say they do. I don’t smoke, but I do drink coffee and on some weekends red wine. A friend was writing a prodcut review and asked me to try them out too (tried the strips on one half and an overnight paint-on kind on the other half). Yes, in about two weeks there were noticeable differences. The peroxide eventually gets at all the little stains in the very, very fine knooks and crannies of your tooth enamel. Nothing to get excited about. My teeth were white enough to start that although you could see the different between the unbleached fangs, it wasn’t “Oo! Ah!” earth shattering.

Although, I also found the paint-on stuff is great for destroying zits. Dab 'n destroy!