Almost everyone would love to have the best smile possible, right? Many people spend a great deal of money in an effort to whiten their teeth. Some go to their dentist for professional whitening treatments, while others choose to buy less expensive whitening treatments that can be used at home.

And yet another option you might not have considered is whitening gum. This gum is typically found near the checkout at many retail stores alongside other kinds of gum and candy, and costs a fraction of the price of traditional whitening products. But does it really work?

Let’s take a look at the facts to separate truth from fiction.

Does Whitening Gum Work?

Does whitening gum actually work, or are we all being fooled? Read on to learn to learn the truth.

The Short Answer: No

The simple truth is that whitening gums do not whiten teeth in the way that most of us think of tooth whitening. But that’s not the complete answer. This type of gum actually can reduce certain types of dark stains on teeth. These are stains that dentists usually remove by scratching with dental instruments.

Whitening gum contains additives that are abrasive, thus making the stains easier to rub off while you’re chewing the gum. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common ingredients contained in a few of the top-selling brands of whitening gum.

Titanium Dioxide

This is an ingredient in Trident White Gum, Orbit White Gum, and Vitacare Whitening Gum that is added as both an abrasive for removing stains, as well as for color.

Calprox

This is a form of Calcium Peroxide contained in Supersmile Whitening Gum. It’s an oxidizing agent that helps loosen stains when the gum is being chewed.

Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

Baking soda is another ingredient in Orbit White Gum. It is a mild abrasive that helps remove stains by increasing the abrasiveness while chewing.

Citric Acid/Citrate Acid

These ingredients are added to Vitacare Whitening Gum to create acidity in the oral environment that break down stains and make them easier to remove.

Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate

Another additive in Vitacare Whitening Gum, this is an anti-calculus/anti-plaque agent for weakening stains.

Sodium Ascorbate & Malic Acid

Also contained in Vitacare Whitening Gum, both sodium ascorbate and malic acid have erosive properties for helping to rub off stains.

Pros and Cons

The pros and cons are pretty simple: While whitening gum can help to rub off certain stains while the gum is being chewed, the enhanced abrasion resulting from this list of ingredients is ultimately unhealthy for your enamel and should probably be avoided.

Using Whitening Gum to Brighten Your Smile

Teeth whitening products have become increasingly popular in recent years. Professional treatments typically get great results but can be costly. Products like tooth whitening gum might be much less expensive, yet will offer minimal results.

The verdict seems rather clear: whitening gum is a low-cost option for brightening your teeth, just be sure to keep your expectations low and chew it sparingly.

Click here to see 5 unconventional ways to whiten teeth.