The 8 Best Whitening Toothpastes for a Brighter Smile

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Prefer it or not, your smile could make an enormous first impression (heck, there’s research to prove it). When your teeth are looking just a little dull and lackluster—perhaps from one too many cups of coffee or glasses of wine—the most effective whitening toothpastes are in your side. Although they’re much less powerful than at-home whitening kits and skilled bleaching treatments, they’re an easy and inexpensive solution to achieving pearlier whites over time.

“Whitening toothpastes might be effective at removing surface stains and help brighten the general appearance of the teeth,” says Dr. Ben El Chami, DMD. “They work by utilizing mild abrasives and chemicals, like silica or baking soda, to remove superficial stains. Some also contain enzymes or bleaching agents, corresponding to hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to assist break down or lighten deeper stains,” he adds.

And since they contain a lower concentration of lively whitening ingredients that might be sensitizing, these toothpastes are typically a gentler brightening method for individuals who prefer it.

While perusing your local drugstore aisle, Dr. El Chami says to search for whitening toothpastes that do double duty to maintain teeth healthy, via ingredients like fluoride and xylitol. “Despite being a somewhat controversial ingredient, fluoride has widely been scientifically proven to be protected for strengthening teeth against cavities,” he mentions. “Meanwhile, xylitol is a natural sweetener that helps reduce bacteria and forestall plaque buildup.”

What’s more, it’s a superb idea to hunt options that carry the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. (The organization only accepts products which can be made with fluoride.) “This seal indicates that the toothpaste has been evaluated by the ADA and located to be protected and effective for its intended use,” Dr. El Chami explains. “If you should use a product without the ADA seal, make certain to talk along with your dentist first.”

To guide you in your journey towards a whiter smile, we consulted Dr. El Chami on his favorite picks and scoured tons of top-rated products to compile the eight best whitening toothpastes, below. From all-natural selects to gentle options formulated specifically for individuals with sensitive mouths, these toothpastes will actually make you excited to brush.

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Best Overall


Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste

Key ingredients Stannous fluoride, hydrated silica, citric acid
Size 4.8 oz., pack of two


Best Natural Whitening Toothpaste

Tom’s of Maine

Simply White Toothpaste

Key ingredients Sodium Fluoride, hydrated silica
Size 4.7 oz.


One other Great Natural Option


Naturally Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste

Key ingredients Sodium fluoride, hydrated silica, calcium carbonate, xylitol, coconut oil
Size 4.07 oz.


Best-Tested Whitening Toothpaste


Optic White Advanced Toothpaste, 3-Pack

Key ingredients Sodium fluoride, 2% hydrogen peroxide
Size 3.2 oz.


Best Whitening Toothpaste With Baking Soda

Arm & Hammer

Dental Care Toothpaste, Pack of three

Key ingredients Baking soda, sodium fluoride
Size 6.3 oz., pack of three


Best Whitening Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth


Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste

Key ingredients Hydrated silica, sodium fluoride
Size 4 oz., pack of three


Best Whitening Toothpaste for Sensitive Gums


Whitening Toothpaste for Bleeding Gums

Key ingredients Stannous fluoride, hydrated silica
Size 3.4 oz.


Best Whitening Toothpaste Tablets


Toothpaste Bits, Pack of two

Key ingredients Xylitol, Nano-Hydroxyapatite (N-Hap), calcium carbonate
Size 62 tablets in a single jar

What are a few of the principal causes of tooth yellowing and stains?

Tooth discoloration might be brought on by a variety of things. Per Cleveland Clinic, a few of the commonest culprits include consuming wine, tea, and occasional and smoking or chewing tobacco. Tooth staining will also be a result of things like genetics, using certain medications, or having poor dental hygiene (translation: don’t forget to brush or floss consistently).

How effective are whitening toothpastes?

“It’s necessary to take note that the effectiveness of whitening toothpastes might be limited, and so they shouldn’t be used as an alternative to skilled teeth whitening treatments,” says Dr. El Chami. “Over-the-counter whitening toothpastes aren’t as potent as prescription gels or in-office treatments, especially on the subject of removing deep stains or lightening the natural color of the teeth.”

“For whiter teeth, it’s also necessary to take care of good oral hygiene habits and to see your dentist frequently for check-ups and cleanings,” he adds.

What about charcoal toothpastes? How effective are they at removing stains?

“Charcoal toothpaste incorporates activated charcoal, which is a fantastic powder constituted of coconut shells, bamboo, or other natural materials which have been treated to extend their porosity and surface area,” explains Dr. El Chami. “These kinds of formulas have turn out to be increasingly popular lately as a natural substitute for traditional whitening toothpaste. Nonetheless, there isn’t enough research to substantiate the efficacy of charcoal as a whitening agent. It’s necessary to seek the advice of your dentist before using charcoal toothpaste, especially if you may have any dental issues or are undergoing any dental treatment,” he adds.

Are there certain ingredients in whitening toothpastes that may cause sensitivity?

Yes. “Essentially the most common bleaching agents are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide,” explains Dr. El Chami. “The upper the concentration of the bleaching agent, the more practical the toothpaste shall be at whitening the teeth. Still, it’s necessary to remember that toothpastes with higher concentrations of bleaching agents may cause more tooth sensitivity.” And while typically milder, abrasives corresponding to silica or baking soda can even sensitize nerves “if the concentration is just too high or if the toothpaste is used too often,” he says. Similarly, “citric acid can erode the tooth enamel and cause tooth sensitivity if utilized in high concentrations.”

If you may have sensitive teeth or gums, search for toothpastes which can be specially formulated to be gentle, Dr. El Chami notes. And remember, “it’s all the time best to seek the advice of along with your dentist before starting any whitening regimen,” he says.

How often do you have to use a whitening toothpaste?

“This depends upon the precise product at hand and the condition of your teeth,” says Dr. El Chami. “On the whole, it’s endorsed to make use of a whitening toothpaste instead of your regular toothpaste, twice a day, as a part of your regular oral hygiene routine.”

“Consider that while whitening toothpastes can assist to brighten your teeth, they can even cause tooth sensitivity and abrasion if overused,” he warns.

When should I expect to see results?

“The period of time it takes to see change from using a whitening toothpaste can fluctuate depending on the precise product you might be using, the condition of your teeth, and the way often you utilize the toothpaste,” says Dr. El Chami. “Some people may even see results inside just a few days of beginning to use a whitening toothpaste, others may take several weeks or longer to see a noticeable difference.”

Dr. Ben El Chami is is the co-founder and chief dental officer of dntl bar in Latest York City.

Sam Peters is a seasoned commerce author and editor with over five years of experience covering fashion, beauty, and lifestyle topics. For this roundup, she consulted a dentist about his recommendations for the most effective whitening toothpastes, find out how to use them, and what to search for when shopping. She also considered a variety of top-rated whitening toothpastes available on the market, evaluating each on their ingredients offered and customer feedback.

Commerce Editor
Sam Peters is a Commerce Editor at Hearst covering fashion, beauty and more.

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