- With Mayo Clinic prosthodontist
Alan Carr, D.M.D.read biographyclose window
Alan Carr, D.M.D.Alan B. Carr, D.M.D.
Dr. Alan B. Carr, Department of Dental Specialties at Mayo Clinic, is a consultant in the Division of Prosthodontics and a professor of dentistry at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
Dr. Carr, a native of Hattiesburg, MS., received his prosthodontics training at Mayo. Following his training he has was an assistant professor at Marquette University and then became a full professor at Ohio State University where his clinical duties included Director of Maxillofacial Prosthetics at the James Cancer Hospital. He returned to Mayo in 2000.
Dr. Carr is board certified by the American Board of Prosthodontics. He served in the Air Force and has degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi, University of Mississippi and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He also is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics, the American College of Prosthodontists and the American Dental Association. He has made dozens of international and national presentations, and is author of a dental textbook.
His clinical practice focuses on combined prosthodontics and reconstruction of patients with disabling oral conditions. His research interests include oral and craniofacial endosseous implants, tobacco cessation, and the impact of oral health on general health, especially for patients with chronic illness and the elderly.
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Whitening toothpaste: Does it whiten teeth?
Does whitening toothpaste actually whiten teeth?
from Alan Carr, D.M.D.
Whitening toothpaste can whiten teeth slightly by removing surface stains, such as those caused by drinking coffee or smoking. Whitening toothpaste can also be used after a bleaching treatment to help maintain results.
To remove surface stains, whitening toothpaste typically includes:
- Special abrasives that gently polish the teeth
- Chemicals that help break down or dissolve stains
Some whitening toothpastes contain the chemical blue covarine, which adheres to the surface of the teeth and creates an optical illusion that can make teeth appear less yellow.
When used twice a day, whitening toothpaste can take from two to six weeks to make teeth appear whiter. Whitening toothpaste that contains blue covarine can have an immediate effect.
Although whitening toothpaste is generally safe for daily use, be careful to follow manufacturer recommendations. Excessive use of whitening toothpaste can damage your tooth enamel over time.
Keep in mind that whitening toothpaste can't change the natural color of your teeth or lighten a stain that goes deeper than a tooth's surface.
If you're considering using a whitening toothpaste, look for a brand that has a seal of approval from a reputable dental organization — such as the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. This seal indicates that the toothpaste is effective at removing surface stains.
If you're not satisfied with the effect of whitening toothpaste, ask your dentist or dental hygienist about other tooth whitening options — such as over-the-counter or professional bleaching products.Next question
Heart disease prevention: Does oral health matter?
- Statement on the safety and effectiveness of tooth whitening products. American Dental Association. http://www.ada.org/1902.aspx. Accessed Jan. 22, 2013.
- Joiner A. Whitening toothpastes: A review of the literature. Journal of Dentistry. 2010;38:e17.
- Schemehorn BR, et al. Abrasion, polishing, and stain removal characteristics of various commercial dentifrices in vitro. The Journal of Clinical Dentistry. 2011;22:11.
- Torres C, et al. Efficacy of mouth rinses and toothpaste on tooth whitening. Operative Dentistry. 2013;38:57.