Dental trend spotlight:
Does purple toothpaste really whiten teeth?

Have you heard big claims about purple toothpaste on social media? Some people say that purple toothpaste can whiten your teeth. Does it really work, or is it just another trend that will fade away? Let’s investigate.

What’s purple toothpaste anyway?

Purple toothpaste isn’t a whitening toothpaste the same way others are. Traditional whitening toothpastes use added chemicals like hydrogen peroxide to bleach your teeth.

Purple toothpastes don’t always contain those chemicals. In fact, purple toothpaste doesn’t always work like a regular toothpaste with cleaning agents — some are just purple serums or pastes meant to be used after normal toothpaste. They contain FDA-approved synthetic colorants to give them a bluish-purple color.

What are the claims?

Some people believe that purple toothpaste can make your teeth appear whiter because of color theory. When colors that are opposite each other are combined, they should neutralize each other. On the color wheel, purple is opposite yellow, meaning that using purple toothpaste on yellow stains should make the stains less apparent.

The same theory is at work with purple shampoo, which people use to combat brassy or yellow tones in blonde and gray hair.

Does it work?

It does, but there are some caveats. Purple toothpaste may make your teeth appear brighter or whiter for a short time. It isn’t a long-term fix because the purple colorants will naturally come off your teeth as you eat and drink throughout the day. Typically, you can expect results to last anywhere from a few hours to a day. This means it’s more of a quick, temporary solution for yellowed teeth.

What if I want more permanent teeth whitening?

Permanent teeth whitening is only possible if stains are removed using abrasives or chemical treatments.

There are home treatments, like whitening strips, you can purchase in stores or online. These treatments sometimes require multiple uses and may not be suitable for people who have sensitive teeth.

You can also talk to your dentist about more professional treatments, which may be more effective for teeth with more stains. If you want to have in-office whitening treatments at your dentist, check your Explanation of Benefits to see if treatment is covered.

The verdict on purple toothpaste

Purple toothpaste won’t whiten your teeth, but it may be a good quick fix for brighter looking teeth. You could try using it for things like picture day at school, an event for work or a first date. Just make sure to try it in advance to make sure it actually works for you.

As always, talk to your dentist before you try a new oral health fad. Trendy products that promise miraculous results are rarely all they’re hyped up to be. Wellness trends come and go, and the same goes for oral health fads. Don’t let your oral health get caught up in whirlwind trends.