Products with names like 'brightening toothpaste' and 'brightening mouthwash' have been sold for years to brighten teeth. They are cheap, often have no proven benefits and may not be of benefit to children. They do, however, appear to be quite popular.
The term "brightening toothpaste" is a misnomer and is not used as a term of art, as with toothpastes of any type. Brightening toothpaste is not a cosmetic product. It is not a product that can be used to restore and improve the tooth enamel and to prevent decay. Brightening toothpaste, like most other products, is marketed to treat or prevent tooth decay. Brightening toothpaste products don'thing to brighten teeth.
" Brightening toothpastes " has been the name of at least two popular toothpastes sold in the United States. These toothpastes were marketed in the 1950s as being "safer and more effective" than toothpaste because of their ingredients, such as a "baked lime extract," a natural ingredient known to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, "lime extract" is actually a product of the fermentation of the juice of citrus fruits. When a toothpaste is heated (such as by the toothpaste maker), hydrogen ions in the toothpaste dissolve the acids in the toothpaste.