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Everything We Recommend
Best with Fluoride: Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste with Fluoride (Colgate Regular)
Best for Children: Tom’s of Maine Children’s Toothpaste
Best Salt Formulation: Weleda Natural Salt Toothpaste
Best for Enamel Protection: Rembrandt Intense Stain (Rembrandt Original)
Best for Sensitive Teeth: Arm & Hammer Sensitive Teeth and Gums
Best with Natural Ingredients: Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste
Best Non-Fluoride Option: Boka Ela Mint Toothpaste
Teeth whitening toothpaste tend to whiten teeth in one or two shades and only work on external teeth stains and surface stains. However, they can also be too abrasive, causing more harm than good in the long run.2,4,5,7
The whitening effects of toothpaste are limited due to:6
NewMouth only recommends whitening toothpaste to supplement other teeth whitening treatments like whitening kits and in-office treatments. This recommendation comes from considering factors like:
Whitening kits and in-office treatments provide better and longer-lasting results. Whitening toothpaste is more effective in maintaining the results from these treatments.
If you’re interested in the best at-home whitening kits, read NewMouth’s comprehensive teeth whitening kit review.
Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) is an index used to determine the relative abrasiveness of toothpaste. High RDA values can damage teeth and cause erosion, while low RDA values are less damaging.
According to the American Dental Association, all dentifrices with the ADA Seal of Acceptance must have an RDA of 250 or less. You should avoid toothpastes with an RDA value above 250 since it causes significant enamel damage.
Here are some of the best whitening toothpaste we recommend for maintenance:
|Active Ingredients||Baking soda, Sodium carbonate peroxide|
|Price||$18.15 (pack of 6)|
The Arm & Hammer Advance White toothpaste is one of the best whitening toothpastes, with an RDA value of 42. It maintains teeth-whitening treatment results without damaging your enamel.
The toothpaste is formulated with baking soda and peroxide, neutralizing acids that can weaken your teeth's enamel. The fluoride in toothpaste prevents cavities and tartar buildup.
Arm & Hammer also formulates their toothpaste with their patented Stain Defense™ technology. This prevents new stains from setting onto your teeth.
According to one reviewer, this toothpaste is their go-to for everyday use. It cleaned their teeth thoroughly, but they feel like the taste could improve since it’s a bit too strong.
|Active Ingredients||Sodium monofluorophosphate|
|Price||$19.22 (pack of 5)|
Colgate’s Cavity Protection toothpaste is the best fluoride toothpaste with an RDA value of 68. Fluoride protects your teeth against cavities, and Colgate uses a gluten-free formula.
This toothpaste is ADA-approved, meaning the product is guaranteed safe, reliable, and high-quality. It also uses mint flavoring to keep the mouth feeling fresh and clean.
One of our reviewers said Colgate’s Cavity Protection has fantastic taste and offers value for money. However, they noticed that the recent changes in texture are off-putting. Unlike the previous versions, this new formula doesn’t provide the abrasiveness they like.
|Active Ingredients||Sodium monofluorophosphate, Calcium carbonate|
|Price||$16.19 (pack of 3)|
Tom’s of Maine Children’s toothpaste is formulated so children can enjoy brushing their teeth. It has calcium and silica to gently clean children’s teeth and has an RDA value of 57.
The toothpaste has a fruity flavor, which prevents the usual burning sensation from mint-flavored toothpastes. Tom’s of Maine Children’s Toothpaste is also free of artificial flavoring, color, and preservatives.
A tester points out that Tom's toothpaste wins with its kid-friendly flavors and fluoride protection. However, they feel the packaging needs improvement since dispensing the product can be tricky.
|Active Ingredients||Baking soda, salt|
Weleda’s Natural Salt Toothpaste is one of the best-ranking toothpaste on the RDA chart with a value of 15. Its gentle formulation is fluoride-free while using sea salt and gentle mineral cleansers.
The salt in the formulation triggers saliva production. Their toothpaste relies on the saliva’s enzymes to flush the mouth clean naturally.
A reviewer points out that Weleda's toothpaste fits the bill of a natural, chemical-free toothpaste. While using the toothpaste, they’ve noticed a significant decrease in gum pain and bleeding.
|Active Ingredients||Sodium fluoride|
|Price||$11.95 (pack of 2)|
Rembrandt’s Intense Stain toothpaste removes stains from your teeth with a unique blend of micropolishers. Their toothpaste has an RDA value of 53.
Their formula can remove stains from red wine, berries, coffee, and tobacco. They also use fluoride to strengthen and restore the teeth enamel.
After testing the product, one reviewer says that Rembrandt works well for them because of its visible whitening results and pleasant taste. However, the toothpaste usually provides inconsistent results, and it’s difficult to find in local stores.
|Active Ingredients||Baking soda|
|Price||$9.00 (pack of 2)|
Arm & Hammer’s Sensitive Teeth and Gums toothpaste has an RDA value of 48. Their formula uses triple enamel protection to neutralize enamel-eroding acids.
Their formula uses Liquid Calcium™ technology, which repairs the enamel surface by filling in the tiny cracks on the teeth. It also restores tooth-strengthening minerals to improve and prevent tooth sensitivity.
One of our reviewers said this toothpaste has been great for their sensitive gums and teeth. However, while the toothpaste provides a clean feeling and a pleasant taste, it’s difficult to find in local stores.
Arginine bicarbonate (salt derived from arginine), calcium carbonate
$19.49 (pack of 3)
Tom's of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste is the best toothpaste with natural ingredients. Its RDA value is 49 with a formula specifically for sensitive teeth.
It uses a combination of arginine and calcium carbonate, which are derived from natural sources only.
Arginine and calcium carbonate seal cracks in the teeth, preventing nerve exposure. Tom’s of Maine’s patented formula claims to provide long-lasting protection with continuous use.
Customers like the toothpaste’s value for money, making it an affordable option without sacrificing quality. However, some find the toothpaste’s packaging design poor, making it difficult to open the lid.
|Active Ingredients||Nano Hydroxyapatite|
Boka Ela Mint Toothpaste is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It has an RDA value of less than 50.
Instead of fluoride, the brand uses nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) to remineralize teeth and reduce sensitivity. The formula is also sulfate and paraben-free.
The formula uses aloe vera, xylitol, green tea, and mint to help clean teeth while providing a refreshing flavor.
According to customer reviews, Boka offers excellent results for sensitive teeth. However, some find the taste too sweet, especially if they’ve reduced their sugar intake.
According to Dr. Khushbu Gopalakrishnan, one of New Mouth’s in-house dentists, most whitening toothpaste work through abrasives and/or peroxides.
The peroxide ingredient is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. They’re bleaching agents that chemically break down and remove stains.
On the other hand, the abrasive ingredients in whitening toothpastes mechanically remove stains. Common ones include:
The peroxide content in whitening toothpastes is negligible, so it won’t matter significantly if they have this ingredient.6 Dr. Khushbu also said that, aside from the low concentration of peroxides, the contact time between toothpaste and teeth is too short to be able to give drastic results.
Most kinds of toothpaste have the same primary components. Although, according to Dr. Khushbu, the specific concentration and agent may vary.
The base components include:10
Brands will often differ in their concentration and kinds of whitening agents. Some formulations can be too abrasive, causing unwanted side effects.
The side effects of whitening toothpaste include:2,4,5,7
Demineralization is the early stage of tooth decay, and it occurs when the teeth's enamel wears away. It results in weakened and more sensitive teeth, making a person more prone to dental caries, discomfort, and pain.14
You should also consult a cosmetic dentist to know whether your teeth can handle peroxide-whitening toothpaste.
Remineralization can reverse demineralization to a certain extent. It’s a naturally occurring process in teeth and bone.
Remineralization happens with the help of a few factors, including:15
Saliva is one of the essential biological tools against demineralization, neutralizing the effects of acid exposure. It also provides calcium and phosphate, which maintain the supersaturation of necessary tooth minerals.
Probiotic bacteria are naturally present in the body, but you can also get them from dairy products and supplements. A study suggests that they displace the bacteria that contribute to demineralization.15
Choosing the best whitening toothpaste relies on following dentists’ recommendations and knowing a toothpaste’s relative dentin abrasivity (RDA) value.3
Here’s what you must consider when choosing a teeth-whitening toothpaste:
Whitening toothpaste will have various ingredients that help you achieve a brighter smile. Some ingredients you should look for in whitening toothpaste are peroxides like carbamide and hydrogen peroxide.
Mild abrasives like calcium or magnesium carbonate can also help remove surface stains. Choosing toothpaste with these ingredients can help you get the most out of your teeth whitening routine.
When you have sensitive teeth, you want to choose teeth whitening toothpastes that are gentle on your teeth. Some kinds of toothpaste have potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, which help reduce sensitivity.
Some dentists prefer recommending the simplest and most affordable toothpaste from trusted brands, regardless of whether they claim to be teeth-whitening.
There isn’t much difference between recommending a standard toothpaste or a whitening one when it comes to teeth whitening. According to Dr. Khushbu, the ingredients would likely be comparable.
In some cases, dentists may recommend products based on specific needs. For example, if a patient is at a higher risk of developing cavities, Dr. Khushbu would recommend high-fluoride toothpaste.
An RDA value measures the erosive effect of toothpaste ingredients. The score ranges from 4 to 250.
Any reputable brand’s toothpaste with an RDA value of 4 to 70 is considered the best because it isn’t abrasive enough to cause side effects.
The chart includes all kinds of toothpaste from reputable brands, including whitening and non-whitening. You can refer to it here:
Toothpastes with an RDA value of 101 to 250 can harm tooth enamel. Those with an RDA value of 78 to 100 are moderately risky.
You can prevent unwanted side effects from whitening toothpastes by doing the following:
A study found that, even when paired with highly abrasive toothpaste, manual toothbrushes are not as abrasive as electric toothbrushes.11 However, the specific RDA values of manual and electric toothbrushes have not yet been determined.
Theoretically, electric toothbrushes have a teeth-whitening effect because of their abrasiveness. It’s best to pair it with toothpastes having RDA values between 4 and 70.
Because most kinds of toothpaste have the same base ingredients, NewMouth decided to focus on products with a low RDA value, are dentist-approved, and are from reputable brands.
New Mouth also focused on testing products that were more affordable and accessible than direct-to-consumer toothpaste brands.
After extensive research and product testing, this article also underwent an intensive review process:
If you can’t or don’t want to use whitening kits or get professional teeth-whitening treatments, there are other ways to maintain a bright smile.
Here are some practices you can do to maintain a bright smile without whitening products:
Whitening toothpastes have limited effects. Most dentists recommend the simplest and most accessible toothpaste, regardless of their whitening effects.
Whitening kits and in-office treatments are more effective, giving longer-lasting results. Whitening toothpastes are best to maintain the results from these treatments.
Depending on the formulation, some whitening toothpastes can be too abrasive, causing demineralization. You can prevent this by choosing toothpaste with an RDA value of 4 to 70.
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