The 7 Best Whitening Toothpastes of 2021

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Aging, genetics, and bad habits can have invisible and visible effects on oral health, increasing the risk of cavities, gingivitis , and less pearly white teeth.

If you can't afford professional teeth whitening and don't want to waste time with over-the-counter kits, daily whitening toothpaste may seem like an acceptable substitute. But you should be aware that they do not help in all situations and trust that you will use them correctly. It is also important to moderate your whitening expectations.

'Most home whitening procedures involve 15 to 30 minutes of using a whitening solution, [but] when using whitening toothpastes, you apply that solution for up to two minutes, ”says Casey Lau, DDS, co-founder and chief dentist. an employee of the ELIMS company, which will soon start its activities.

"This doesn't mean that whitening toothpaste won't help remove surface stains, but you won't see significantly brighter results than with deeper treatments," says Dr. Lau. Instead, you can go for a whitening toothpaste if you already have white teeth and want to keep that look, or if you want to counter your coffee or red wine habit with a good toothbrush.

Here are the best whitening toothpastes on the market today.

Final verdict

For a tooth-safe whitening toothpaste, Crest 3D Radiant Mint White Toothpaste (see Amazon ) brightens but doesn't damage enamel either. People with sensitive teeth should be careful with whitening toothpastes, but as a general rule, Sensodyne's Extra Whitening Toothpaste for Sensitivity (see on Amazon ) is a more painless solution. If you're particularly concerned about preventing cavities, Tom's of Maine's Whole Care Natural Toothpaste (see on Amazon ) whiten and fight cavities.

What to look for for whitening toothpastes

How does it work

Whitening toothpastes use abrasive ingredients (like silicon dioxide, baking soda, or calcium carbonate) or chemical ingredients (like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) to remove stains from teeth, according to Dr. Bertman. For the most part, any whitening toothpaste that does not contain abrasive or chemical ingredients designed to remove stains will not be as effective in whitening teeth.

Fluoride

While some proponents of natural products warn that too much fluoride can stain or discolor your teeth, this is primarily a problem for young children who are still teething , not adults. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that topical fluoride, like that found in most toothpastes, is not only safe to use, but can help prevent tooth decay and tooth decay. Because cavities can stain and discolor teeth, keeping them off your teeth is an easy way to maintain their natural whiteness.

Reasonable claims

Be wary of any toothpaste that she claims will drastically whiten your teeth with just a few uses. "Consumers need to understand that whitening toothpaste will not instantly make their teeth whiter," says Dr. Bertman. Instead, he adds, expect to see subtle results over time if you have noticeable coffee, soda, tea, and smoking stains. People with already white teeth, discoloration due to oral disease, or surface blemishes may not see significant changes, so don't be fooled by product promises.

Frequently asked questions

  • Technically yes, says Dr. Lau, as many of these products are bleached with abrasive brushing or peroxide to remove stains. They can wear down the enamel and cause sensitization, but usually only if you use them incorrectly.

    Moderation is key, and any sensitivity you experience shouldn't cause long-term damage if you follow the instructions. Dr. Bertman agrees, saying that just brushing your teeth improperly or overusing whitening toothpaste poses a risk to the enamel (and ultimately the sensitive tooth structure called dentin, which lies beneath enamel) .

    If your teeth are sensitive even with proper use, you can replace the whitening toothpaste with something gentler after a few weeks of use, or alternate the whitening toothpaste with something like Sensodyne.

    "You should probably use these whitening toothpastes in conjunction with your sensitive toothpaste, or just don't use them as your only dental care product," says Dr. Lau.

  • Dr. Bertman says that whitening toothpastes are abrasive enough to clean surface stains on your teeth, but unfortunately this means that they can also cause sore gums over time, especially if you brush your teeth too aggressively. .

    Dr. Bertman says that even if your toothpaste does not contain abrasives, other ingredients can cause discomfort: 'The peroxide present in some whitening toothpastes can cause mild chemical burns to the gums, which can irritate and hurt the gums. "

  • According to Dr. Lau, this is Catch-22. He says you need to use these toothpastes consistently for several days, even weeks, to see results, but this can have side effects. While it is not safe to use whitening toothpaste every day, Dr. Lau again warns of the importance of moderation, especially since many of these products contain abrasive ingredients that can affect enamel and gums.

What the experts say

"An over-the-counter whitening toothpaste is great for those who just want to keep their smile, get a touch up before an event, or can't afford the 'office whitening' they can get at the dentist's office." – Dr. Casey Lau, DDS, co-founder and dental director of ELIMS, to be launched soon.

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Sarah Bradley has been writing health stories since 2017, from food reviews and disease FAQs to nutritional explanations and meals on diet trends. She knows how important it is to get credible, expert-approved advice on over-the-counter products that can help you cope with everyday illnesses, from gastrointestinal problems and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

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