Table of Contents
- How Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?
- What To Look For In A Whitening Toothpaste
- Suggest Whitening Toothpaste Products
- Teeth Whitening Sensitivity
- General Whitening Tips
- Best Whitening Toothpaste Wrap Up
If you’ve ever been to the toothpaste isle in the grocery store then you know that there are about a bigillion options claiming that they’re the best whitening toothpaste. Around three quarters of the toothpaste options out there say they’ve got some sort of whitening power.
Choosing the best whitening toothpaste can be a pretty tall order. There’s little information on how they actually work, even less information on how to choose the best one, and an overwhelming number of options.
That’s why we wrote The Ultimate Guide On Finding The Best Whitening Toothpaste (bolded for dramatic effect!).
Down below you’ll find all the info you need to make an educated consumer decision. After that, we’ve got a selection of what we think are the best whitening toothpastes. Already up-to-date on your whitening toothpaste info? No problem, just skip to the product suggestions using the Table of Contents above!
Bonus: Download our free whitening tips to give your smile a boost. Includes a comparison and explanation of whitening techniques using toothpaste, mouthwash, whitestrips and at-home gels and kits.
How Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?
Whitening products in general work on one of two ways. The first way is to use small abrasives to rub off stain causing particles. The second way is to use a bleaching agent such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamine peroxide. Below we’ve got the basic info on both methods.
The first common way to whiten teeth is by using abrasives. The idea here is that tiny little particles are going to rub against the outer surfaces of your teeth. This rubbing action will dislodge and remove stain causing particles, such as the pigments left behind when you drink a cup of coffee.
This technique will only work to reduce surface stains. It won’t actually change the color of your teeth.
Toothpaste is generally the only product that will use abrasives to whiten teeth. All other teeth whitening methods (such as gels, strips, and mouthwashes) don’t involve any rubbing action so including abrasives tends to not work very well with them.
The second technique used to whiten teeth is bleaching. The two main chemicals used to bleach teeth are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide will reduce to hydrogen peroxide when added with water, so really the main teeth bleaching ingredient is hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is very effective at actually changing the color of your teeth. This can help to remove intrinsic (deep) stains along with extrinsic (surface) stains.
Hydrogen peroxide tends to be more effective at a higher concentration and with longer contact periods. For example, a 30% concentration of hydrogen peroxide will whiten better than a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Furthermore, a whitening product with hydrogen peroxide (such as a whitening mouthwash) is more effective if used for 10 minutes as opposed to 3 minutes.
Most whitening solutions only contain 1%-6% hydrogen peroxide. Any concentration above this can be very dangerous and should only be used by a medical professional in a secure environment.
If you want to use hydrogen peroxide by itself for whitening, make sure to buy a 3% concentration at the store. Food grade hydrogen peroxide has a 35% concentration and can be VERY DANGEROUS if used orally. Do not use food grade hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening.
What To Look For In A Whitening Toothpaste
While browsing the world for the best whitening toothpaste, it’s important to keep a few ideas in mind. Below we’ve got a collection of the best things to know when searching for the best whitening toothpaste:
As we mentioned above, most whitening toothpastes will whiten through abrasives. Pretty much every whitening toothpaste will include abrasives as a method to whiten teeth. It’s important to make sure that the whitening toothpaste you use isn’t too abrasive though. Toothpaste that’s too abrasive will actually wear away your enamel and end up causing serious sensitivity issues.
In order to check out rough the toothpaste will be on your mouth and teeth, refer to the Relative Dentin Abrasiveness (RDA) Index. This shows you how abrasive different toothpastes are in comparison with each other.
Below are the general classifications on toothpaste abrasiveness.
Low Abrasion Zone: 0 – 70
Medium Abrasive Zone: 70 – 100
Highly Abrasive Zone: 100 – 150
Harmful Zone: 150 – 250
FDA Limit for Daily Use: 250
|7||Straight Baking Soda|
|8||Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder|
|30||Elmex Sensitive Plus|
|35||Arm & Hammer Dental Care|
|42||Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda Peroxide|
|44||Squigle Enamel Saver|
|48||Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive|
|49||Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control|
|49||Toms of Maine Sensitive (given as 40s)|
|52||Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular|
|53||Rembrandt Original (RDA)|
|54||Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint|
|57||Toms of Maine Childrens, Wintermint (given as mid-50s)|
|63||Rembrandt Mint (Heffernan RDA)|
|70||Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive|
|70||Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint (given as 50-70)|
|83||Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength|
|93||Toms of Maine Regular (given as high 80s low 90s)|
|95||Crest Regular (possibly 99)|
|103||Arm & Hammer Sensation|
|104||Sensodyne Extra Whitening|
|106||Arm & Hammer Advance White Paste|
|107||Crest Sensitivity Protection|
|110||Amway Glister (given as upper bound)|
|117||Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel|
|117||Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control|
|120||Close-Up with Baking Soda (canadian)|
|130||Crest Extra Whitening|
|133||Ultra brite (or 120-140)|
|144||Crest MultiCare Whitening|
|145||Ultra brite Advanced Whitening Formula|
|145||Colgate Baking Sode & Peroxide Whitening (given as 135-145)|
|150||Pepsodent (given as upper bound)|
|165||Colgate Tartar Control (given as 155-165)|
|168||Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint|
|200||Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening or Icy Blast/Whitening (given as 190-200)|
Some toothpaste will still use bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide. The goal of this is to not only wear away the surface stains, but actually help change the color of your teeth.
The biggest issue with this is that even if you brush your teeth for the full dentist recommended two minutes, it won’t be enough time for the hydrogen peroxide to do a whole lot.
Having a bleaching agent in your toothpaste can help supplement other bleaching efforts like using a whitening mouthwash, but don’t expect any extreme bleaching results from a bleaching toothpaste. Instead, focus on getting teeth whitening dedicated products, such as whitening strips or gels.
A major aspect of keep your teeth white is the general health of your enamel. By keeping your enamel strong, you’re making it more difficult for staining pigments to attach and cause surface stains.
The most important ingredient in a toothpaste for preventing tooth decay and promoting healthy enamel is sodium fluoride. It’s the only ADA recommended ingredient that is proven to help strengthen the enamel on your teeth.
You’ll see significantly whiter teeth if you’re regularly using a fluoride based toothpaste.
ADA Seal Of Acceptance
If you’re unaware, the American Dental Association has an entire section of their website dedicated to products that they approve of. Products that have achieved the ADA Seal of Acceptance are guaranteed to be healthy for your teeth. It gives you that piece of mind that what you’re using is recommended by professionals. If you’re interested in viewing the ADA recommended products, click here.
Handy Tip: Many toothpaste manufacturers will claim their products will whiten your teeth in days. This isn’t a very realistic expectation to have. There is definitely the chance you’ll see whitening occur within the first week or two of use, but for the full teeth whitening effect, expect to wait a 8-12 weeks. Teeth whitening is a rather slow process that requires consistency and persistence.
Suggest Whitening Toothpaste Products
Now that you’ve got all the info, it’s time to look through some of the options available for the best whitening toothpaste. Below we’ve got our selection of suggested products.
Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous Toothpaste
It’s hard to argue with being the #2 selling oral health product on amazon. Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous Toothpaste is a powerful contender when it comes to the best whitening toothpaste out there.
This whitening toothpaste works in three ways to help whiten your teeth: stain removal, stain protection, and enamel protection.
Stain Removal: Abrasives will help to remove the surfaces stains on your teeth.
Stain Protection: Crest’s Whitelock technology will help to protect your teeth from incoming stains, making it harder for your teeth to turn yellow in the first place.
Fluoride: Crest 3D White Luxe uses sodium fluoride to help protect your teeth against bacteria, germs and erosion.
Overall we found the taste and texture to be pleasant. There’s nothing original here – just a regular mint flavor. We know it works, and it works well. Your mouth will feel really clean afterwards and generally pretty fantastic after use.
You’ll likely see some whitening pretty quickly, but don’t expect a “whiter smile in two days”. It’ll take several weeks for the full whitening power to take effect. Read our full review here.
Tom’s of Maine Simply White Toothpaste
Another strong contender for the best whitening toothpaste is Tom’s of Maine Simply White Toothpaste. Tom’s of Maine is known in the toothpaste industry as producing fantastic oral health products with natural ingredients. The story here is no different.
Tom’s of Maine Simply White Toothpaste is one of the few whitening toothpastes that has the official ADA Seal of Acceptance. This is a big deal, and really helps to give you the peace of mind that this toothpaste is good for your teeth.
This whitening toothpaste uses hydrated silica as an abrasive to remove surface stains. This is a very mild abrasive. It’s much less likely to cause sensitivity. As such, you can comfortably use this twice a day, every day without concern. It’s very unlikely you’ll experience any sensitivity issues with this toothpaste.
There aren’t any bleaching agents in the Simply White toothpaste, but that’s not a big deal. It focuses on removing surface stains and it’s good at that. It also uses sodium fluoride to help strengthen your enamel.
Tom’s of Maine in general is a fantastic company, and that gives the Simply White Toothpaste bonus points in our book. There’s nothing better than getting a great product from a great company!
Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste
For a more balanced, all-around strong toothpaste, check out Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste. While it is a strong competitor for its whitening power, it also focuses on other areas of the mouth. This makes it a perfect for those who want to whiten their teeth but also keep their teeth and gums in tip-top shape.
The Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste is the only other toothpaste on our list that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance as a whitening toothpaste. It is also FDA-approved for preventing gingivitis. This means it’s approved by two different health organizations for two different purposes. That’s pretty impressive.
It’s also a great solution for killing the germs and bacteria that cause bad breath. It certainly won’t be your go-to product if you suffer from serious halitosis. That’s fine though. Getting a bit of bad breath protection along with increasing your gum health and whitening your teeth is still solid in our book.
This is a toothpaste that you’ll want to make sure you use for a while before reflecting upon. While you should notice a difference in your breath pretty immediately, it’ll take several weeks of regular, consistent brushing to notice an effect in your gum health and teeth whiteness.
That said, this toothpaste will definitely get you there.
Rembrandt Deeply White Toothpaste
You could almost call the Rembrandt Deeply White Toothpaste the juggernaut of whitening toothpastes. That’s because it’s thick. Seriously, this toothpaste is super packed and dense. The plus side with that is that you’ll only need to use a little every day. This makes it last quite a bit longer than other toothpaste.
One of the other things you might notice right away is all of the air in the toothpaste tube. We read a fair bit about this and also noticed it ourselves. Don’t worry though, it’s supposed to be there and has a good reason. The process that Rembrandt uses to make their toothpaste results in a lot of oxygen being released after it’s been packaged. They make sure to leave some extra room for this expansion so that the tube doesn’t pop and toothpaste flies everywhere.
That’s okay as far as I’m concerned… I hate getting hit in the face with toothpaste explosions.
As far as the whitening power goes, Rembrandt Deeply White Toothpaste is a very strong choice. It focuses on whitening in two ways. It works to remove surface stains by using abrasives to get the particles and pigments unstuck from you enamel. Then it uses hydrogen peroxide to help bleach your teeth. This will get at those deeper (intrinsic) tooth stains.
They hydrogen peroxide is a nice addition, but as we said before it should be more of a supplement to other bleaching efforts. Rembrandt carries several other hydrogen peroxide based bleaching products, so you can check those out if you’re looking for other ways to whiten your mouth.
Arm & Hammer Advance White Toothpaste
Last but not least is my favorite and personal go-to for teeth whitening, the Arm & Hammer Advance White Toothpaste. There’s nothing super fancy about this toothpaste. No major bells and whistles – just a straightforward whitening toothpaste.
Arm & Hammer has been a manufacturer of baking soda for years, so it only makes sense that their whitening toothpaste would be based around baking soda. The connection will be pretty obvious the moment you taste this toothpaste. The baking soda flavor is very strong. Like, kick you in the face strong.
I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t a fan. It’s very bitter and will probably catch you off guard. After a week of use I honestly really started to like it though. It’s a different kind of ‘clean’ feeling, but your mouth will feel clean nonetheless. You’ll start to enjoy the clean feeling much more than the sweet minty flavors most toothpastes have.
As far as the whitening power goes, Arm & Hammer Advance White Toothpaste is definitely for the long-game players. It won’t do anything to whiten your teeth over two or three days. Consistent use over a 12 week period of time will release the true whitening power though.
Advance White is a very low abrasive toothpaste, so making it a part of your daily routine should be no problem at all. Do that for a few months and you’ll notice some great results.
Check out our full review of Arm & Hammer Advance White Toothpaste here.
Teeth Whitening Sensitivity
One of the most frequent symptoms of using a teeth whitening toothpaste is sensitivity. As one might think, rubbing abrasives on your teeth twice a day for weeks can make things a bit more sensitive.
The most common pattern of teeth sensitivity due to whitening is a sharp increase and then steady decrease. You’ll most likely notice your teeth increase in sensitivity over the first 1-3 weeks of use. After that period of time you’ll likely notice a decrease in the sensitivity of your teeth.
If you’re having issues with sensitivity due to teeth whitening, below are a few quick tips:
Try to supplement your teeth whitening with a sensitivity toothpaste. Using both can help you whiten your teeth along with minimizing the sensitivity issues.
If the sensitivity continues to increase, stop using all whitening products. You should notice your sensitivity return to normal over the next 2-3 weeks. After the sensitivity has decrease, begin using your teeth whitening toothpaste again, only less aggressively and less frequently.
If you’re having issues with teeth sensitivity due to whitening, talk to your dentist. They’ll be the most knowledgeable on your teeth specifically and can help you figure out the best solution.
General Whitening Tips
While using the best whitening toothpaste can certainly help you whiten your teeth, there are tons of other useful ways to whiten your teeth. Below we’ve got a quick list of simple things you can do to help make your teeth whiter:
Regardless of what toothpaste you use, brushing twice a day for a full two minutes each is the best way to change the color of your teeth for the better. Consistency is key here. Missing a brushing once or twice every week or two isn’t a big deal. However, if you’re regularly forgetting to brush your teeth twice a day you won’t see nearly as good results from your teeth whitening efforts.
2. Staining Foods
Many of the foods you consume regularly are awful for staining teeth. Things like coffee, tea, wine, and soda will turn your teeth yellow pretty fast. It’s pretty tough to keep from getting that cup of coffee in the morning. If you can try to at least decrease your regular consumption though, it’ll be a lot easier to whitening your teeth.
Tobacco is pretty horrible for teeth whitening. Giving up any tobacco products (not just cigarettes) will make it way easier to get your teeth whiter.
4. Sugar Free Gum
Chewing sugar free gum is a fantastic way to help whiten your teeth along with decreasing bad breath. Saliva will help to whisk away all of the bacteria and pigments that cause discolored and yellow teeth. Chewing gum will increase your saliva production to expedite this process.
5. Regular Rinsing
Regularly rinsing your mouth with mouthwash after you eat/drink is a fantastic way to help whiten your teeth. This can help flush out any pigments that are stuck on your teeth along as kill staining bacteria. It’ll help your gum health and prevent bad breath as well!
Best Whitening Toothpaste Wrap Up
There we have it – the ultimate guide for finding the best whitening toothpaste out there. We here at Oradyne sincerely hope that this guide was helpful to you. If you have any questions comments or concerns, please let us know by dropping a comment below or contacting us through our contact page. In addition, if you have any product recommendations or didn’t like a product that we suggested, please let us know. We’re always interested in keeping our articles up to date with relevant, useful information.