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What’s the best teeth whitening toothpaste?

Adding teeth whitening toothpaste to your daily brushing routine is an excellent way to address discoloration caused by popular culprits such as coffee, wine and smoking. While top formulas should be scientifically proven effective, they must also help you maintain the health of your teeth.

Crest 3D White Toothpaste Radiant Mint is a top solution because it removes up to 90% of surface stains, fights cavities and strengthens your enamel.

What to know before you buy teeth whitening toothpaste

About teeth whitening toothpaste

Teeth whitening toothpaste brands use different solutions to lighten and brighten your smile. Some formulas can remove surface stains caused by coffee, smoking or wine, while, others address tougher stains caused by decay, age or genetics. While results vary, most formulas can lighten your teeth between two and eight shades in about two to eight weeks.

Types of dental discolorations

Three types of stains can occur on and in your teeth:

  • Intrinsic: This discoloration happens when decay, trauma or medications darken the inside of your teeth.
  • Extrinsic: This staining occurs on the surface when you drink coffee or wine or eat sauces with strong pigments.
  • Age-related: This is a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic staining.

While extrinsic stains are the easiest to treat, carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide solutions can help you address hard-to-treat intrinsic staining.

Types of teeth whitening toothpaste formulas

 Three common agents are used in whitening toothpaste:

  • Toothpaste with abrasives: Abrasives such as silica, aluminum oxide and calcium pyrophosphate have proven highly effective in buffing out extrinsic stains.
  • Toothpaste with chemical agents: Chemicals such as peroxide, enzymes, citrate, pyrophosphate and hexametaphosphate break down and dissolve stains.
  • Toothpaste with optical agents: Added pigments such as blue covarine adhere to the surface of your teeth to make them look whiter.

The National Institutes of Health report that abrasives are fundamental to highly effective teeth whitening toothpaste.

What to look for in quality teeth whitening toothpaste

Good for your teeth

While fluoride gets a lot of flak for being toxic when ingested in large quantities, it has proven safe when using it in recommended doses. And when you brush your teeth, you should never swallow your toothpaste.

So make sure that your toothpaste contains fluoride, which lets you benefit from its ability to fight cavities and prevent tooth decay. It can also decrease enamel erosion.

Doesn’t cause you pain

Some people avoid whitening products because their teeth are too sensitive. While you should consult with your dentist to address concerns, the pain associated with whitening products is typically temporary and ceases after you stop using them.

If you wish to avoid common pain-causing culprits in whitening products, stay away from overly abrasive buffing agents such as charcoal. Instead, try a milder abrasive such as hydrated silica.

Chemical agents such as peroxides are a common reason for pain as they can irritate the nerves in your teeth. If they cause pain, choose a more gentle chemical agent such as potassium nitrate.


While the idea of all-natural whitening products is alluring, if scientific research does not back up the manufacturer’s claims, it is highly improbable that they will work.

For example, the NIH reports that research on activated charcoal powders has yet to prove their efficacy as teeth whitening agents. While it might seem that big brands such as Colgate and Crest contain too many chemicals, those big businesses have the money and resources to create products that are safe for consumers to use as recommended and have proven highly effective.

How much you can expect to spend on teeth whitening toothpaste

Depending on the brand, solution and size, it can cost $5-$30.

Teeth whitening toothpaste FAQ

What can you do to maintain the effects of your whitening toothpaste?

A. Three behavioral changes can help you avoid further staining:

  • Rinse: After you have had coffee, wine or any sauces that stain your teeth, rinse your mouth with water.
  • Brush more: While brushing your teeth every morning and night is the minimum, you can also brush after meals to ensure that you remove stain-causing foods before they leave their mark.
  • Use a straw: It is not typically ideal to use a straw for drinks such as coffee or wine, but try to use them for juice or carbonated beverages.

Can dental restorations be whitened with toothpaste?

A. Prosthetics such as veneers, crowns or dentures cannot be whitened with whitening products.

What’s the best teeth whitening toothpaste to buy?

Top teeth whitening toothpaste

best Crest 3D White Toothpaste Radiant Mint

Crest 3D White Toothpaste Radiant Mint

What you need to know: This formula removes up to 90% of surface stains.

What you’ll love: It starts lightening from the first time you use it, and it’s fluoride-based to protect from decay and strengthen enamel. It contains hydrated silica as a mild abrasive to gently remove surface stains and disodium pyrophosphate for added stain prevention.

What you should consider: It’s not safe for use on children under 2 years old.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top teeth whitening toothpaste for the money

best Colgate Optic White Advanced Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

Colgate Optic White Advanced Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

What you need to know: This solution lightens up to four shades in about six weeks.

What you’ll love: This uses a chemical solution of 2% hydrogen peroxide with the abrasive calcium pyrophosphate to whiten your teeth. It contains fluoride to protect against cavities and is enamel-safe so you can use it daily. It is also vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free.

What you should consider: Because it contains peroxide as a chemical whitening agent, it might be a little too harsh if you have sensitive teeth.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

best Sensodyne True White Sensitive Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

Sensodyne True White Sensitive Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

What you need to know: Its gentle ingredients help those with sensitive teeth whiten and prevent more staining.

What you’ll love: This solution uses hydrated silica as a mild buffing agent to remove stains and potassium nitrate as a gentle chemical whitening agent that protects your teeth from the pain associated with lightening treatments. It also contains fluoride to improve your dental health.

What you should consider: It might take longer to work than other formulas.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Ella Scott writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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