The whitening toothpaste market is intimidating, to say the least. There are so many claims… and so many concerns, particularly when it comes to questionable ingredients with complex names you couldn’t pronounce if you tried. But if you truly want pearly white that could outshine Donald Trump, you’ll need to put in the effort and do some research.
AP24 is one such whitening toothpaste (one that didn’t reach our best whitening toothpaste reviews) that you might be considering.
Why Choose AP24 Toothpaste?
If the Facebook ads haven’t caught your attention, then you’ve probably heard about this toothpaste somewhere. It’s creating waves at the moment – some not so good. AP24 is a whitening and anti-cavity toothpaste from Nu Skin, a brand that mostly focuses on skincare products and nutritional. They’re one of those brands you either laugh at or really buy into the supplement hype.
Wherever you stand on their Pharmanex products, their toothpaste is a whole other story. We decided to give it a good reviewing with the Dental Dorks team to see if it’s just more hype or good whitening toothpaste to try.
AP24 Toothpaste Features
The toothpaste comes in a 4oz tube with simple flip lid – from the outside, it’s no different to any other toothpaste besides the tube being pure white.
- Purpose: brighten and whiten teeth, fight plaque formation
- Active Ingredient: sodium monofluorophosphate
- Other Ingredients: Aqua, Hydrated Silica, Sorbitol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Glycerin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, PEG-12, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Dimethicone, Poloxamer 338, Poloxamer 407, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Oxide, Flavor, BHT, CI 77891, Limonene
- Usage: after each meal, twice a day, or as directed by your dentist
To get the whitening and brightening effects, you don’t need to do anything special with this toothpaste – just use it as you would your regular Colgate whitening toothpaste!
The key difference between AP24 whitening toothpaste and other brands, like Colgate and Sensodyne for example, is the ingredients.
It doesn’t rely on peroxides to dye your teeth pearly white. Instead, AP24 uses sodium monofluorophosphate which has anticavity properties and protects your enamel. It also contains hydrated silica (a safe abrasive) and aluminum hydroxide – an antacid.
This is where the problems start. No matter how great sodium monofluorophosphate is at protecting your enamel, combining it with abrasives is counterintuitive. And then we reach the really worrying ingredients. Yikes.
Hydrated silica, although considered a relatively safe ingredient in toothpaste, will wear away the enamel. That’s what this toothpaste does – it scrapes off the top layer of enamel revealing the cleaner tooth below.
It also contains titanium dioxide, which is a key component of white paint. It’s not something you want to consume! Brushing it onto your teeth will certainly whiten them, and it is recognized as food safe by the US Food and Drug Administration, but there’s not much research into the long-term risks of brushing onto your teeth.
This toothpaste will damage your enamel and add a glossy white coat on top. For the short term (say, you use it for a few days in the run-up to photo a day) the damage to your enamel isn’t going to be dire. Just remember – it won’t grow back.
Even worse, that white coat of paint is going to wear away quickly and with damaged enamel, you’re going to get stained, yellow teeth even quicker than before.
Short term use could really aggravate sensitive teeth and begin to damage enamel. Long term use will completely destroy your enamel, just to ensure you definitely have sensitive teeth if you didn’t already.
What to Expect from AP24
We thoroughly tested AP24 by comparing it to other whitening toothpaste we know that dentists recommend and have reviewed before at Dental Dorks. We also spoke with several users of the AP24 toothpaste to find out how they got on in the long term – and save us potentially ruining our own enamel.
As Dental Dorks, protecting our dental health is our top priority, so naturally, we wanted to thoroughly examine AP24 before trying it out on our own teeth. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the same skeptical boat.
Results are mixed, to say the least. Some people, usually the people who’ve only been trying it out for the past few weeks, find it does brighten their teeth. This is where the abrasive ingredients are wearing away stains and some enamel in the process.
Those that have been using it for longer tend to find that the whitening ability is limited and after a certain point it will cease working and your teeth will reach their natural optimum whiteness. Some scarier reports include extreme sensitivity developing and build-up of plaque. Without thoroughly quizzing them on their dental hygiene habits, we can’t say for definite if this was the toothpaste’s work. Although extreme, these shocking reviews are more an exception than a rule.
Will you notice a difference by using this toothpaste regularly? Yes. Especially if this is the first whitening toothpaste you’ve tried and you’ve got terribly yellow teeth. Even if the small amount of titanium dioxide included has little effect on your teeth, the abrasive ingredients will wear down the stains to reveal your natural tooth color beneath.
The worrying ingredients added are common ingredients in many whitening toothpastes. The quantity that’s added and the active ingredient that’s included are very relevant. The general consensus from experts seems to be that using this toothpaste isn’t the end of the world and will provide a quick fix… but if you’re serious about whitening your teeth properly you should speak to your dentist instead. They’ll be able to recommend a good tooth whitener that won’t compromise your dental health.
Final Verdict – Good or Bad?
We’ve come to the conclusion that this toothpaste is good for whitening, not so good for dental health. It’s wise to always be wary of what ingredients are in your toothpaste. A closer look at what’s in AP24 toothpaste and comparison to other whitening toothpaste brands reveals some questionable, but ultimately safe ingredients.
We do not recommend this to anyone with sensitive teeth – it won’t feel good no matter how you apply it due to the abrasive ingredients. For everyone else, you can try this toothpaste and safely expect at least some brightening effect – just don’t expect pearly whites in a matter of moments.
We’d seriously reconsider using this regularly in the long term. At the very least, we’d suggest swapping between AP24 and an enamel-strengthening toothpaste from a more reputable brand every now and then to slow down any damage it could be causing.
There is more than one way to skin a cat! Okay, I admit this is a bad reference, and I don’t even know what it stands for. But, there certainly is more than one way to whiten your teeth.
For the quickest results, people usually opt in for the best teeth whitening strips. They are easy to use and yield results within days.
The second most popular, way to get a whiter smile, is to use some of the best teeth whitening kits available on the market. These product has really taken off, and if it wasn’t for the price, they would easily be the number one product.
Least, but not least, you can try a good charcoal whitening toothpaste. At Dental Dorks we are not big fans of this practice, but we just want you to know all of your options before making a decision.
Author: Peter Mayhew
Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.