Do Whitening Ingredients Hurt Your Teeth?

Do Whitening Ingredients Hurt Your Teeth?

Posted February 4, 2015 by Wager-Evans Dental

toothwhitening Wanting white teeth dates back to the ancient Greeks, but the fluorescent bright smiles of the rich and famous have made the general public covet white teeth even more. Teeth whitening is a multi-billion dollar market these days. Whitening products do work for most people, whether professional or over-the-counter, but do you wonder what is in them? How safe are they? Are the active ingredients that make your teeth white hurting your teeth?


According to the American Dental Association (ADA), most teeth whitening products are both safe and effective. This goes for those provided by your dentist as well as over-the-counter products. However, whitening agents may cause tooth sensitivity, pain, and gum irritation.  These symptoms usually go away once the treatment is over. Bleaches, detergents, abrasives, and stain-blockers are used in whitening products:

Bleaches and Detergents

Peroxide: Probably the most common whitening ingredient, peroxide is used to bleach tooth enamel.

Sodium Tripolyphosphate: Is a detergent used to help remove tooth stains.


Sodium Bicarbonate or Baking Soda: Is used as a mild abrasive to help remove tooth stains.

Hydrated Silica: Is a mild abrasive for removing tooth stains. If hydrated silica is combined with calcium carbonate it also works to eliminate plaque.

Stain Blockers

Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP):  Used as a suspending agent to prevent stains from sticking to tooth enamel.


Calprox: A non-abrasive ingredient that dissolves the thin pellicle layer to which coffee, tea, and food stains adhere.

Although using teeth whitening products as directed is safe and effective, white teeth don’t last forever. Don’t be tempted to whiten your teeth too often because this can lead to porous teeth and damage your tooth enamel.

About Your Reno Dentists

Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 800-4845.