Having ultra-white teeth can give you a mega-watt smile in pictures, but that kind of whiteness isn't super easy to achieve. There are a number of factors that can make it difficult to have totally white teeth, from lifestyle habits (like drinking too much coffee, one of the leading causes of tooth discoloration) to not using one of the best whitening toothpastes, many of which can make a big difference in terms of how much shine your teeth have.
"Unlike other whitening products that rely on peroxide, whitening toothpaste simply uses abrasives and enzymes to remove surface stains from teeth," says Dr. Samantha Sacchetti, a general dentist at Chicago-based Village Dental.
For some, if that means quick results, that's not a bad thing. According to Dr. Sacchetti, it's important to keep in mind that a dentifrice (the technical name for toothpaste) should be ADA-approved for use if you're trying to whiten teeth, and to be ADA approved, that means a toothpaste delivers a certain amount of fluoride, which helps with cavity prevention.
While it's always important to consult with a dentist first if you have any questions or concerns about your dental health, there are a number of things you can on your own to do to help get whiter teeth. Teeth whitening isn't for everyone, and for those with sensitive teeth, using abrasive toothpastes or kits to whiten teeth could lead to irritation. But if you're eager to have whiter-looking teeth, the toothpastes on this list may be the key. From charcoal-activated toothpastes to ones specially formulated for sensitive teeth, here are seven of the best whitening toothpastes.
1. This Dentist-Recommended Whitening Toothpaste
This toothpaste is ADA-approved and dentist recommended (it's the brand Dr. Sacchetti uses) because it helps whiten teeth while still strengthening overall oral health. It also helps fight germs for up to 12 hours, prevent gingivitis, plaque and tartar buildup, and gently removes surface stains from teeth. It also helps reduce the risk of bad breath, so you can use it with confidence in more ways than one.
2. This All-Natural Toothpaste That's Also ADA-Approved
Dr. Sacchetti also recommends this all-natural whitening toothpaste, which is formulated to whiten teeth while also fighting cavities and freshening breath. Completely free of peroxide, artificial preservatives, colors, and other additives, this toothpaste tastes just like sweet mint and is a great option for green consumers. Best of all, because it's ADA-approved, it can whiten teeth but won't damage enamel, crowns, or fillings like more abrasive toothpastes might.
3. This Fluoride-Free Charcoal Whitening Powder That Has A Cult Following On Amazon
With over 2,000 reviews on Amazon, this activated charcoal toothpaste has a huge following, and users love it because it helps remove stains from coffee, wine, and other acidic foods and beverages to reveal whiter, brighter teeth. This fluoride-free powder has a minty herbal flavor and is bleach and chemical-free. But, although charcoal is effective, it may not be for everyone.
4. This Whitening Toothpaste Formulated For Sensitive Teeth
Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste, $16 (3 Pack), Amazon
Since most whitening products (like whitening strips) contain peroxide, they may cause irritation for those with sensitive teeth and gums. But this toothpaste by Sensodyne is specially formulated to protect sensitive teeth by re-harden acid-softened enamel and help prevent the effects of serious acid erosion, which is a leading cause of tooth discoloration. At the same time that this toothpaste works to strengthen teeth, it delivers gentle whitening on enamel, and contains fluoride for reducing the risk of cavities.
5. This Fluoride-Free Toothpaste That Uses Natural Pineapple And Papaya Enzymes To Whiten Teeth
This gluten- and fluoride-free whitening toothpaste uses natural pineapple and papaya enzymes to leave teeth looking visibly brighter and pomegranate to freshen breath. This toothpaste is also less abrasive than charcoal, and doesn't have any sulfates. One reviewer admitted: "I have to honestly say I was skeptical about some of the reviews that claimed they're teeth were getting whiter from using this toothpaste. But after about 3 weeks, my teeth are whiter."
6. This Vegan Toothpaste That's Made With Mineral Clay, Sea Salt, And Plant Extracts
If you're shopping for a vegan-friendly whitening toothpaste, you'll love this one, which is made with mineral clay, sea salt, and pure plant essences. One of the big advantages of this toothpaste — which tastes like peppermint and is also fluoride- and gluten-free — outside of whitening is that it helps regrow damaged enamel by remineralizing it and maintaining a naturally alkaline pH. One reviewer raved: "This is a fantastic product! I will never go back to traditional toothpaste as long as I can purchase this product."
7. This Luxury Whitening Toothpaste That Removes Plaque And Tartar For Fresher Breath
Imported from Italy and gaining a cult following in the US, Marvis toothpaste is the Rolls-Royce of oral hygiene products. It uses a gentle xylitol- and sorbitan-based formula to cleanse and condition teeth and gums. It also whitens, freshens breath, and helps prevent tooth decay, tartar and plaque.
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