Whitening your teeth at home has become much more accessible, with effective treatments such as strips, emulsions, and toothpaste available. Whitening toothpaste offers a convenient way to freshen your smile with every brush, but choosing the right one is essential, especially if you have sensitive teeth.
We’re reviewing eight of the best whitening toothpastes on the market to see how they work and if they’re worth a try.
Hundreds of whitening toothpastes are on the market today; here are the products we rate as the best.
|Colgate Optic White Toothpaste||Best Whitening Toothpaste Overall|
|Crest 3D White Toothpaste Radiant Mint||Best Runner-Up||4.5|
|HiSmile PAP+ Toothpaste||Best Whitening Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth||4.5|
|Bite Toothpaste Bits Mint Charcoal||Best Eco-Friendly Choice||4.5|
|Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste||Best Whitening Toothpaste for Gum Health|
|Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste||Best Whitening Toothpaste for Smokers||3.5|
|Tom’s of Maine Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste||Best Fluoride-Free Whitening Toothpaste||3.5|
|Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste||Best Whitening Toothpaste for Braces|
What are the best teeth whitening toothpastes of 2022? Here we take a look at our top picks’ benefits and drawbacks.
Colgate Optic White is one of the best whitening toothpastes on the market, with 2% hydrogen peroxide, it has the power to remove old, deep stains. According to Colgate, you should be able to see results within three days of consistent use.
Furthermore, in a study comparing traditional toothpaste to whitening products, Optic White demonstrated a superior ability to prevent enamel erosion .
Customers describe Colgate Optic White as leaving their teeth feeling stronger and whiter. It is also an affordable option, with a listed price of $4.96 at Walmart and $5.49 at Walgreens.
Hydrogen peroxide might exacerbate sensitivity, so if you have sensitive teeth or gum you may want to consider a toothpaste with charcoal or disodium pyrophosphate.
Out of the best whitening toothpastes, time-honored fluoride toothpaste Colgate Optic White is our top pick with its safe level of peroxide and scientific evidence.
Crest 3D White contains disodium pyrophosphate as the key whitening agent. Pyrophosphates are anti-redeposition agents, meaning they prevent surface stains and tartar formation .
Similar to Colgate Optic White, Crest 3D White is effective in preventing tooth erosion. However, it contains carrageenan, a substance that can irritate the gastrointestinal lining in susceptible individuals .
Learn how to use Crest whitestrips, or see the best whitening strips, including Crest, here.
Crest offers a gentler path to whiter teeth than peroxide-containing products, but loses points with its carrageenan content.
HiSmile PAP+ is ideal if you struggle with tooth sensitivity caused by thin enamel, as it uses PAP (Phthalimidoperoxycaproicacid) instead of peroxides or abrasives.
PAP+ has been shown to work as effectively as peroxide, without damaging the enamel. Furthermore, the toothpaste works to increase the microhardness of your teeth, with ingredients such as calcium hydroxyapatite .
Although it has positive customer reviews, the downside to HiSmile PAP+ is its price, at $25 per tube.
HiSmile PAP+ does not cause enamel erosion thanks to its unique active ingredient, making it the best for sensitive teeth.
Bite Toothpaste Bits is one of the best natural whitening toothpaste brands, without even a petrochemical plastic container in sight. Instead, your subscription includes a refillable glass jar.
It’s easy to use, just bite on a Bit and brush your teeth as normal.
Bite uses the whitening power of activated charcoal, a cleanser that gives you a whiter smile by latching onto substances that cause surface stains. To remineralize your teeth, Bite relies on hydroxyapatite, which works to prevent tooth decay .
Bite Toothpaste Bits offers a unique type of charcoal toothpaste that can give you healthy teeth without irritation.
Supersmile Professional focuses on using gentler, non-abrasive ingredients that won’t harm your gums. The proprietary ingredient Calprox is Supersmile’s main active ingredient, which removes surface stains without irritating your gums.
When used twice daily, the toothpaste provides 24-hour protection against stains, helping to keep your smile white. The only downside is the price, which is $25 per tube.
Supersmile Professional may be a gentle path to a brighter smile, but with consistent use, you can achieve whiter teeth without compromising your gum health.
Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme combines two powerful whitening ingredients, baking soda, and peroxide, to remove even the toughest stains.
It’s one of the more affordable options on the market, with a twin-pack costing less than $6. Additionally, reviewers describe being left with fresher breath all day long. Although, some users have complained of a slightly salty taste due to the baking soda.
Arm & Hammer is a powerful whitening toothpaste that works effectively at removing and preventing stains.
Tom’s of Maine is another fluoride-free alternative on our list. The active ingredient for protecting the enamel is calcium carbonate, which may even prevent erosion from stomach acid . Other ingredients such as xylitol and zinc citrate, work effectively to remove plaque and harmful bacteria, leaving you with a fresh feel after every use.
The toothpaste is free of artificial dyes, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and flavorings. However, it does contain carrageenan, which can irritate the gastrointestinal lining in some individuals.
Tom’s of Maine is another worthwhile alternative if you are concerned about the potential effects of fluoride, but some ingredients may be irritating or abrasive.
Sensodyne Extra Whitening is excellent for braces and individuals with sensitive teeth, as it’s free from peroxides which can exacerbate sensitivity. Reviewers describe it as providing a “just from the dentist” mouthfeel, despite lifestyle factors such as heavy coffee drinking.
The silica in the toothpaste helps to remove stubborn stains that are common when wearing braces. Furthermore, the paste works effectively at preventing new stains from sticking to the surface of your teeth.
Sensodyne’s inclusion of potassium nitrate may make it a helpful option if you have thin enamel or a history of dental trauma, including the use of adhesive braces.
According to research, whitening toothpaste can be highly effective in whitening your teeth by removing surface stains. However, efficacy depends on factors such as the condition of your teeth and ingredients.
Common ingredients of whitening toothpastes include:
How long it takes for whitening products to work depends on the active ingredients. A study comparing toothpastes with hydrogen peroxide, blue covarine, black charcoal, and abrasive microbeads found that peroxide toothpaste and blue covarine can significantly increase whiteness after just one use. However, these were only averages .
After four weeks of use, all toothpastes significantly improved whiteness over the control (a regular toothpaste). You can therefore expect great improvement within four weeks, but you may see results sooner.
Finding the right toothpaste is essential, here are four things to consider:
Toothpaste ingredients must be both safe and effective:
You must avoid anything with chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide is a toxic bleaching agent that can cause throat irritation when inhaled, potentially leading to chronic bronchitis or worsening any respiratory issues you may already have .
The flavor of your toothpaste can make or break whether you actually use it. Perhaps you prefer a gentle or strong mint, or something else entirely such as lavender or spicier options like cinnamon.
Another key factor in choosing between whitening toothpastes is whether dentists approve of the product. If you cannot ask your own dentist, seek out reviews online from verified professionals. You can also check if the toothpaste is accepted by the ADA.
Finally, customer reviews should form part of your decision. Lab studies, research on individual ingredients, and company claims can only go so far. Reviews from real users can help you figure out how quickly you can expect results and whether the toothpaste is worth a try.
Toothpaste indicated for teeth whitening are generally safe, as long as they do not contain excessive peroxide. Those containing 6% of hydrogen or a substantial level of carbamide peroxide may irritate your mouth, cause teeth hypersensitivity, erode enamel and reduce hardness .
Other ingredients, such as abrasive agents, can contribute to erosion too. Sodium carbonate, however, does not have the same irritant effect on the gums as it releases less peroxide .
Some ingredients that whiten teeth can have unwanted effects. Abrasives and higher concentrations of peroxide may wear down tooth enamel. The oxidative stress generated by peroxide can irritate the gums and inner cheeks too.
Whitening toothpaste and home whitening kits allow you to effectively camouflage or remove surface stains at home. They are cheaper than professional whitening treatments and more accessible. Some whitening toothpaste has additional remineralizing effects, and many are formulated for sensitive teeth and gums that cannot tolerate peroxide.
Whitening pens may provide you with added convenience. Read on to learn more about the best whitening pen here.
Whitening toothpaste may take longer to remove surface stains compared to other treatments, such as whitening strips or pens. Professional treatments also prevent peroxide from irritating your gums and mouth, while toothpaste does not have that ability.
What are the most important things to know when deciding between whitening toothpastes?
It depends on their severity and depth, as whitening is a gradual process. While surface stains can be erased, it may be harder to remove deeper stains.
Colgate Optic White is one of the most effective, and affordable whitening toothpastes. However, if you have sensitive teeth, you might want to opt for a peroxide-free formula, such as HiSmile PAP+.
Teeth whitening toothpastes that contain peroxide can provide an effective, gentle whitening benefit at home, thanks to their bleaching ability.
LED whitening aims to speed up the production of oxidative free radicals that bleach teeth. While it is safe for most people, it may increase the risk of erosion, loss of hardness, and irritation that susceptible people experience with home whiteners.
The efficacy of peroxide and the remineralizing properties of fluoride make Colgate Optic White one of the best whitening toothpaste and our top pick.
Out of the best teeth whitening products, time-honored Colgate comes out on top with its Optic White formula. However, the effects of peroxide may be too irritating or erosive for you. In this case, Crest 3D White or HiSmile might be a better choice. If you want to avoid fluoride and reduce waste, we recommend Bite Toothpaste Bits.