The demand for lovely sets of white teeth has never been greater.
All the celebrities have white teeth, many of your friends might too and those images on instagram really don’t help!
White and aligned teeth give a smile you are happy with and often leads to a more positive and confident you!
So if you have found this article, you are likely searching for options to make your teeth whiter and possibly wondering:
Do electric toothbrushes whiten teeth?
This is a question we get asked frequently and having spent many hours testing many different electric toothbrushes, as well as undertaking extensive research we can give you an honest answer.
The answer is yes, they can. However, there is a catch as to what extent they can whiten the teeth in comparison to what your expectations are.
No toothbrush available to buy today can make your teeth any whiter than their natural colour.
The only products that can make your teeth whiter than the natural shade are products that contain chemicals (bleaches and peroxides) that cosmetically enhance the natural colour of the teeth.
But, the reality is that when many of us smile to show off our teeth, the colour of those teeth is often duller than the natural colour.
This is because of our diets and brushing habits.
Food and drink like tea, coffee and red wine contain pigments that will over time stain your teeth.
Smoking is also a big contributor to tooth staining.
You see, as you consume these products, the particles stick to the teeth, and despite what some might think, the tooth surface has millions of microscopic pits in them. Your tooth surface is not completely flat.
Over time, these pigments and particles build up and turn into stains on the tooth surface.
Many of us may not even be aware of the stains, it is not like they appear as a blotch on the tooth that is always visible. They build up gradually over time and many of us do not notice them. Over the years your teeth will have faded from their natural colour to what they are today.
Those with the heaviest staining are often those that consume a lot of food and drink with tannins in and have a poor oral healthcare routine.
The more yellow your teeth look the greater the level of staining in most instances.
Do also be aware that everyone’s natural tooth colour varies. You friend may have naturally whiter teeth than you and those with darker skins often appear to have whiter teeth because of the contrast against the tooth colour.
If you do not brush twice a day for 2 minutes a time, there is a good possibility that there is scope for your teeth to be whiter.
Even if you do already brush twice a day for 2 minutes, you too could still achieve whiter teeth without the need for a cosmetic treatment.
Whether you wish to use a manual or electric toothbrush the first step is to ensure you are brushing twice a day for the 2 minutes.
By brushing regularly you are taking steps to remove those microscopic particles that are staining the teeth.
You then need to ensure you are using the right technique. Yes, technique, this is almost as if not as important as brushing in the first place.
Use the right technique and you can be assured of a better clean for your teeth and gums.
Want to know what the right technique is?
Read our guide on how to clean your teeth properly to be shown the answer.
To potentially enhance the teeth whitening process an electric toothbrush can be a great option. There are many benefits to an electric toothbrush, but one of the overriding reasons is the enhanced clean that it gives.
Independent research groups like Cochrane have acknowledged that the use of an electric toothbrush can improve oral health by up to 21%.
The increased power and consistent motion that the brush heads deliver to the teeth means that there are more strokes and movements over the tooth surface than if using a manual brush. This increased movement gives a greater likelihood of removing those staining particles.
Dentist inspired brush heads, such as the 3D White brush head from Oral-B, as well as specific cleaning modes mimic the equipment a dentist might use to deliver a dentist like clean.
The resulting improvement in tooth colour will be better for some than others. Some will see a noticeable difference whilst others will not.
Those least likely to see improvement are those that already have a good brushing routine.
Be aware, depending on the level of staining will depend on how quickly results are seen. Some may see results in days where others may have to wait a few weeks.
You can take the benefits of the electric toothbrush and pair it with a whitening toothpaste.
As a general rule a whitening toothpaste only whitens teeth by being more effective at removing the surface stains mentioned earlier. There is no ingredient or chemical in the paste (normally) that will guarantee results.
So called whitening toothpastes are often made up of a more abrasive formula, which means when in contact with the teeth, the paste essentially rubs the tannins and bacteria away with a bit more force.
An extreme example, but if you wash your face with a flannel, that’s softer on the skin than if you were to wash your face with a scrubbing brush.
The whitening toothpaste is more like a scrubbing brush whereas a regular fluoride based toothpaste is like your flannel.
It is safe to use whitening toothpastes, but you probably want to avoid using them for prolonged periods of time.
The abrasivity of the pastes do vary, with some being softer on the tooth surface than others. Some of the more effective ones we have tried include Opalesence, Nu Skin AP24 and Oral-B 3D White Luxe Perfection.
So, even with an electric toothbrush and a whitening toothpaste your teeth will only ever whiten teeth to their natural colour by removing bacteria, tannins and particles that stain the teeth.
If you have or do try all of the above and still want whiter teeth, then you should first of all consider going to a hygienist to get a professional clean. Their experience and tools can remove stains an electric toothbrush can’t..
If the results of this clean are not enough you will need to consider a cosmetic whitening treatment.