From movie stars to singers and Youtube sensations, everyone’s got white teeth. So, why shouldn’t you? After all, we are all action heroes and magnificent concert performers in our private lives.
Finding the best whitening toothpaste was not easy. If you want to save yourself some time and money, you can read our reviews, recommendations, and ratings below. The market is full of products that simply do not work. We have taken the time to test and rank the toothpastes that will do the best job at making your teeth look Hollywood-ready. There is no need to buy 10 different products and test them each for 2-3 weeks at a time.
Best Whitening Toothpaste Comparison List
About This List of Whitening Toothpastes
This list is customized to meet the average consumer’s needs. We have reviewed reasonably priced teeth whitening products that are affordable by the majority of the US population. It is our desire to help everyday working people to make the right choice without having to experiment with their teeth. And most importantly, save everyone a few dollars here and there.
Not a toothpaste type a person? No worries, here is our list of whitening mouthwashes that are worth your money!
Crest 3D White Brilliance
I have been buying and reviewing Crest products for longer than I can remember.
The Brilliance is the latest of a series of whitening products that Crest has pushed onto the market in the last few years. As such, it is considered their most advanced and effective formula.
While this is not a miracle whitening paste, it is pretty good. It is enamel safe and has a gentle foaming effect that helps clean hard to reach places.
If you are consistent and use it for a month you will notice the whitening effect. Also, if you enjoy coffee and wine, like me, you will begin to see some stains disappear.
There have been numerous reports and reviews that claim whiter teeth within a week. At Dental Dorks we can certainly NOT confirm that.
In addition, Crest claims that this specific product has the ability to prevent the accumulation of future stains. It is advertised to have 3x Stain Fighting Power in comparison to Crest’s 3D White Luxe Toothpaste. However, that does not mean anything, since “stain fighting power” is not a dental measurement unit.
In order to test this properly, it would take 6 or more months. Hence, we did not do it.
NOTE: Both tubes that we tested had a severe problem with leaking through the cap, when not fully closed. Be careful if packing this product for travel.
- Micro-cleansing teeth whiteners
- Gentle foaming action
- Enamel safe
- Vibrant peppermint flavor
Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste
At Dental Dorks, we especially loved the taste of this toothpaste. If I had to name it, compared to other whitening pastes, I’d call this one “Tastyliciousness”. But, that’s just me.
Instead, this brand is named after the appearance of opals. In any case, this product does not taste like a shiny stone or an artifact. Rather, it has a cool mint taste that makes brushing teeth an enjoyable experience.
The original formula allows for an efficient and quick fluoride release. Even though this product is specifically designed to help whiten your teeth, it has the dentist recommended levels of fluoride. This makes Opalescence great for reducing gingivitis and protecting sensitive gums.
You can expect your teeth to be whitened within 4 weeks of using this toothpaste twice a day. Considering that you are not paying for expensive dental procedures, this is very reasonable.
NOTE: We recommend using this toothpaste for 4-6 weeks, then going back to your regular one. Especially if you have more sensitive teeth.
- Reduces gingivitis
- Whitens teeth with 2 shades within 4 weeks
- Anti-stain formula
- Cool mint and great after-taste
- Maximum dentin & enamel restoration protection
Tom’s Of Maine Anti-plaque and Whitening Toothpaste
Embrace the power of Mother Nature! Tom’s of Maine’s products are known for their effective use of natural ingredients and this toothpaste makes no exception.
I just wish they had come up with a more original name of this product, so I can refer to it as something else, but toothpaste. But, let’s leave my dilemmas aside.
This toothpaste (see what I did there?), is fluoride free. The formula that the manufacturer uses consists of zinc citrate and xylitol. If you are in the holistic healing business, you will know these ingredients to be naturally occurring.
There are also no artificial flavors used in this product. So, the cool and fresh taste that you get in your mouth after brushing is all natural. If you switch to this paste after using any other artificially flavored one, you will realize how sweet your previous toothpaste actually was.
Granted, this is one of the purest products on the market. However, when it comes to whitening your teeth, it does not do as good of a job as other artificially enhanced toothpastes. It takes longer than 6 weeks for noticeable results to show up.
It will take about one and a half 4.7oz bottles before you see a whitening effect. Which means you have to buy two bottles from the start.
NOTE: There are claims of people seeing whitening effects after 3 days. This is not possible with this toothpaste, or any other, for that matter. If you want white teeth in 3 days, you will need to forgo a dental procedure.
- All natural ingredients
- Great anti-plaque toothpaste
- Minty and fresh taste
- Fluoride-free formula
- Effectively whitens teeth after 6 weeks
Sensodyne Pronamel Whitening Toothpaste
Before I jump into a rant, let me just say, that this paste will help whiten your teeth. Results will be evident within 4-5 weeks of using it twice a day. It does not taste as good as other products on this list. But, it is not too bad either.
Now, onto the rant.
I am always wary of products that advertise a “secret” ingredient of any kind. For legal reasons, you cannot have a secret ingredient in any kind of health-related product. Gee! Can’t believe people still do this!
Anyhow, the secret ingredient in Sensodyne is supposed to help protect your teeth against acid erosion and hence speed up the whitening process, while making it very gentle.
A quick review of the active and inactive ingredients can help us discover this mysterious ingredient. First, I thought it’s the Hydrated Silica since it has the capacity to remove stains. However, it does not help against acid erosion.
Next guess was on Sodium Hydroxide – another substance used to enforce the whitening effect. So, that’s not it. To speed things up, it is not the Cocamidopropyl Betaine, it is also not the Sodium Saccharin.
But, Peter, what is it? Well, it is good old Flouride! The very same ingredient found in almost every toothpaste around the world. This must have been a major disappointment for those who believe in mysterious and secret ingredients on ADA approved products.
I’m also not a fan of Sensodyne’s claim that they are the number one recommended brand by dentists. Because they are not, and there is no information to prove otherwise.
- 4-5 weeks to whiten teeth by 1 shade
- Rubbish claims about a secret/special ingredient
Arm & Hammer Advance White
NOTE: Currently unavailable
Especially cooked with extra Baking Soda and Peroxide, the Arm & Hammer will give you a white smile in 3 to 4 weeks’ time.
As you can imagine, this product is quite the opposite of Tom’s of Maine’s toothpaste. The former is stacked with artificial ingredients, while the latter is all natural.
The low-abrasion formula allows this toothpaste to be used daily and is more or less a must in any such product. What might make you give up using this paste every day, is its taste.
If you do not know what baking soda tastes like, you will. The aftertaste left in your mouth is the same as if you just left the dentist and he made you rinse with some peroxide enriched formula.
Honestly, I am very surprised to read reviews of people who say that this paste tastes amazing. It certainly does what it says it does – give you a bright smile. But, even the manufacturer does not make any claims about fresh, minty or any kind of positive after taste.
I first came across the Arm & Hammer toothpaste in Greece but can assure you that it is made in the USA. New Jersey, to be more specific.
NOTE: Not recommended for children. Also, not recommended to swallow.
- Whitens teeth in 4 weeks
- Does NOT taste good
Dental Expert’s Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste
If you are looking for the best whitening toothpaste that does not use fluoride, beach and other toxic ingredients, this could be a good fit for you.
Advertised as 100% safe and 100% organic, this toothpaste is black. It also creates dark grey foam when you begin brushing. Hopefully, you understand that all charcoal based toothpaste come this way. I just don’t want you to be surprised when you first open the cap!
What I really liked about this paste, in particular, was its ability to destroy bad breath. I mean, truly demolish it. Rain down a godly firestorm upon every bacteria that attempts to cause havoc in your mouth!
So, it whitens and it kills bad breath.
But, it is somewhat not good for sensitive teeth. Using this paste twice a day started to irritate my gums and it did not feel good.
In my humble of humblest opinions, it is probably best to use this as a whitening product once every two days. In the meantime, you can use a regular toothpaste that is good for the enamel.
NOTE: Do NOT attempt homemade charcoal formulas, please.
- Charcoal based
- Whitens teeth pretty good
- Kills bacteria and bad breath really well
- Not for sensitive teeth
Asa Vea’s Bamboo Charcoal Toothpaste
It is crazy how many active charcoal toothpastes are out there right now. Asa Vea is yet another brand name that is trying to push out a whitening product.
There is very little information available about the ingredients and the process of how the charcoal is extracted. Furthermore, there is not even a legitimate website where a person can educate themselves or ask a few products related questions.
In this line of thought, I cannot recommend you to spend your money on a toothpaste that is manufactured in Asia and does not include basic information on its packaging.
Third party reviewers have agreed that Asa Vea’s toothpaste tastes good. Or, that at least it doesn’t taste horrible. It leaves a minty aftertaste and delivers whitening results within 4 weeks. That is if you use it twice a day consistently.
There are reports of this particular toothpaste being irritating and not a good match for people with sensitive teeth and gums.
NOTE: Not recommended. There are better and proven options on the market. Have a look at our extended list of charcoal whitening toothpaste brands. We have taken the time to review and rate each and every one of them.
- Lacks information
- Whitens teeth in 3-4 weeks’ time
Crest Pro Health HD Toothpaste
At Dental Dorks we have somewhat mixed feelings about this toothpaste by Crest.
This is a two-step whitening kit. Essentially you are getting two different bottles with toothpastes in the same package.
This first bottle, or first step, is meant to remove existing plaque. It contains the active ingredient stannous fluoride known for its anti-gingivitis properties. The second step is meant to do the actual polishing and whitening of the teeth. So, the second bottle contains hydrogen peroxide whitening gel.
Some research has indicated that certain ingredients meant to fight plaque cannot coexist as efficiently with ingredients that are meant to whiten the surfaces of teeth. For this reason, some whitening products that try to remove plaque and tooth decay usually fail in at least one respect.
Crest has come up with a duo formula, in order to assure plaque control and whitening. However, this can just as well be achieved with the use of two separate toothpastes. So, all Crest has really done, is offering two different pastes at a better price. More like, buy one, get one free type of deal.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. The toothpaste does whiten and it is generally a good product. But, you will be brushing 4 times a day, instead of two. Since you will be applying two different product each time you brush.
After the second wash, your mouth will feel fresh and clean. Teeth will be whiter within a couple of weeks.
NOTE: Do not rinse before finishing both steps. To save time, you can brush for one minute with each paste, for a total of 2 minutes, twice a day.
- Cool 2 step process
- Whiter teeth within 2 weeks
- Keep out of reach of children under 12 years of age
Colgate Optic White Express Toothpaste
White teeth in 3 days. This is what it says on the bottle. Hence, it was hard to resist not to try this particular product by Colgate.
NOTE: This review is for the Express White tube. There are three more tubes available: Radiant, High Impact White, and simply Optic White.
Well, teeth were not whiter after three days. It took around 2 weeks to see a noticeable difference. On the second day, however, my teeth became a little sensitive. Nothing too bad, but yet worth mentioning for people with sensitive teeth who are considering this product.
This is not a gel formula, so it is thicker and it sits on the brush head more comfortably. It also feels denser when brushing.
The Optic White also tastes good and it leaves you with a fresh breath in your mouth. The foaming that forms in the mouth also feels good and natural. Even though, the toothpaste is not made out of natural ingredients.
One problem that we found was that tubes were ¾ full. We ordered a deal of 3 tubes, and they were all ¾ full. Not sure if this was a batch defect or if this is how all tubes are filled.
As mentioned above, there are three more versions of this toothpaste that you can try. I feel like they will all work the same in terms of whitening. I only say this, judging by the active and inactive ingredients found in each variation of Optic White. They are all the same, with slight variation of the amount.
- Whitens teeth in 2 weeks’ time
- Tastes good
- Comes in 4 variations total
What To Look For
Most whitening toothpaste manufacturers and brands claim that their products work in a matter of days. To this day, there is not one such paste that we have tested.
There are two distinguished ways for teeth whitening products to work. Each way can be attributed to a variety of products, such as toothpastes, dental procedures or stripes.
The first common whitening method uses the employment of different abrasives. The aim is to remove stains left by food, wine, coffee, cigarettes, and whatever else you chew on.
The second method is when a high concentrated bleaching formula is used to change the color of teeth. Knowing this is important, but not enough when it comes to matching the best whitening toothpaste to your teeth.
Here are some basics to look for when shopping:
ADA Approval – this is a must for any dental product that you are purchasing in the United States. ADA (American Dental Association) is your first line of defense when looking for a legitimate product. The entire organization exists to provide accountability and keep oral health manufacturers in check. This section here will help clarify how ADA approves dental health products.
Bleaching – If you are looking for a quicker whitening solution by using over-the-counter products, then you need to opt-in for the bleaching effect.
Do not use bleach if you are allergic to peroxide. Consult with your dentist first!
Level of Abrasivity – This regulates the whitening ability of the toothpaste. Higher abrasive levels will deliver better and faster results. Any best whitening toothpaste has some degree of abrasives since they are the proactive units that scrub off stains.
Refer to the Relative Dentin Abrasiveness (RDA) for more information. Investing in something too abrasive could be harmful.
Enamel Protection – Read the label and make sure enamel protection is mentioned somewhere on the tube. ADA does not allow this to be advertised unless the correct substances are present. Below is a list of active ingredients that you need to understand before buying any whitening product.
- Calprox is a relatively new formula that prevents plaque buildup. It is formulated with baking soda and 16 other non-abrasive elements. It is considered to be far safer when compared to competitive whitening ingredients. It is always good if present.
- Hydrated silica is a mild abrasive that helps remove plaque when combined with low levels of calcium carbonate. It also gives the best whitening toothpaste a smoother gel-like quality.
- Hydrogen peroxide is perhaps the most used chemical compound in whitening products around the world. It is well-known for its bleaching effect.
- Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) is usually present in whitening strips. Its purpose is to protect teeth from adhering new stains.
- Potassium Nitrate is a chemically synthesized and FDA approved compound that reduces sensitivity in teeth. It does so by protecting the nerves and enamel.
- Sodium Bicarbonate is your good old baking soda. It is used to freshen the breath and eliminate a variety of harmful acids in the mouth.
- Sodium Monofluorophosphate is just a fancy name for Fluorite. It is one of few ingredients that has been proven to strengthen the enamel, prevent the formation of cavities and reduce sensitivity in teeth.
- Sodium Tripolyphosphate is another ingredient that is formulated to remove teeth stains from the surface.
- Strontium Chloride is used to reduce dental hypersensitivity.
Author: Peter Mayhew
Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.
Is Crest or Colgate better for whitening?
Based on our own testing and research, the Crest 3D White Brilliance is better than any Colgate on the market right now.
Is whitening toothpaste safe?
Whitening toothpastes are safe for daily use, but it should be used as prescribed by your dentist or as indicated on the label. Don't forget that they contain polishing agents, hydrogen peroxide, and other chemical compounds that are not very easy on the enamel.
Is whitening your teeth bad?
No, not really, as long as you maintain them healthy afterwords. If you whiten your teeth once a year and maintain good oral habits, you will end up being one happy person.