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Best Teeth Whitening Toothpastes

Updated September 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 23 Models Considered
  • 6 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 124 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best teeth whitening toothpastes

    Last Updated September 2018

    You know what they say: you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. You want to be memorable, but not because your teeth are yellowed, stained, or discolored. Your smile is one of your greatest assets, and one of the best ways to make sure people remember that smile is to flash teeth that are as pearly and bright as possible. Teeth whitening toothpaste can help.

    While you aren’t likely to achieve movie star results from OTC teeth whitening products, you can noticeably diminish discoloration and improve the brightness of your teeth with a whitening toothpaste. But which one?

    BestReviews is here to help. It’s our mission to provide shopping guides that you can sink your teeth into – all facts and no fluff. If you’re ready to buy some teeth whitening toothpaste, check out or top picks above. If you’d like to learn more about these products, keep reading our shopping guide below.

    Your teeth are unique. The true color of your teeth is different than that of your favorite movie star. And there’s a lot of photoshopping involved in those dazzling pearly whites in print ads! Focus on finding the white that’s natural for you and not on achieving blindingly white teeth.

    Why use teeth whitening toothpaste?

    Your smile is as important as good grooming to the way you look. Clean hair, clear skin, and a radiant smile are all part of the picture of good, glowing health.

    There are many factors that cause teeth to darken, yellow, or discolor. Some affect the exterior of the tooth (extrinsic stains). Brushing with a whitening toothpaste can help diminish extrinsic stains caused by the following.

    • Smoking

    • Wine, grape juice

    • Coffee

    • Tea

    • Cola

    • Berries, tomato sauce, and other foods
       

    Some factors discolor the tooth beneath the enamel (intrinsic stains). Only chemical bleaching can help improve intrinsic stains caused by the following.

    • Aging (As the enamel thins, more yellow dentin shows through.)

    • Tooth trauma

    • Antibiotics (such as tetracycline)
       

    While there are many different OTC products out there for whitening teeth – from chewing gums to rinses to strips to gels – toothpaste makes up the largest share of the market by far, which isn’t surprising when you think about it.

    • Whitening toothpaste is easy to use. Why not get a whitening boost out of an activity you’re already doing regularly?

    • Whitening toothpaste can be gentler on your teeth and gums than whitening strips, kits, or the gels that dentists use for in-office treatment.

    • Whitening toothpaste is inexpensive compared to in-office treatments and many whitening strips and kits.

    • Whitening toothpaste is safe and effective when used as directed.

    Quadruple benefits

    Ease sensitivity, brighten your smile, block new stains, and prevent cavities – what’s not to love? Users rave about the minty taste, creamy texture, and gentle stain-removing qualities of this toothpaste. For teeth that feel like they spent the day at a spa, this is one to try.

    How teeth whitening toothpaste works

    Whitening toothpastes rely on an abrasive, such as tasteless and odorless hydrated silica, to scrub stains off the surface of teeth.

    Some whitening toothpastes also include a low concentration of a bleaching agent, such as peroxide, to help brighten teeth.

    Potential side effects include tooth sensitivity and irritation of gums and other soft tissues in the mouth. These can be avoided by using a product that doesn’t contain peroxide or a foaming agent called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Whitening toothpaste only removes surface stains. The best whitening toothpaste out there is worthless if you don’t take care of your teeth. Brush, floss, avoid sugary foods and sodas, and drink plenty of water.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    A study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that 48% people think a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone, compared to what the person says (25%) or wears (9%).

    Teeth whitening toothpaste prices

    Cost may be one of your primary considerations when choosing a whitening procedure. While OTC products like toothpastes, kits, and strips cost significantly less than in-office procedures, there is a trade-off. Dentists use a much stronger bleaching agent for in-office treatments, and sometimes, only one visit is required. For several hundred dollars, you can see more rapid and dramatic results than you would get from an in-home whitening method.

    You need to keep using whitening toothpaste in order to improve or maintain your results. Still, you’d have to go through a lot of tubes of toothpaste before you matched the cost of one in-office procedure.

    Expect to pay between $1 and $2 per ounce for a five-ounce tube of teeth whitening toothpaste. Note, however, that there are bargains out there if you buy in bulk. You can find packages of multiple tubes that work out to a price as low as $0.17 per ounce.

    Brighten your smile for pennies a day

    Longtime Colgate fans love the brightening effects of baking soda and peroxide. Add fluoride to fight cavities and pure oxygen bubbles for freshness, and you can liven up your mouth for a price that’s hard to resist.

    Tips

    • Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

    • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush held at a 45° angle. Using a hard brush or brushing too vigorously can damage your teeth and lead to tooth sensitivity.

    • Don’t go overboard with whitening. An attractive smile is a healthy white, not an unnatural white.

    • Once your teeth are whitened, try to avoid red wine, coffee, tea, grape juice, berries, tomato sauce, and other foods that can stain teeth. When you do consume them, rinse your mouth with water afterward.

    • Whitening your teeth with toothpaste is an ongoing process. Don’t expect to use the product for a week or two and be done.

    • Treat any existing dental problems, such as cavities, before using a whitening toothpaste or any other whitening product.

    Say cheese! A study by the Max Planck Institute in Berlin showed that you are more likely to underestimate a person’s age if he or she is smiling.

    FAQ

    Q. Will using a whitening toothpaste make my teeth more sensitive?

    A. Depending on the whitening chemicals in the product, you could experience tooth or gum sensitivity, especially if you have tooth decay or receding gums. Many whitening products contain peroxide, which can cause tooth sensitivity or gum irritation. Some clinical studies have shown that using a toothpaste containing potassium nitrate (such as a toothpaste formulated specifically for sensitive teeth) for a few weeks before and during whitening can reduce the sensitivity caused by the whitening procedure. Some whitening toothpastes also include potassium nitrate.

    You will also find some whitening toothpastes that include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This is a common foaming ingredient in personal care products, but it can cause skin irritation. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, read the ingredient list of any products you want to use. There are whitening toothpastes that do not include hydrogen peroxide or SLS.

    Q. Does whitening toothpaste work as well as other whitening treatments?

    A. The abrasives in the toothpaste remove stains on the enamel. The whitening agents in toothpaste are weaker than those used for in-office whitening and those found in at-home whitening kits or strips. The results you get from whitening toothpaste will probably be less dramatic and take longer to see than those from other whitening procedures.

    Q. I’m worried about chemicals but still want to whiten my teeth. What can I do?

    A. We all put toothpaste in our mouths every day, but you wouldn’t want to eat it. And children should not be allowed to ingest it. There are whitening toothpastes on the market that don’t contain peroxide, SLS, preservatives, or artificial coloring or sweeteners. They use ingredients such as food-grade activated charcoal, coconut oil, aloe vera, sea salt, and herbal extracts; these toothpastes are often marketed as “natural.”

    Be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no definition for the term “natural” in food labeling, so it can mean whatever manufacturers want it to mean. However, products labeled “organic” must meet standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you want to avoid ingesting certain chemicals, your best bet is to carefully read the ingredient list on the packaging.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Writer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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