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What is Whitening Toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste has been shown to whiten teeth slightly. These products are ideal for people with minor tooth discoloration. 

Our Top Recommendations

Best Overall: Snow Whitening Toothpaste

Best Remineralizing (Peroxide-Free): Hismile PAP+

Best Budget Option: Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste

Best for Sensitive Teeth and Gums: Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste

If you have surface stains caused by coffee, tea, or cigarettes, whitening toothpaste can help reduce this discoloration. 

Deeper discoloration (that extends below the tooth’s surface) will probably not lighten with whitening toothpaste alone. These stains are typically caused by certain medications, tooth injuries, and excessive fluoride use.

Professional whitening treatment, which uses higher bleaching concentrations, is best in these cases.

How Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?

Whitening toothpaste contains specific ingredients that gradually lift stains, including:

Peroxide

Peroxide, such as hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, helps break down and remove stains. The most effective whitening products contain peroxide as an active ingredient.1, 2

Peroxide has been proven to penetrate tooth enamel and reach the discolored molecules inside of teeth. ​The discolored teeth molecules interact with the whitening agent's oxygen molecules, gently lifting stains. 

Blue Covarine

Some products also contain blue covarine, which has been shown to reduce yellowing.

The pigment does not actually remove stains; it just sticks to the surface of teeth, making them appear less yellow.3

Other Ingredients

Other ingredients and special abrasives like silica, fluoride, and baking soda.

Silica and baking soda cause a whitening effect on tooth surfaces and gently polish teeth. Fluoride protects against plaque buildup and cavities.

6 Best Whitening Toothpastes of 2022 (That Actually Work)

Based on our research, the best whitening toothpastes of 2022 are:

snow whitening toothpaste

Snow Whitening Toothpaste

Best Overall

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:

  1. Morning Frost (AM toothpaste) to kickstart your day.
  2. Midnight Mint (PM toothpaste) with lavender to help you sleep.
hismile pap toothpaste

Hismile PAP+ Toothpaste

Best Remineralizing (Peroxide-Free)

Hismile PAP+ is the only non-fluoridated toothpaste we picked with three active ingredients: phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP), hydroxyapatite (HAP), and potassium citrate. This means it provides all their benefits in equal strengths.

PAP is a peroxide-free bleach that whitens teeth without causing gum irritation or sensitivity.4 It is safer than teeth whitening products that use hydrogen peroxide.

HAP is superior to NHAP for remineralization. It also gets extra help from arginine, a compound that breaks down into calcium carbonate and remineralizes teeth.

Lastly, it contains potassium citrate to reduce tooth sensitivity.5

Arm and Hammer Advanced White

Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste

Best Budget Option

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. 

SuperSmile Professional Toothpaste

SuperSmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste

Best for Sensitive Teeth and Gums

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. 

Read our Review of Supersmile whitening toothpaste

Native Toothpaste

Native Whitening Toothpaste with Fluoride

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. 

Toms of Maine Flouride free Antiplaque Whitening

Tom's of Maine Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste

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.

How to Use Whitening Toothpaste

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. Others contain high peroxide concentrations and should be used less frequently. 

Read the instructions before using any whitening product. Overuse can lead to tooth enamel damage and gum irritation over time. 

Does Whitening Toothpaste Really Work?

With proper use, whitening toothpaste is an effective teeth whitening option for lifting surface stains.

Many dentists recommend using whitening toothpaste in combination with another whitening treatment. These include LED whitening kits, whitening strips, or professional whitening treatments to enhance the effects.

Certain whitening toothpastes contain activated charcoal. Some claim it ‘detoxifies’ the mouth while also removing stains quickly. 

However, there is no evidence to support that activated charcoal is 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.

Pros of whitening toothpaste
  • Inexpensive bleaching option
  • Easy-to-use and incorporate into your daily routine
  • Many products and brands to choose from 
  • Effective way to maintain a white smile before and after professional whitening treatment
  • Can help prevent stains before they appear
  • Causes less sensitivity than stronger whitening treatments
Cons of whitening toothpaste
  • Can cause issues such as enamel erosion, sensitive teeth, and gum irritation with consistent (or improper) use
  • Does not provide long-lasting whitening results and must be used consistently
  • Only remove shallow surface stains on teeth
  • Will not whiten restorations like crowns, fillings, or veneers (still safe to use on them)

Why Trust Us? How We Judge Whitening Products

All medical content on this site, including this guide and other product reviews, is written by our team of experienced writers and researchers. 

All NewMouth writers vet products that are recommended and reviewed in the industry. In cases where this is not possible, our team will:

  • Compare positive and negative reviews on the products
  • Talk to company leaders to ensure their products are safe and effective
  • Look into costs to ensure customers are getting the best quality products at reasonable prices
  • Read research studies to compare the pros and cons of each product

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.

Last updated on April 22, 2022
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 22, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  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/S0002-817730412-9/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 , U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29056187/.
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