The 9 Best Whitening Toothpastes of 2020

Lift stains and brighten your teeth while you brush

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Our Top Picks
"In two simple steps—first brushing with an anti-cavity toothpaste, then a peroxide formula—you'll get dramatically whiter teeth."
"This top-rated pick comes in eight appealing flavors, including Jasmine Green Tea Mint and Green Apple."
"Unlike harsher ingredients, baking soda is a safe and gentle abrasive that won't aggravate those with sensitive teeth."
"Cali White’s whitening toothpaste uses activated charcoal and coconut oil to remove and prevent stains on your teeth."
"This vegan formula works to remove surface stains and plaque, along with preventing tartar buildup."
"This toothpaste for sensitive teeth is formulated to strengthen tooth enamel, which can erode over time and cause sensitivity."
"In as little as one month, this gentle, kosher-certified toothpaste can lighten your teeth by two shades."
Best for Quick Results:
Colgate Optic White Express at Amazon
"This toothpaste has about twice as much hydrogen peroxide as Colgate’s regular Optic White, so you can get results in three days."
"The 1.3-ounce sleek silver tube is plenty small enough to pack in a carry-on bag."

Best Overall: Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step Toothpaste

For some, a two-step system defeats the purpose of whitening toothpaste. However, 3D White Brilliance 2-Step Toothpaste from Crest might change your mind. The first step involves brushing with the anti-cavity Deep Cleansing toothpaste for one minute without rinsing afterward. Next, you’ll brush for another minute using the hydrogen peroxide Whitening Finisher gel, followed by a final rinse.

Most whitening toothpastes call for only one step. So, if you’re looking for something more straightforward, this may not be the best option for you. But one thing to keep in mind is that dentists recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day, anyway. So theoretically, using two different products each time you brush shouldn’t take much longer than a regular tooth-brushing session. Plus, you’ll have dramatically whiter teeth by the time you use up both tubes.

Best Splurge: Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste

If you’re willing to spend a little extra on whitening your teeth but still want to keep things simple, Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste is the way to go. It contains Calprox, a whitening formula exclusive to Supersmile, which consists primarily of whitening calcium peroxide and essential enamel restoring minerals such as fluoride, magnesium, and phosphates. When you brush with this toothpaste, Calprox works to remove surface stains, plaque, and bacteria without causing sensitivity.

While it’s definitely more expensive than other brands, the Professional Whitening Toothpaste from Supersmile can restore the white color of natural teeth, as well as bonded teeth, dentures, veneers, and caps. It comes in eight appealing flavors (Original Mint, Icy Mint, Cinnamon, Jasmine Green Tea Mint, Green Apple, Mandarin Mint, Rosewater Mint, and Tahiti Vanilla Mint) and makes whitening your teeth super easy. There’s really nothing to it—just brush your teeth twice a day like you normally do, and you’ll notice a brighter smile within a few weeks.

Best Budget: Arm & Hammer Advanced White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste

Arm & Hammer has been in the toothpaste business since the 1970s, but the company has been making its active ingredient, baking soda, for much longer. If you’re on the hunt for a tried-and-true whitening toothpaste that doesn’t break the bank, we recommend Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste. 

Baking soda is a safe and gentle abrasive, meaning it gets hardened plaque, tartar, and other gunk off your teeth without causing sensitivity problems—even with ongoing use. Aside from baking soda, the toothpaste contains peroxide, which both removes and prevents surface stains, as well as cavity-fighting fluoride.

Best with Charcoal: Cali White Activated Charcoal & Coconut Oil Whitening Toothpaste

Activated charcoal is popping up in a wide range of beauty treatments and personal hygiene products—and for good reason. When it comes to whitening teeth, it’s not only exceptionally effective, but it's also a totally natural solution. If you’re ready to hop on the charcoal bandwagon, we suggest Cali White Activated Charcoal & Coconut Oil Whitening Toothpaste. 

In addition to charcoal, it contains organic coconut oil. The ingredient is often used for “oil pulling,” an ancient technique for removing tooth stains, getting rid of bodily toxins, and improving oral health. The first time you use this toothpaste, you might be alarmed by the pitch-black color. However, it rinses completely clean from your teeth and won’t stain your toothbrush or your bathroom sink.

Flavored with peppermint oil, this toothpaste doesn’t have many of the ingredients you’d typically see in a whitening formula, such as hydrogen peroxide, but it still gets the job done. Within a couple of weeks, Cali White’s activated charcoal toothpaste delivers noticeably whiter and brighter teeth.

Best Natural: Tom's of Maine Simply White Natural Toothpaste

If you’re interested in whitening your teeth but prefer to steer clear of chemically derived formulas, Tom’s of Maine Simply White Natural Toothpaste is your best bet. Instead of hydrogen peroxide and other inorganic substances, this toothpaste is made with naturally occurring ingredients. It’s flavored with mint oil, sweetened with xylitol, and doesn’t contain any artificial colors.

This toothpaste uses hydrated silica and sodium lauryl sulfate to deliver a brighter smile. Not only does Tom’s Simply White remove surface stains with regular brushing, but it also works to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup. As an added bonus, it’s a cruelty-free and 100 percent vegan product.

Best for Sensitive Teeth: Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste

Tooth sensitivity can make drinking cold beverages, eating ice cream, and many otherwise enjoyable activities out of the question—and some people find whitening their teeth to make them more sensitive. Even mild sensitivity can be uncomfortable enough to make you avoid whitening your teeth. That being said, the Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste from Sensodyne is easy on your teeth, while still working hard to get rid of surface stains. 

With ongoing use, this low-abrasion toothpaste works to gently restore the natural white color of your teeth while preventing new stains from appearing. It’s formulated specifically to strengthen tooth enamel, which can erode over time and cause sensitivity. Sensodyne’s whitening toothpaste also contains fluoride for preventing cavities and eliminating bacteria.

Best for Everyday Use: Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste

As a fluoride toothpaste formulated to minimize sensitivity, Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste is the best whitening toothpaste for everyday use. Whether you’re in the market for a toothpaste to uphold professionally bleached or DIY-whitened teeth or are looking for an effortless smile-brightening solution, this cool-mint gel toothpaste delivers.

Instead of sodium lauryl sulfate, it’s made with potassium sulfate, which tends to be gentler on teeth. With a low-abrasion formula, Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste is also safe and restorative for enamel. But this doesn’t mean it’s not a powerful teeth-whitening product. In as little as one month, this gluten-free, kosher-certified toothpaste can make your teeth two shades lighter.

Best for Quick Results: Colgate Optic White Express

If you want whiter teeth ASAP, consider Colgate Optic White Express. This toothpaste contains hydrogen peroxide, which is used in many teeth-whitening strips and gels. And while it has about twice as much hydrogen peroxide as Colgate’s regular Optic White and competitor whitening toothpastes, it’s safe for ongoing use.

With twice-daily brushing, Colgate Optic White Express can give you a noticeably whiter smile in as little as three days. However, you’ll see even brighter teeth if you use up an entire tube. This toothpaste also has fluoride, so you won’t need any other products to fight cavities. Not only that, but it’s also formulated to strengthen enamel.

Best for Travel: Marvis Travel Size Whitening Mint Toothpaste

Marvis is the fancy Italian toothpaste brand with products that make excellent stocking-stuffers, but the travel size tubes are perfect for travel, too. If you’ve got an upcoming trip and want to continue whitening your teeth on the road, we recommend the travel size Whitening Mint Toothpaste from Marvis. The 1.3-ounce sleek silver tube is plenty small enough to pack in a carry-on bag, and it’s also impressively effective at cleaning and whitening teeth.

The white paste is formulated without peroxide and whitens instead with hydrated silica. It’s also free of fluoride, parabens, and gluten. But that’s not all—this teeny toothpaste prevents decay by removing plaque and tartar. And the cooling mint flavor keeps your breath fresh for hours.

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