Best Whitening Toothpastes To Buy

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Medically reviewed by Danielle Romatz, RDH

Whitening toothpaste has become quite popular recently, and the “perfect smile” is regularly advertised by toothpaste brands. But do whitening toothpastes even work, and how effective are they? 

Teeth whitening toothpastes do remove stains and whiten teeth, but most will only have a noticeable effect after weeks of using them. You can’t get white teeth from brushing alone, and you’ll need to use whitening toothpaste or whitening strips to remove stains from your teeth. 

Let’s look at whether whitening toothpastes are actually effective and which ones work best. We’ll also dig into why you can’t get white teeth from brushing alone and discuss whether whitening strips are effective. 

Does Whitening Toothpaste Actually Work?

Man applying toothpaste on brush in bathroom

Whitening toothpaste does whiten teeth, but it only removes stains on the surface of teeth. If your teeth appear to be yellow because of deeper stains, the teeth whitening toothpaste will only whiten your teeth slightly.  

Whitening toothpaste contains abrasives and hydrogen peroxide, which helps remove stains and can make your teeth whiter. However, you’ll have to use them for several weeks before you start seeing an effect. Using regular toothpaste will also start to whiten your teeth after a few weeks. 

If you’re using whitening toothpaste that contains blue covarine, it may whiten your teeth immediately. However, this chemical is more like a paint that sticks to your teeth, and it doesn’t help remove the stains that may cause your teeth to become discolored. 

Some whitening toothpastes contain harmful chemicals that can whiten teeth immediately but will affect your oral health. Avoid using these products and only use approved toothpastes. 

Can Your Teeth Get White From Brushing Alone?

While many people assume that brushing their teeth regularly will keep them white, this isn’t completely true. Despite what advertisements might make you believe, teeth aren’t naturally white. Your enamel is white, but it’s also translucent, meaning the light yellow color of the dentin beneath it shows through.

However, drinks like cola, tea, and coffee can stain your teeth, as will tobacco and smoking. Brushing does help remove plaque and kill bacteria, but regular toothpaste doesn’t remove stains on your teeth. If you’re brushing regularly and your teeth are still stained, you’ll have to use other teeth whitening products. 

Best Whitening Toothpastes To Buy 

If your teeth are stained and regular toothpaste isn’t cleaning them properly, whitening toothpastes can help. While they don’t have the magic effect as advertisements present, they can whiten your teeth after weeks of usage. 

Here are some of the best whitening toothpastes to buy: 

Colgate Optic White Renewal Toothpaste

Optic White Renewal (on Amazon) is the best Colgate teeth whitening toothpaste brand and can substitute for your regular toothpaste. It contains hydrogen peroxide for removing teeth stains and fluoride for strengthening tooth enamel. Best of all, it’s moderately priced and easily available at most stores or online. 

Crest 3D White

Toothpaste on display

When it comes to whitening toothpaste, Crest is one of the go-to brands. Their 3D White toothpaste (on Amazon) has sodium fluoride as an active ingredient and will protect your teeth from stains for up to 12 hours. If you drink tea, cola, or other teeth-staining drinks regularly, this toothpaste is for you. 

Burt’s Bees Truly White Toothpaste

While most whitening toothpastes contain high levels of hydrogen peroxide and other active ingredients, Burt’s Bees Truly White (on Amazon) has a more gentle formula that still delivers results. It also contains peppermint and essential oils for fresh breath. 

Twice Classic Duo (on Amazon)

Twice Classic Duo (on Amazon) is one of the best all-around whitening toothpastes available. It contains not only teeth whitening ingredients but also aloe and vitamins and comes in a range of unique flavors. Best of all, this toothpaste is pH-balanced and won’t wear out the tooth enamel. 

Sensodyne Extra Whitening (on Amazon) 

If you have sensitive teeth, you won’t be able to handle most whitening toothpastes. However, Sensodyne’s Extra Whitening (on Amazon) is perfect for sensitive teeth. It contains much fewer abrasives than other toothpaste and can whiten your teeth from the inside. 

Do Whitening Strips Actually Work? 

Whitening strips have been around for a while, and most are effective at whitening teeth and removing stains. Whitening strips usually contain hydrogen peroxide and other active ingredients that may remove stains caused by coffee, cola, and smoking.

Most whitening strips will take anywhere from a few days to weeks to work, and they can remove deeper stains from your teeth if used regularly. The best whitening strips use hydrogen peroxide, but they’re not a substitute for brushing.

Also, never buy whitening strips that aren’t approved by a regulatory body, even if they are effective, as they may be slightly toxic. 

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