Is Your Teeth Whitening System Making Your Teeth Whiter?

Is Your Teeth Whitening System Making Your Teeth Whiter?

Is Teeth Whitening Not Making Your Teeth Whiter?
©Antonio Guillem/

Commercial teeth whitening products have grown exponentially over the last 20 years.  The market has grown so much that even toothpastes want a piece of the action.

If you’d walked down the toothpaste aisle at Wal-Mart 20 years ago, you’d have noticed that “Tartar Control” were the two big buzzwords.

Nowadays, “Whitening” seems to be the best word to put on a toothpaste tube to make it sell.

Learn why your whitening toothpaste isn’t making your teeth any whiter.

The problem with most teeth whitening systems is that it’s often difficult to tell if your teeth are getting whiter since the change can be very gradual.

An Easy Way to Tell If Your Teeth Are Getting Whiter

Tooth Shade GuideOne of the easiest ways to tell if your teeth whitening system is actually working is to simply ask your dental hygienist to grab a tooth shade guide at your next dental visit.  Your hygienist can let you know what shade your teeth are.

Then you can try an over-the-counter teeth whitening system or get a professional-strength whitening gel from your dentist.

At your next visit, have your dental hygienist check your tooth shade again to see if the method you’ve used to whiten your teeth has actually made your teeth any whiter.

What If My Whitening Gel Came With a Shade Guide?

Some teeth whitening systems do come with a shade guide, but these are usually printed on paper.  The shade guide that your dentist uses actually contains tooth-shaped pieces of plastic that allow light to pass through them, similar to your natural teeth.

This shade guide will generally be able to give you a better idea of what shade your teeth are before you start whitening your teeth.

Do you have any questions or personal experiences about teeth whitening that you’d like to share?  Leave them below in the comments section.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Good post tom, but with the aid of a good and recommended home teeth whitening kit, i don’t believe expensive visits to the dental hygienist is anymore needed.

    • Simply whitening your teeth won’t remove all of the built-up calculus and deposits on them, so you should still be going to your hygienist regularly for cleanings…

  2. Thanks for the tips! I’ve tried using different types of teeth whitening kits, but it’s rather difficult for me to tell if my teeth are any whiter unless I can see a drastic difference in how my teeth look. The information in this post about how to easily tell if my teeth are whiter seems as though it would be quite effective. It seems like asking a dentist to use a tooth shade guide to let me see what shade my teeth are would be a great way to give me a better visual of how my teeth actually look rather than my just looking in the mirror.

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