What Is The Best Whitening Toothpaste?

Have your teeth lost that white shine they used to have? Do you want to have beautiful white teeth once again? If so, using a special whitening toothpaste might help. It offers an easy and affordable way to polish and whiten your teeth, and bring your beautiful white smile back. We have researched and selected the four best whitening toothpaste products that are available on the market today. They are all very popular and have received high ratings by their customers. Here they are:

Image & Product Name Whitening Agent Fluoride ADA* Accepted Amazon Rating Customer Reviews
Image & Product Name Whitening Agent Fluoride ADA* Accepted Amazon Rating Customer Reviews
Colgate Advanced Whitening ToothpasteColgate Total Advanced Whitening Paste Toothpaste Silica Yes Yes 4.0 120+ Reviews
Crest 3D Whitening ToothpasteCrest 3d White Glamorous Toothpaste Mica & Silica Yes No 4.6 100+ Reviews
Tom's of Maine Whitening Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Whitening Toothpaste Silica No No 4.4 240+ Reviews
Opalescense Whitening Toothpaste Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste Silica Yes No 4.2 60+ Reviews

*ADA = American Dental Association. Complete list of all ADA approved whitening toothpastes.

We have reviewed our four favorite toothpastes further down, so feel free to scroll down to the reviews if that’s what you are looking for. To learn how they actually work, keep reading.

How Does A Whitening Toothpaste Work?

To properly explain how a whitening toothpaste works, you first need to know why your teeth are discolored in the first place.

Why Are Teeth Discolored?

Teeth are discolored for a variety of reasons, but the most common ones are:

  1. Age. When you grow older, your teeth will lose some of its phosphate content and become less porous. This means that your dentine (main body of the tooth) will become denser, which will make your teeth look darker.
  2. Foods. Coffee, tea and red wine are examples of foods that can stain the top layer of your teeth (called enamel).
  3. Smoking. Tobacco contains tar, which over time will cause discoloration of the enamel.
  4. Antibacterial medications. Chlorhexidine and tetracycline, for example, can indirectly discolor your teeth if you don’t remove plaque on a regular basis.
  5. Fluorosis – a disturbance in the formation of enamel.

As you probably understand from reading this list, more or less every single person is affected by discoloration. So don’t be ashamed if your teeth have seen better days! We are all in the same boat. Watch this video if you want to learn more:

 This Is How a Toothpaste for Whitening Teeth Works

Whitening toothpaste contains an abrasive element, often hydrated silica. When you brush your teeth with it, the abrasive element removes surface stains, plaque and tartar by mechanically scrubbing it off. This will clean and polish your teeth, and thereby restore the lighter natural look they once had. It does NOT whiten the teeth in the sense that it makes them whiter than their natural state, like the way peroxide bleaching does.

According to a test made by British newspaper Daily Mail (link to article), none of the six tested toothpastes showed any significant whitening effect. The teeth were inspected by a dentist before and after a month long treatment. Critics argued that one tester per brand is not enough to get a trustworthy result, and that the test was not performed in a strictly controlled environment. Two valid objections for sure. But even so, the results are surprising. In my opinion, at least some whitening effect should have been noticed. The good news is that none of our four recommended toothpastes were part of Daily Mail’s test. We believe that they are better than the six ones tested.

Are There Any Risks Involved?

The main risk with this type of product is that the abrasive element can scrape away the enamel at the same time as it cleans and polishes it. That means you must be careful to not use this kind of toothpaste too frequently and not for too long periods of time. Otherwise, your teeth could be permanently damaged.

Another risk is the chemical ingredients used in the production of this type of toothpaste. Concerns have been raised for some of them. Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that is potentially harmful. Sodium lauryl sulfate and even fluoride are possibly unhealthy as well. They have been investigated by authorities, who believe that they are safe to use. Either you trust the authorities, and buy any of the four favorites we presented, or you could choose the paste from Tom’s of Maine that is made entirely from natural ingredients. The choice is yours!

Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Paste Review

This Colgate whitening toothpaste is extremely popular. Not only because is whitens your teeth, but also because it help to prevent plaque, gingivitis, tartar and cavities. The fresh breath you get is just the icing on the cake! So how can a single product do all this? Well, it is possible thanks to a special ingredient – hydrated silica. Silica is an abrasive element that gently scrubs away surface stains and other forms of build-up, making your teeth look whiter.

Colgate Whitening Toothpaste

It has two active ingredients, triclosan and sodium fluoride. Triclosan reduces the germs that cause tartar and gingivitis (first phase of gum disease), and fluoride help to strengthen the enamel and thereby preventing cavities.

A great proof of its high quality is that Colgate has received the approval from the American Dental Association (ADA) for this specific product. Only a handful of other whitening toothpastes have this quality mark, and that says a lot.

All in all, the Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Paste is effective and popular, and well worth a try if you decide to purchase a whitening toothpaste. But don’t take my word for it. Take the word of the customers. On a scale 1 to 5, it’s got an average of 4.0 from over a hundred customers.

Crest 3d Glamorous White Toothpaste Review

Crest has really pulled it off with this very effective whitening toothpaste. It’s special formula creates a foam that surrounds your teeth with whitening ingredients (hydrated silica and mica). According to Crest, this will remove 90% of the stains from your teeth and give you a bright shining smile in just five days! Results will be noticeable already after your first brush.

Crest 3D Whitening ToothpasteAs an added bonus, sodium fluoride will help prevent cavities by strengthening the enamel. So in total, this is a very good product that we are happy to recommend. And we are not alone, Amazon customers have given it 4.6 rating. Very impressive! Could this be the best whitening toothpaste on the market today?

A downside is that it is only available in one flavor – mint. But if you like mint, buy it!

Tom’s Of Maine Antiplaque And Whitening Toothpaste Review

This toothpaste from Tom’s of Maine is made from natural and authentic ingredients only. While most manufacturers use fluoride to strengthen the enamel, despite that critics say it is unhealthy, Tom’s of Maine has opted to not use it. Tom's of Maine Whitening Toothpaste

It is naturally flavored with xylitol, and it uses calcium carbonate and hydrated silica to mildly polish and remove stains from your teeth. That is what helps to prevent plaque and tartar, and makes your teeth appear whiter. No chemicals, only mild abrasives.

It is now available in three different flavors – peppermint, spearmint and fennel – and is simply the best whitening toothpaste for customers that want to stay on the safe side with a fluoride-free product. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it has received fantastic reviews and a high Amazon rating (4.4). 

Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste Review

This cool mint flavored toothpaste from Opalescence, has a unique formula that enables your enamel to take up the fluoride in a more efficient way. As described earlier, fluoride helps to build and protect your enamel from the formation of cavities. This is extra important in a whitening toothpaste since they contain abrasives that wear down your teeth.Opalescense Whitening Toothpaste

Opalescence uses hydrated silica as the abrasive in this product. The silica will gently polish and clean your teeth so that you get that white shining smile once again. Just like the three other toothpastes reviewed, this is very popular and highly rated. This is a high-quality product that is made in USA.

Other Ways To Whiten Your Teeth

Humans have tried to bleach and whiten their teeth for about 2000 years. In the Roman empire, people used goat milk and urine to improve their looks. Not something you would want to try, right? Well, don’t worry! Nowadays there are a number of effective ways to whiten your teeth without the use of bodily fluids. The most common methods are:

Whitening toothpaste – will scrape and polish your teeth back to their natural state (like when you were young). But if you have read this far, you probably have a good idea of how they work already. To find the best toothpaste for whitening, check out the four alternatives in the chart above.

Bleaching. Hydrogen peroxide penetrates the enamel and chemically whitens the dentine. This can make your teeth even whiter than their natural state. This can be done both by your dentist and at home. Some dentist use different kinds of light to accelerate the bleaching process, but critics claim that this doesn’t affect bleaching at all.

Whitening strips. The strips can be purchased at your local drugstore, or for a lower price at Amazon. They are made from polyethylene and have an active layer of peroxide on top. One strip is applied to your upper teeth, and one to your lower teeth. The peroxide will then bleach the dentin.

Whitening pens – can also be purchased at Amazon at affordable prices. The pens are used to apply a peroxide gel which will bleach your teeth.

Other whitening methods include chewing gums and mouthwashes. Natural foods like strawberries, carrots and celery can also have some effect.

Before you try any of these methods, it’s important to understand why your teeth are discolored. A toothpaste scrapes the surface, and will only work if it’s the enamel that is stained. When the discoloration is in the dentin, your teeth must be bleached using one of the other methods presented.

Consult your dentist! He or she will help you choose the best method for you.