Periodically, a new product goes viral on social media, leading many of my patients to ask, “Does purple toothpaste work?” and inquire about its efficacy. Examples include trends like oil pulling and charcoal bleaching. The latest in this lineup is a purple teeth whitening toothpaste that claims to instantly bleach teeth upon application and rinsing. According to the advertisements, once you apply this toothpaste, stains seem to vanish immediately upon rinsing or wiping. Could this purple toothpaste truly be magical?
How Teeth Bleaching Works
First let’s understand how bleaching products work. Common dental bleaching products work by creating microscopic holes in the outside of the tooth and penetrating into the tooth to neutralize deep colors within the tooth. Since the majority of colors come from deep within the tooth it takes many applications to reach deep enough into the tooth to have long lasting results. Microscopic holes created by the bleaching products take days for saliva to heal and close. With every new application of dental bleach, it is able to penetrate deeper into the tooth as the microscopic holes are made bigger before saliva has the chance to heal them. This is why we can drink soda, coffee, citrus and other acidic foods without long term sensitivity. Continuous eating of acidic foods or bleaching can result in long term sensitivity as saliva loses the ability to seal larger holes created by the saliva.
Can purple whitening toothpaste penetrate deep enough to neutralize tooth colors with one application and would it be safe to use? Are these color correcting toothpastes safe?
Research on the bleaching process explains:
“Color correction starts with the color wheel, where purple and yellow are complementary colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Applying purple onto your teeth neutralizes yellow undertones by canceling them, giving your teeth perceptively brighter shades of white. Non-invasive brightening treatment is not a chemical whitening treatment and doesn’t make any pertinent changes to your teeth so it is safe to be used on dental work.”
So basically, by applying purple color to your teeth it neutralizes the yellow in your teeth. And since it does not penetrate into the tooth, it is safe for your teeth as long as every bit of it is rinsed out.
The Truth About These Products and Why It Is Not Magic
Since these products do not penetrate teeth, they do not have any whitening/bleaching properties. By painting purple on the outside of teeth they can give a temporary appearance of brighter (not whiter) teeth.
It’s worth noting that not all purple toothpastes are created equal. Some do contain bleaching agents, but their concentration and efficacy might not be as potent as dedicated teeth-whitening products. Regular and consistent application is required to see any noticeable difference in tooth color. This brings us to the question: why opt for a product that requires such frequent application when there are established products on the market that offer proven results?
Take, for instance, Optic White by Colgate. This toothpaste contains bleach, making it one of the few over-the-counter toothpastes that can genuinely claim to have teeth-whitening properties. Moreover, it’s priced competitively, often at par with regular toothpaste, offering more value for money.
What Are The Reviews Of The Products?
Depending on where you look on the internet, there are a range of reviews. Since there are multiple brands, it is hard to group them together. The most common complaint that I see in reviews is that either the product does not work, it only temporarily whitens and that the ads for these products are misleading in that many applications are needed to get any whitening benefits.
So, if I were to put all the different products and place them in the “Purple Teeth whitener” and review them, I would say the product is not magic. When you put purple on your teeth it gives an appearance of brighter teeth that is short lived. If you use the ones with bleach, with multiple applications, you can get whiter teeth which is not any different than over counter bleaching toothpaste. If you want to bleach your teeth and have long lasting whiter teeth the only product on the market is one with bleach.
Note: by definition whitening products only have more coarse sand to scrub outside of teeth stains and they do not bleach. So, if you are looking to bleach your teeth, contact your dentist and discuss different dental bleaching products, including over the counter products, to see which one is right for you.
Making an Informed Choice
In conclusion, while the allure of quick fixes and trendy products can be tempting, it’s essential to understand the science behind teeth whitening and the results you truly desire. Purple toothpaste might offer a temporary brightness, but for genuine, long-lasting results, professional dental treatments remain unmatched. Don’t be swayed by fleeting fads. Instead, trust the experts who understand your teeth’s anatomy and the best methods to achieve that radiant smile. Schedule your routine cleaning and explore teeth whitening options with Oasis Dental Arts today. Let’s work together to unveil your brightest, whitest smile!