Look up whitening toothpaste reviews and you are likely to find a variety of opinions.
Some swear by teeth whitening toothpastes. Others report no effects whatsoever.
You might even find information that suggests that your toothbrush has a greater ability to whiten your teeth than any toothpaste ever could.
So who is right?
To be honest, all of these opinions have some truth to them. We will certainly provide our recommendations for the best whitening toothpastes. But first, there are some things you need to know.
Do Whitening Toothpastes Actually Work?
It really comes down to your goals.
Teeth have different layers that become discolored for different reasons—mainly due to staining from what we eat and drink. You may be surprised to learn that the enamel of our teeth (the outermost layer) is actually porous. These pores can hold in stains.
Most toothpastes contain abrasives that can get into those pores and help remove surface stains. Still, proper brushing technique is crucial. Use all the whitening toothpaste you want: if you don’t brush your teeth properly, you’re wasting your time.
There are also toothpastes that contain chemicals such as blue covarine that stick to tooth enamel and causes them to appear whiter.
Abrasive toothpaste paired with good brushing has the ability to remove surface stains. However, if you’re looking for that “Hollywood white” smile you see celebrities wear, you’ll need to go further.
Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Teeth Cleaning
Most whitening toothpastes focus on removing stains from the tooth enamel. Other methods go beyond that to whiten even deeper.
The stains on the enamel are referred to as extrinsic.
Substances such as coffee, red wine, and tobacco stain this layer easily. Luckily, all that is required to remove most extrinsic stains is proper brushing. Whitening toothpastes work on this level to make the brushing process even more effective.
For the vast majority of people, pairing proper brushing technique with a reliable whitening toothpaste can yield spectacular results. Our teeth whitening toothpaste reviews are a great place to start for anyone interested in removing enamel staining.
If you want to go further, however, you’ll need to go beyond diligent home care.
Intrinsic whitening focuses on the dentin, the layer of your teeth that define their shade. Hollywood smiles are created with intrinsic whitening.
For most people, dentin will naturally turn yellow over time. Hereditary conditions can also result in purple, gray, or orange intrinsic staining. There are also a variety of factors that can cause intrinsic staining.
Tooth trauma is one of the most common causes of intrinsic discoloration. The overuse of substances such as fluoride and tetracycline antibiotics can also cause intrinsic staining—especially when begun at a young age.
There are several ways to whiten the dentin of your teeth. However, toothpaste is not one of those ways.
How Whitening Toothpastes Work
As we mentioned before, the best whitening toothpastes have powerful abrasives that help to remove stains from the enamel.
Many also include bleaching agents and ingredients that prevent stains or strengthen enamel.
Common Active Ingredients
- Hydrated Silica – Used as an abrasive and helps to remove any lingering stains on the exterior of the teeth.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – Used to bleach the teeth. It is one of the most commonly found ingredients in tooth whitening toothpaste.
- Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) – This compound bonds to your teeth and helps to prevent future stains from forming.
- Potassium Nitrate – Protects the nerves under the teeth to reduce sensitivity. It also helps to whiten the teeth.
- Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) – Used as an abrasive against the teeth. It also neutralizes harmful acids in the mouth.
- Sodium Monofluorophosphate (Fluoride) – Fluoride is a compound that helps to strengthen the enamel on the teeth, which prevents cavities and decreases tooth sensitivity.
- Sodium Tripolyphosphate – Used as a detergent agent. Its main function is to help remove stains on the teeth.
Top 5 Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
If you really want to select the best whitening toothpaste, you need to set standards. That’s why all of our reviews are filtered through a carefully selected set of criteria.
The best toothpaste for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences, but figuring out the most important factors for a tooth whitening toothpaste is relatively straightforward.
We rank whitening toothpastes based on:
- Whitening Power: Includes abrasion, bleaching, and enamel strengthening.
- Sensitivity: Based on ingredient list and reviews, how it affects those with sensitive mouths.
- Taste/Texture: For many people, this is the factor that determines long term sustainability.
- Value: How each toothpaste stacks up when it comes to price.
For anyone looking for the best whitening toothpaste, these four areas are really the only ones you need to look at.
We analyze real reviews of each toothpaste and rate each product based on these criteria. These standards set a level playing field for comparison.
Now that you understand how we do things, let’s jump right into our teeth whitening toothpaste reviews:
1. Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White Vibrant Whitening Toothpaste
This is probably the most popular whitening toothpaste on the market. It sells well and gets great reviews. Nearly 85% of the reviews on Amazon are 4 and 5 stars. They make claims such as “removes up to 90% of surface stains” and “whitens smile in two days” and don’t get many complaints.
The Glamorous White has a cool mint flavor that makes it enjoyable to brush. It leaves your mouth tasting minty fresh for hours. And the texture is exactly what you’d expect from a Crest product. Great quality, great price, great value.
2. Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste
Like many whitening toothpastes, some users report their teeth changing drastically in only a week. This toothpaste has a cool minty flavor. You may notice the fluoride if you’re sensitive, but most people won’t.
All the flavors and ingredients are natural and that’s a positive in our book.
3. Tom’s of Maine Antiplaque and Whitening Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
It has a very unique texture that takes some getting used to. Yet the flavor is great—which is pretty impressive considering Tom’s doesn’t use artificial dyes, sweeteners, or flavors. To top things off, it’s always inexpensive.
4. Natural Whitening Tooth & Gum Powder with Activated Charcoal
If you haven’t seen the viral videos of people using activated charcoal to whiten their teeth, you might be surprised when you do. However it looks, this black goop works well. You should note, though, that the ADA has not yet jumped on the bandwagon and hasn’t given it their stamp of approval yet.
People really love the “Cinnamint” flavor, though it does take some getting used to in any flavor. It is black powder, after all. It rinses out well and takes stains with it when it does. inVitamin guarantees 274 uses from $10 worth of the product, making it a great value.
5. Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste
While many report that they like the taste of this toothpaste over the sensodyne original, it still has that hint of fluoride you might notice across all Sensodyne products. We do not recommend this for those who dislike the taste of sensodyne or don’t have sensitive teeth.
The truth is:
Any of the whitening toothpastes on this list are plenty powerful enough to produce significant whitening in most people given proper brushing technique.
Your best bet is to pick one and go with it if you’re looking for a whiter smile. Come back and choose another one from the list if you don’t like it.
Some work a little faster. Some taste a little better. But all of them require consistent use over time to acquire and maintain the brightest smile possible.