When it comes to teeth whitening, professional treatments are always your best bet. They’re effective for even the most stubborn stains, they work faster than store-bought treatment options, and because they’re overseen by a dentist, they have a lower risk of painful sensitivity and gum irritation. Still, whitening toothpaste can be worthwhile for maintaining your teeth whitening results or for polishing away minor stains. Here’s what you need to know.
How Whitening Toothpaste Works
Whitening toothpastes are the mildest form of at-home teeth whitening. Most whitening toothpastes use gentle, enamel-safe abrasives to polish away surface stains. (There are also some “natural” teeth whitening options that use harsher abrasives, like charcoal. These are not recommended because they can wear away your tooth enamel, which will make your teeth look more yellow in the long-term.)
Some whitening toothpastes also contain peroxide, which is the same active ingredient in whitening strips and gels. The strength of the peroxide in whitening toothpaste is much lower than that of whitening treatments since it needs to be safe for daily use.
If you want to brighten your smile with whitening toothpaste, make sure you follow the instructions on the package and use the toothpaste as recommended. If you begin to experience any sensitivity, you can reduce how often you use whitening toothpaste by alternating with a standard fluoride toothpaste.
Best Toothpastes for Whitening Teeth
Here are some of our picks for the best whitening toothpastes. Each of these options is safe, effective, approved by the American Dental Association (ADA), and recommended by dentists.
Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste
Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste offers teeth whitening and a number of other benefits, including sensitivity relief and antibacterial properties that protect against tooth decay and gum disease. If you want to brighten your smile without sacrificing cavity and gum disease protection, this is an excellent choice.
Crest Pro Health Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening
If you thought teeth whitening wasn’t an option for you due to sensitive teeth, this toothpaste from Crest might be a game-changer! It combines sensitivity relief with gentle whitening power, so you don’t have to worry about dental pain from brightening your smile.
Tom’s of Maine Simply White Clean Mint Toothpaste
As mentioned above, there are a number of natural whitening toothpastes with questionable ingredients that can cause enamel to thin with overuse, and many don’t have fluoride, which is an important ingredient for dental health. Tom’s of Maine is natural, but it does contain fluoride, and it also contains gentle, naturally-derived silicas to buff away stains.
Colgate Optic White Advanced Sparkling White
If you want serious whitening power from your whitening toothpaste, choose Colgate Optic White Advanced Sparkling White. It has gentle abrasives and hydrogen peroxide to lift surface stains and penetrate the enamel to bleach away the darkened molecules that cause discoloration. This is an excellent choice for coffee and tea drinkers.