Whitening toothpaste has been shown to whiten teeth slightly. These products are ideal for people with minor tooth discoloration.
For example, if you have surface stains caused by coffee, tea, or cigarettes, consistent use of whitening toothpaste can help reduce this discoloration.
At-home teeth whitening kits can give you the same results as professional whitening treatment in less than two weeks. (Be sure to follow instructions carefully).
Deeper discoloration (that extends below the tooth’s surface) will likely not lighten with whitening toothpaste alone. These stains are typically caused by certain medications, tooth injuries, and excessive fluoride use, among others. Professional whitening treatment, which uses higher bleaching concentrations, is best in these cases.
Best Overall — Snow Whitening Toothpaste
Best Overall: Runner Up — Colgate Optic White Toothpaste
Best Budget Option — Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste
Best for Sensitive Teeth and Gums — Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste
Best Deep Clean Option — Native Whitening Toothpaste with Fluoride
Best Fluoride-Free Option — Tom's of Maine Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste contains specific ingredients that gradually lift stains, including:
Whitening toothpaste is easy to use and can be a great addition to your oral care routine.
You’ll apply a small amount of the toothpaste to your toothbrush and brush for two minutes. How often you should use whitening toothpaste depends on the brand.
Some products can be used twice daily until results are achieved, while others contain high peroxide concentrations and should be used less frequently.
Read the instructions before using any whitening product, as overuse can lead to tooth enamel damage and gum irritation over time.
With proper use, whitening toothpaste is generally an effective teeth whitening option for lifting surface stains. However, it will not do anything to intrinsic stains. Many dentists recommend using whitening toothpaste in combination with another whitening treatment, such as LED whitening kits, whitening strips, or professional whitening treatment to enhance the effects.
Certain whitening toothpastes on the market contain activated charcoal, which some companies claim ‘detoxifies’ the mouth while also removing stains quickly.
However, activated charcoal has no evidence to support that it is entirely safe to use in the mouth.3, 4 It may do more harm than good by removing enamel and increasing the risk of tooth decay (due to its abrasive properties).4
Until more research comes out, many researchers and dentists recommend avoiding charcoal toothpaste. Only use peroxide-containing whitening toothpaste for best results.
All medical content on this site, including this guide and other product reviews, is written by our team of experienced writers and researchers.
NewMouth recommends LED teeth whitening systems to achieve a brighter smile. They are affordable, easy to use, produce minimal side effects, and highly effective.
All NewMouth writers vet products that are recommended and reviewed in the industry. In cases where this is not possible, our team will:
Every piece of content is heavily reviewed before publication. All content on NewMouth is also medically reviewed by a licensed dentist, specifically any content where we recommend products. Our dentists are specifically instructed to flag any recommendations they don’t agree with. Any products that don’t meet their professional standards are removed.
Based on our research, the best whitening toothpastes of 2021 are:
Snow's Whitening Toothpaste whitens and cleans your teeth with natural ingredients.
The formula is free of fluoride, sulfates, and other toxic ingredients. It is also specially designed to be gentle on enamel and whiten your teeth without sensitivity.
The toothpaste can be used twice a day to brighten your smile. It comes in two flavors:
This whitening toothpaste claims you’ll have noticeably whiter teeth after just three days of consistent use. It can also lighten teeth up to four shades after brushing twice daily for four weeks.
The product contains 2 percent hydrogen peroxide, which dentists recommend for whitening. Colgate’s hydrogen peroxide formula is patented and provides long-lasting cooling to keep your breath fresh longer.
The enamel-safe teeth whitening formula is also safe for daily use and contains fluoride to protect against cavities.
This toothpaste uses Crest’s most advanced bleaching formula, removing up to 95 percent of surface stains with consistent use. The micro-cleansing teeth whitener polishes away stains and provides a gentle foaming action to clean hard-to-reach areas.
When paired with daily brushing (twice a day), this toothpaste provides 24-hour active stain prevention. It is also safe to use on sensitive teeth and gums.
The formula is enamel-safe and has a vibrant peppermint flavor to freshen your breath. It also contains fluoride to help protect your teeth from plaque buildup and cavities.
This is Supersmile’s original whitening formula. Developed 40 years ago, the whitening toothpaste can still lighten teeth up to six shades in five days (on average).
It contains Supersmile’s unique Calprox® formula to gently whiten and clean teeth without sensitivity. The Professional Whitening Toothpaste also goes through a 72-hour production process (versus about three hours for traditional toothpaste). This ensures quality is kept high.
This toothpaste is safe to use every morning and night. It also remineralizes and restores enamel, effectively removes plaque, and is 75% less abrasive than the ADA’s limit (it scores a 65 on a scale of 0 to 250).
Read our Review of Supersmile whitening toothpaste
Best Deep Clean Option
Native is a newer and more expensive brand of teeth whitening toothpaste. However, this product has tons of five-star reviews across multiple websites. Many customers mention that it provides a deep clean, freshens breath, and gradually whitens teeth with daily use.
Native’s fluoride whitening toothpaste contains 0.24 percent sodium fluoride and silica, a gentle abrasive that helps polish teeth, remove plaque/tartar, and lift stains.
The formula also contains ingredients like glycerin to retain natural moisture and xylitol to help remove bacteria and freshen bad breath.
Best Fluoride-Free Option
Tom’s is a popular brand of natural and cruelty-free oral care products. This mint toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride, artificial dyes, preservatives, flavorings, or sweeteners. The ingredients are vegan (and 100 percent naturally derived) to provide a non-toxic, fresh whitening experience.
Tom’s fluoride-free toothpaste also contains zinc citrate, xylitol, and other antiplaque substances. These ingredients work together to freshen breath and remove surface stains without harming your teeth.
(1) Basting, RT, et al. “Clinical Comparative Study of the Effectiveness of and Tooth Sensitivity to 10% and 20% Carbamide Peroxide Home-Use and 35% and 38% Hydrogen Peroxide In-Office Bleaching Materials Containing Desensitizing Agents.” Operative Dentistry, Allen Press, 1 Sept. 2012. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22616927/.
(2) Tao D;Smith RN;Zhang Q;Sun JN;Philpotts CJ;Ricketts SR;Naeeni M;Joiner A; “Tooth Whitening Evaluation of Blue Covarine Containing Toothpastes.” Journal of Dentistry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29233260/.
(3) “Is Whitening Toothpaste Worth the Extra Money?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Feb. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/whitening-toothpaste/faq-20058411.
(4) Brooks, John, et al. “Charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices.” The Journal of the American Dental Association, 1 Sept 2017, jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(17)30412-9/fulltext.
(5) Brooks, John K., et al. “Charcoal and Charcoal-Based Dentifrices: A Literature Review.” The Journal of the American Dental Association, Elsevier, 7 June 2017, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002817717304129.
(6) BJ;, Kleber CJ;Putt MS;Nelson. “In Vitro Tooth Whitening by a Sodium Bicarbonate/Peroxide Dentifrice.” The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9835828/.
(7) CP;, Hara AT;Turssi. “Baking Soda as an Abrasive in Toothpastes: Mechanism of Action and Safety and Effectiveness Considerations.” Journal of the American Dental Association (1939), U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29056187/.