Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
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The most common cause of sensitive teeth is weakened enamel. As enamel wears down, it exposes the underlying dentin and/or cementum, which makes up most of your teeth.
Dentin contains microscopic channels that communicate with the nerve endings deep within your teeth. Exposed dentin allows these nerve endings to feel heat, cold, and other sensations.
Sensitivity toothpaste can plug these tiny channels, known as dentinal tubules. Some toothpastes can also block the nerve endings in your teeth from sending signals to your brain.
Using desensitizing toothpaste for several days or weeks can reduce tooth sensitivity and help prevent erosion.
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Boka toothpaste uses nano-hydroxyapatite to seal dentinal tubules and remineralize your teeth. Like many newer toothpastes, Boka opts for hydroxyapatite as a more natural but effective alternative to fluoride.
Boka toothpaste also contains sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that acts as a flavoring agent while also helping prevent cavities.
The toothpaste comes in two flavors: Lemon Lavender and Ela Mint. Both are free of SLS, parabens, and artificial flavors and colors.
Twice’s formula has two active ingredients: potassium nitrate for nerve-blocking sensitivity relief and sodium fluoride to prevent tooth decay.
It also contains vitamins C, A, and E, sugar alcohols, sorbitol, and xylitol, which can benefit your oral health.
Twice comes in three flavors: Invigorating Wintergreen and Peppermint, Calming Vanilla Lavender Mint, and Cooling Spearmint Eucalyptus.
Davids Sensitive + Whitening Toothpaste contains calcium carbonate. This whitening abrasive may also help remineralize teeth with calcium.
This toothpaste fights sensitivity on two fronts. It uses hydroxyapatite to close up dentinal tubules and potassium nitrate to numb the nerve endings that cause tooth sensitivity.
This formula only comes in peppermint flavor. It’s free of fluoride, SLS, and parabens.
Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste includes arginine, which is effective at blocking dentinal tubules to relieve sensitivity.
This toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulfate, which can cause irritation of the soft tissues in the mouth. The brand notes that while the small amount they use shouldn’t be an issue, you should opt for another product if you know you’re sensitive to SLS.10
Elims Reflection uses hydroxyapatite to remineralize enamel and relieve sensitivity. It also contains xylitol to fight oral bacteria as well as baking soda and coconut oil to help polish and whiten teeth.
This brand uses no fluoride, SLS, parabens, or artificial flavors. In addition, their packaging is made entirely from recyclable sugarcane.
Elims Reflection comes in two flavors: Lavender Vanilla Mint and Pineapple Orange Mint.
Better & Better Fortify Toothpaste has a similar formula to Elims. It contains hydroxyapatite and xylitol to desensitize and remineralize your teeth. It also uses calcium carbonate and baking soda to remove plaque and polish teeth.
This formula is vegan, SLS-free, and fluoride-free. This toothpaste also contains no artificial flavors or colors.
All Better & Better toothpastes come in tubes made from sugarcane that are recyclable, carbon-neutral, and BPA-free.
If your teeth are sensitive due to the following, desensitizing toothpaste won’t be of much help:
If any of the above is causing your teeth to be more sensitive than usual, visit your dentist as soon as possible. These issues won’t improve without proper professional treatment.
Toothpastes for sensitive teeth often have one or more of the following ingredients:
These ingredients can form a barrier over dentinal tubules, reducing tooth sensitivity over time.1, 2, 3 They can also help remineralize your enamel. Nano-hydroxyapatite is especially helpful with this—hydroxyapatite is naturally found in your enamel and dentin.3, 4
Potassium nitrate is also included in some sensitivity toothpastes.1, 5 Rather than sealing off the dentin, this compound is an analgesic. It reduces pain signals from nerve endings in your teeth.
Some toothpastes and mouthwashes contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent found in many detergents and personal care products. SLS is known to irritate the gums and skin.6, 7
Be mindful of artificial colors as well. While artificial dyes aren’t necessarily dangerous, they’re unnecessary in toothpaste. They may also pose health risks, though more research is needed to confirm this.8, 9
Tooth sensitivity is commonly caused by enamel erosion. Worn enamel exposes the tubules of dentin that connect to the nerve endings within your teeth.
Desensitizing toothpastes use various ingredients to form a barrier over your dentin. Some are particularly helpful at repairing your enamel.
If you have sensitive teeth, consider trying one of these products. However, if your teeth are sensitive for a reason other than enamel wear, visit your dentist for professional treatment.
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