Whitening mouthwashes are another easy-to-use method of brightening teeth. Using them is considered a part of a healthy, routine oral hygiene maintenance plan. Now whitening washes can help whiten while they freshen.
Whitening mouthwashes use hydrogen peroxide and phosphoric or citric acids to dissolve the protective protein pellicle. Some also include pyrophosphates that prevent new stains from sticking to teeth. Like normal mouthwashes, the whitening version is swished around the mouth, but up to 60 seconds rather than 30 seconds.
It is recommended that whitening rinses be used twice a day usually in conjunction with whitening toothpaste. Some products claim that users will see results (about one or two shades)within a week, while others claim to take about 12 weeks to see results.
Pros and Cons
Mouthwashes have the same advantage as whitening toothpastes. One can replace a standard mouthwash by a whitening one without changing their daily routine as both products are used the same way.
The main downside to them is that the peroxide or other brightening ingredient only comes in contact with teeth for about 60 seconds two times a day, unlike whitening gels or strips that are in contact with teeth for 30 minutes or more, so results are limited. Nevertheless, for managing day-to-day stains or maintaining a previous whitening treatment, it is a practical and easy-to-use method.
Tips and Guidelines for Use
Here are a few tips about using whitening strips:
- Don’t brush after using acidic mouthwash. Brushing immediately after rinsing will actually remove microscopic bits of weakened enamel and can have an effect over time. Your teeth need to remineralize and brushing with a fluoride toothpaste does help with that, but it’s best to wait 20 or 30 minutes afterwards before brushing.
- Be aware of alcohol content. Mouthwashes tend to also have alcohol which increases the pH level in the mouth and decreases saliva production.
- Realistic expectations. With the whitening agent in mouthwashes only coming into contact with your teeth for a short period of time, it could take some time before results are noticeable.
- Effectiveness of stain prevention ingredients. There is some debate around whether pyrophosphates are even helpful in a mouthwashes that’s inherently acidic. The acidity of the whitening agents is what brightens teeth. It’s questionable whether these acids also inhibit the effectiveness of pyrophosphates to settle on whitened teeth.
- Combine with whitening toothpaste. Since whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes come in contact with teeth for a brief period of time, it may be more effective in terms of whitening results to use the two together.