Does Purple Toothpaste Actually Whiten Your Teeth?

by Wendy Rose Gould

As a blonde, I am religious about de-brassing my hair on a weekly basis,with purple toning shampoo treatments, which work by depositing purple pigments on the hair shaft and thereby counteracting yellow tones. You'd assume, then, I'd be super into de-yellowing my grin with purple toothpaste and mouthwash (seeing as how I'm an owner of teeth and drinker of coffee and red wine).

Honestly, I was intrigued by POPWHITE's purple whitening toothpaste and toner/oral rinse, but reticent to actually put the stuff in my mouth. I mean, what if it accidentally dyed my mouth purple and made me look like I'd been dining on grape popsicles all day long?

Then again, it's literally part of my job to test out new products and determine whether they're worth sharing with the world — and after seeing the buzz about purple toothpaste for whitening, I knew I had to try it. Spoiler alert: My mouth wasn't stained purple — not permanently, anyways. For the rest of the story, read on.

The Products

POP White's Whitening Toner + Oral Rinse, $36, POP White Smile

On the left is POPWHITE's Whitening Toner + Oral Rinse and on the right is their Whitening Primer + Toothpaste. Each uses what they call "color correcting technology," which is pretty much the same technology used in purple hair toners. The primer and toner deposit purple-hued micro-particles onto your teeth, which allegedly counteracts yellow stains.

Because it works by depositing purple color — Red 33 and Blue 1, to be specific — it's effective on all surfaces, including veneers, crowns and even dentures. Other whitening products use bleaching agents (namely hydrogen peroxide), which can leave teeth spotted in the end since it only works on natural enamel.

With consistent, twice-daily usage, the products promise to whiten your teeth up to four shades. Do note that when you stop using the products, the whitening effect goes away because the purple deposits get rinsed away over time.

The good news is that the primer toothpaste has been formulated to replace your go-to toothpaste, though you can combine it with your own if you want to continue using your fluoride or sensitive toothpaste. It doesn't taste weird, like I thought it might, but there's less of a minty finish compared to my primary toothpaste.

The mouth rinse is undeniably a Barney purple, and feels gentle and soothing versus aggressive or painful like some mouth washes.

My Experience

I decided to give POPWHITE a fair chance and used it consistently for several weeks. Throughout this experiment, I discovered a few key things:

  • The product does dye your lips and tongue. The purple hue can be gently rubbed off your lips with a washcloth, and can be brushed off your tongue with a clean toothbrush. I found that that there is a hint of purple after doing both, but it fades in about 15 minutes.
  • The product is most effective at whitening immediately following usage. I think this is because the purple deposits haven't had a chance to get rinsed away throughout the course of the day.
  • My teeth were never purple-hued, and they definitely looked a little whiter after usage.
  • I have sensitive teeth (and have even used prescription sensitive toothpaste in the past), and I found this to be much more gentle than regular whiteners.
  • On the downside, it's a bit less effective than some of my other favorite whiteners, including Crest One-Hour Express Whitestrips and AuraGlow's Teeth Whitening System. These two work more quickly and more effectively than the POPWHITE, but they did cause more tooth sensitivity. If you're considering these options for yourself, it's best to understand your teeth

But let's get to the reason you're here, shall we? Here's what my teeth looked right before brushing:

I tried to photograph my teeth in the same light during the same time of day, but there are natural differences in the photo. Check out my after shot:

In the end, I personally found that there was an ever-so-slight difference in whiteness, but perhaps only noticeable enough for me to tell.

Ultimately, I think POPWHITE's purple toothpaste and oral rinse are a great alternative to people with highly sensitive teeth, or for people who have veneers/fillings/crowns and want to be able to uniformly whiten their teeth.

However, if you're looking for something that's more permanent and works more quickly (and you don't mind potential unevenness or increased sensitivity) I recommend sticking with a traditional bleaching product. Either way, your pearly whites are going to shine.