Wellness » The Top 10 Best Whitening Toothpastes for a Brighter Smile

The Top 10 Best Whitening Toothpastes for a Brighter Smile

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Dreaming of a bright white smile? Your daily brushing routine can help. While whitening toothpaste doesn’t brighten teeth quite as dramatically as teeth whitening kits, it’s an easy extra step to help your efforts. 

The best whitening toothpaste is slightly abrasive, helping slough away surface stains. Many also include bleaching ingredients that actively lighten the color of your teeth. We’ve compiled the most effective ones to help you reveal shinier, brighter teeth, which translates to a sparkling smile. 

Best whitening toothpastes overview:

How we chose the best whitening toothpastes

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including ingredients, flavors, textures, and more, to create a short list of the top toothpastes for whitening. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best whitening toothpaste for each category.

Our picks for the best whitening toothpastes

Best overall
Colgate Optic White Pro Series Toothpaste

What we love

  • Removes stains within 2 weeks
  • Whitens teeth from the inside out
  • Includes fluoride to prevent cavities

What we don’t love

  • Flavor isn’t for everyone

This is the most powerful toothpaste in Colgate’s portfolio, with 5% hydrogen peroxide to chemically lighten the teeth. Colgate promises that it can remove years of stains within just two weeks of regular brushing, whitening teeth from the inside out. 

This tooth-whitening toothpaste also contains fluoride to prevent cavities and silica, which scrubs away surface stains. This blend of ingredients means it whitens the teeth in two different ways, yielding dramatic results. The only drawback? Some reviewers mentioned that the minty taste wasn’t to their liking, perhaps because of how it tasted when combined with the flavor of the peroxide.

Main ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide, fluoride, silica | Type: Paste | Flavor: Mint

Best budget
Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste

What we love

  • Can whiten teeth by 2 shades
  • Removes and prevents surface stains
  • Budget-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Polarizing flavor

This toothpaste promises to whiten your teeth by two shades within six weeks of use while removing and preventing surface stains. It’s made with a powerful blend of actively whitening peroxide, abrasive baking soda, and silica. In other words, it’s a robust, dual-action formula at a budget-friendly price. Reviewers consistently loved the results, but some mentioned that the flavor wasn’t pleasant.

Main ingredients: Baking soda, sodium carbonate peroxide, silica | Type: Paste | Flavor: Clean mint

Best for stains
Crest 3D White Brilliance Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

What we love

  • Removes stains within 5 days
  • 24-hour stain protection
  • Leaves mouth feeling fresh

What we don’t love

  • Can be difficult to squeeze from the tube

If you’re dealing with surface stains on your teeth, this is the whitening toothpaste to try. Crest promises that it’ll remove 100% of stains within just five days for healthier-looking teeth. You can keep on drinking your coffee and red wine, too, thanks to stain-preventing ingredients that protect your teeth for up to 24 hours. 

Reviewers raved about the fresh peppermint flavor and just how clean this toothpaste left their mouth feeling, although some complained that the thick paste was difficult to squeeze from the tube.

Main ingredients: Fluoride, silica, sodium hexametaphosphate | Type: Paste | Flavor: Peppermint

Best for sensitive teeth
Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste

What we love

  • Treats hypersensitive teeth
  • Helps remove surface stains
  • SLS-free

What we don’t love

  • Not extremely whitening

If you’re prone to teeth sensitivity, this toothpaste helps to whiten them while calming down pain. It contains just enough abrasive silica to address surface stains but not so much as to damage the enamel. It’s an excellent option if you find that your teeth hurt when exposed to cold or hot beverages since it includes potassium nitrate, which treats that hypersensitivity.

It’s also SLS-free, so you may prefer it if you find that sulfate formulas irritate your mouth or lips. That said, some reviewers mentioned that it wasn’t quite as whitening as they expected it to be.

Main ingredients: Potassium nitrate, sodium fluoride, silica | Type: Paste | Flavor: Mint

Best splurge
Boka Ela Mint Toothpaste

What we love

  • Whitens by remineralizing teeth
  • Helps with sensitivity
  • Free from harsh ingredients

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

If your teeth aren’t stained but seem to be a little transparent and yellow, the issue may be visible dentin under your enamel. Enter this luxurious toothpaste designed to remineralize the enamel with nano-hydroxyapatite

In addition to helping to whiten the teeth, it also fortifies them and helps with sensitivity so that it can be beneficial as a post-whitening toothpaste. It’s a fluoride-free option that’s also void of sulfates and synthetic flavoring.

Main ingredients: Nano-hydroxyapatite | Type: Gel | Flavor: Mint, green tea, cardamom

Best natural
Tom’s of Maine Simply White Toothpaste

What we love

  • Removes surface stains
  • ADA-approved
  • Naturally derived ingredients

What we don’t love

  • Weak mint flavor

If you’d rather avoid whitening your teeth with bleaching ingredients, this toothpaste helps to lighten the teeth naturally with gentle silica. It scrubs away surface stains while keeping the teeth strong with fluoride. The formula is approved by the American Dental Association and it’s free from synthetic flavors and dyes. That said, some reviewers mentioned that the flavor wasn’t strong or minty enough.

Main ingredients: Fluoride, silica | Type: Paste | Flavor: Clean mint

Best fluoride-free
Hello Antiplaque + Whitening Fluoride Free Toothpaste

What we love

  • Removes stains
  • Naturally flavored
  • Free of controversial chemicals

What we don’t love

  • You’ll need an alternative source of fluoride

If you prefer toothpaste without fluoride, you can’t go wrong with this plaque-fighting, whitening toothpaste from Hello. It whitens through stain removal, using mineral abrasives like silica and calcium carbonate. 

It’s free of many controversial or irritating chemicals, like sulfates, artificial flavors, and more. Instead, it contains peppermint and tea tree oils for a natural taste and fragrance. Keep in mind that most dentists recommend using fluoride regularly, so make sure you have an alternative source for this important mineral.

Main ingredients: Silica, calcium carbonate, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, coconut oil | Type: Paste | Flavor: Peppermint

Best flavor
Hismile Mango Sorbet Toothpaste

What we love

  • Delicious mango flavor
  • Contains silica to polish teeth
  • Fluride prevents cavities

What we don’t love

  • Not super whitening

If you hate the minty taste of toothpaste, Hismile presents a delicious alternative that’ll polish your teeth just as effectively. The mango sorbet flavor is our favorite, but there are five more to choose from, including coconut and red velvet cake.

While it’s not advertised as a whitening formula, this toothpaste still contains silica to polish the teeth and fade stains. There’s also fortifying fluoride to keep cavities at bay. If you want to amp up the whitening action, you can also pick up Hismile’s PAP+ Whitening Powder, which you can mix into your toothpaste to enhance its whitening action.

Main ingredients: Silica, fluoride | Type: Gel | Flavor: Mango (+5 more)

Best low-abrasive
Rembrandt Deeply White + Peroxide Toothpaste

What we love

  • Whiter teeth within 1 week
  • Not overly abrasive
  • Protects the enamel

What we don’t love

  • Texture can be unpleasant

This unique toothpaste is very whitening without being overly abrasive, so it’s ideal if you’re worried about preserving your enamel. It lightens the teeth with a dose of peroxide for a smile that’s brighter by three shades within a week. It also includes fluoride to protect the enamel and prevent tooth decay. 

On the downside, many reviewers noted that this toothpaste could be clumpy when it first comes out of the tube. In some cases, it was too off-putting to enjoy using consistently.

Main ingredients: Peroxide, fluoride | Type: Paste | Flavor: Peppermint

Best low-waste
Bite Fresh Mint Toothpaste Bits

What we love

  • Refillable, low-waste container
  • Helps polish away stains
  • Gentle and sulfate-free

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

If you’re tired of throwing away toothpaste tubes or dealing with messy paste, you may like these dry tabs, which come in a reusable, refillable glass jar. You bite down on one of the small tablets and then start brushing with a damp toothbrush. The tablet transforms into a foam that cleans your mouth thoroughly and helps polish away discoloration with calcium carbonate.

It’s a gentle option that protects the enamel and doesn’t include potentially irritating ingredients like sulfates. There’s also a fluoride-free version made with nano-hydroxyapatite.

Main ingredients: Fluoride, calcium carbonate | Type: Tablets | Flavor: Mint

Stain away 

If you want to whiten your teeth gently, whitening toothpaste makes it simple. Some formulas are better at removing stains while others can slightly bleach the teeth by a shade or two. Within our selection, Colgate Optic White Pro Series Toothpaste is our top pick. It’s a powerful option with both chemical and abrasive whitening ingredients to boost your smile.

How to pick the right whitening toothpaste for you

When choosing a teeth-whitening toothpaste, it’s important to understand how it works and its main ingredients. 


  • Peroxide. Peroxides like hydrogen peroxide offer a direct bleaching effect. It’s an effective whitening ingredient, although results depend on how long the peroxide is in contact with the teeth. Some users found it could be sensitizing, especially if paired with strong abrasives. 
  • Fluoride. Fluoride, in the form of sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, or sodium monofluorophosphate, is an important mineral that prevents tooth decay by strengthening the surface of the teeth. Almost all adults benefit from having it in their toothpaste.  
  • Silica. This is the most common abrasive agent in whitening toothpaste, helping to slough off surface stains.
  • Potassium nitrate. This desensitizing agent helps prevent pain caused by having exposed dentin (i.e., “hypersensitivity”).  
  • Hydroxyapatite. This ingredient helps remineralize the enamel, making the teeth stronger. Research shows that it can also help whiten the teeth, likely through remineralization that helps hide the naturally yellow dentin layer of the teeth.
  • Charcoal. Though trendy, research shows that charcoal is usually too abrasive for the enamel and doesn’t necessarily offer an impressive whitening effect, so we decided not to include any charcoal toothpaste in this article. 

Whitening method 

  • Chemical. Made with ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, these toothpastes work by penetrating and oxidizing the enamel, making it lighter. It’s the same process dentists use for in-office teeth whitening, although much milder since toothpaste contains a lower percentage of peroxide and they’re in contact with the teeth for a shorter time. 
  • Abrasive. Abrasive toothpaste lightens the teeth by polishing away surface stains with ingredients like hydrated silica or baking soda. It’s a better choice if you’d like to return your teeth to their baseline color after they’ve been stained. That said, overly-abrasive toothpaste can be harmful to sensitive teeth.
  • Hybrid. Hybrid toothpaste contains abrasives and chemical agents to provide the most comprehensive lightening effect by removing surface stains and bleaching the teeth. 


Which toothpaste whitens teeth the most? 

Our top pick from Colgate includes both chemical and abrasive lightening agents to eliminate stains and whiten the teeth dramatically. Rembrandt Deeply White + Peroxide Toothpaste is another excellent option. It promises to make teeth three shades lighter within one week, although some reviewers found it unpleasant to use. 

Is there a whitening toothpaste that really works?

Yes! Research demonstrates that toothpastes with peroxide are effective at whitening teeth. That said, it’s important to brush correctly and for long enough so the bleaching agents stay in contact with the teeth for enough time. Finally, it’s important to remember that dedicated teeth whitening systems usually do a better job than toothpaste. 

What whitens teeth instantly?

The best way to whiten teeth is with professional teeth whitening at the dentist’s office. Whitening toothpastes and at-home teeth whitening kits require multiple uses, while DIY methods are largely considered ineffective.