Teeth Whitening: Does Whitening Toothpaste Hurt or Help?

by Joe Bulger DDS

Best Whitening Toothpaste?

Ever notice how many brands of Teeth Whitening Toothpaste there are? Seems every brand offers multiple versions that  Whiten Teeth.

whtening toothpaste can be painful “Is Whitening Toothpaste a good choice?

That means it must work, right?  Why else would they all be selling it?

So if it works, then which is the best Whitening Toothpaste to buy?

As a Toronto Teeth Whitening Dentist, I have some alarming news for you.

Let me first tell you a little story about the toothpaste market… Years ago, Colgate came out with the “Pump” as a unique dispenser for toothpaste.

Crest was the market-leader by a long shot at the time and scoffed at this concept of this bulky dispenser to replace the conventional tube of toothpaste. They reasoned that the formula for toothpaste didn’t change at all, only the packaging.

They were certain it would be a flop and they didn’t counter it.

The bad news for Crest was that the Colgate Pump was a huge hit for a few years. Crest lost significant market share to Colgate during that time. That represented a massive shift in consumer choice and Crest’s dominant position slipped away.

Crest eventually scrambled to come up with their own version of the Colgate Pump, but it was too late. They missed the market shift and they couldn’t make up for lost ground.

Never again would the big toothpaste manufacturers let each other get away with trying something different or new without having their own version to counter it.

“Does it work?” versus “Does it sell?”

You see, for the manufacturers the big question isn’t “Does it work?” The big question is “Does it sell?”

That Colgate Pump didn’t do anything special, but it sure sold like hotcakes until the market eventually grew bored of it.

So, now they have all these Whitening Toothpastes. Some of which sell for a considerable markup. One key reason why there’s so many products is that it’s a hot niche where people are willing to pay more. Besides that, none of the main players in the industry want to let their competitors grab a big lead in market share.

They copy each other every step of the way. That’s why you see so much parity amongst the products.

Even as an experienced Toronto Teeth Whitening Dentist, it’s confusing enough for me. So I can imagine how you feel.

Back to top

Does Toothpaste Work for Teeth Whitening?

The short answer is yes. A little.

These toothpastes contain a small amount of the peroxide formula and it will make a slight difference in the color of your teeth over the long run.

Here’s the bad news… Whitening Toothpastes barely have any effect because the concentration is low and the exposure time is too short. When you brush, the toothpaste mixes in with your saliva and you have a watered-down slurry.

Think about it. How long are you actually holding the toothpaste in your mouth? If you could leave it on your teeth in full concentration for a few hours you might get a better result, but no where near that of your other teeth whitening options.

Most people have clued in to the fact Whitening Toothpaste do a poor job of Teeth Whitening. And yet they keep buying the stuff anyways.

Why? Everyone still wants whiter teeth so people figure it doesn’t hurt to keep trying. Besides, it would be so darned convenient if it did actually work.

The manufacturers will keep making it because they’ll keep selling whatever the buyers want.

Many newer toothpastes are these all-in-one formulas that often have the Whitening component tossed in with the mix. It’s getting harder to NOT buy Whitening Toothpaste.

Back to top

Toronto Teeth Whitening Dentist Claims Whitening Toothpaste Hurts You

Here’s MORE bad news. Anyone who has whitened their teeth knows that the teeth are temporarily more sensitive afterward. Teeth Whitening opens up the pores of your teeth.

Fortunately, those pores reseal after a few days and the sensitivity diminishes.

Here’s the dirty little secret… Whitening Toothpaste will keep those pores continually open, so your teeth gradually reach a point of perpetual sensitivity. Ouch!

Many people suggest Whitening Toothpastes is good for maintaining white teeth AFTER conventional Teeth Whitening is completed with Whitening Strips, Laser teeth Whitening or Custom Bleaching Trays But that’s exactly the wrong approach. You’ll prolong the sensitivity of your teeth.

Best Teeth Whitening results are all about maximizing the whitening affect while minimizing any pain. Whitening Toothpaste gives less results and more pain.

What you want to do is undergo FAST Teeth Whitening for a BRIEF time period and then vigorously desensitize your teeth. That keeps pain to a minimum. Once your teeth are whiter, you can periodically apply Whitening as a “touch up” to maintain them. The LAST thing you want to do is perpetuate the pain.

So, the question to ask isn’t “What’s the best Whitening Toothpaste?” The right question is “Should I even buy Whitening Toothpaste?”

My answer to that is clearly “No!”

How do I know all this? Self discovery.

As a Toronto Teeth Whitening Dentist, I’m often given samples of products to try. When toothpastes were being made that claimed to Whiten Teeth, I wanted to see how well they worked. I wanted to see if Whitening Toothpaste could actually make Home Teeth Whitening Trays obsolete.

After a month or so of using Whitening Toothpaste, I noticed my teeth were getting extremely sensitive. The little light-bulb went on above my head and I realized what was happening and why Whitening Toothpaste was clearly not the best teeth whitening choice.

Bottom line: Whitening Toothpaste will give poor results and more pain. My advice is to STAY AWAY from them. If you want the best teeth Whitening results stick to the strips, trays or laser options.
Signature for a Toronto Cosmetic Dentist.

Dr. Joe :)

Dr. Joe Bulger

About the Author: is a West Toronto dentist. He’s also the founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 nursing schools August 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!


2 roxyd32 August 31, 2010 at 6:46 pm

This is very discouraging.. (Not the article, but the concept behind the whitening toothpastes). People seek cost effective ways of whitening their teeth, and to find that overall it is a gimmick, (barely working) is quite shameful indeed. I myself fell into the trap of buying the whitening mouthwash, only to feel as though I wanted to gag, with little to no whitening. The toothpastes I initially thought would help somewhat, but the reality was that it barely did. This post is very important, and I hope that more people will read this and be informed! Thanks Doc!


3 Toronto-Etobicoke Dentist - Joe Bulger September 1, 2010 at 12:53 am

Don’t be discouraged Roxy. That’s why a wrote the article, to help people understand. As a dentist, one of my primary roles is to serve as a trusted advisor, guiding people in the right direction when it comes to decisions.

Joe 😀


4 Ogunjimi Okiki November 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

Is it good to be using teeth whitening, And where can i buy if it’s good and i want to buy it online.


5 Ellen September 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm


It is “pores”, not “pours”

…enlightening article nevertheless.


6 Joe Bulger DDS September 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Thanks Ellen!


7 technorati.com December 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I noticed this tooth bleaching products range at
Watson Singapore, was rather eager to try it. I fully agree with you.
Simply need to get it done quickly and off to bed, I often
skip my natual skin care routine too:) whenever I arrived home late!


8 Diane September 15, 2015 at 2:18 pm

The tips of my teeth are sore and I have been seeing my dentist regularly but they are sore all the time. I have just clued in to the fact my sensitive toothpaste is also a whitening one. they have been sore for 2 months! If I stop using will the sensitivity go away?


Leave a Comment

{ 8 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: