Once upon a time, there was a girl named Ecru who wanted a whiter smile. But Ecru had sensitive teeth that she worried would suffer terribly with the tried-and-true peroxide-based whitening products of the day. The word "peroxide" made her tremble in fear.
Ecru was not alone: in a recent survey by oral-health brand Listerine, many, many people (70% of the surveyed) expressed a similar apprehension about peroxide. They longed for a formula they could call healthy, safe, and in-no-way-harsh.
In response, Listerine created a gentle mouth rinse they say will answer the prayers of people with sensitive teeth. Listerine Healthy White Gentle is peroxide-free, yet promises a whiter smile with regular use. It also contains fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel. Sounds like a fairy tale.
Beautygeeks don't believe in fairy tales. So we asked how this Listerine Healthy White Gentle (from $7 at drugstores, supermarkets and mass retailers) actually works to whiten without peroxide.
"Polyphosphates in the formula," was the answer from Listerine's Research & Development folks. "Polyphosphates remove surface stains by absorbing chromophores (a chromophore is a part of the molecule responsible for colour) and helps prevent stains from forming by binding to the proteins in the tooth pellicle." (The pellicle is a protective film deposited by saliva.)
With a one-minute rinse twice-daily after brushing, Healthy White Gentle users can expect to see reduced staining within about 12 weeks. Don't expect drastic changes, though -- Healthy White Gentle "won’t whiten to the point that teeth look too white or fake," says Listerine.
Well Ecru, it seems whitening teeth without peroxide isn't a fairy tale after all.
For more information on teeth-whitening options, click here.