9 Best Whitening Toothpastes in 2022 for Sparkly-AF Teeth

Must read

Gaslighting in Relationships Can Be Hard to Spot. Here’s How Therapists Define It

The term “gaslighting” has seen a major spike in popularity across social media and pop culture over the past several years, to...

21 Galentine’s Day Party Ideas That’ll Look Sooo Cute on the ’Gram

Christmas is great, Halloween is fun, and New Year’s Eve is overrated (I said what I said). But there will never be...

Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’s Ending, Explained: A Murder Mystery With Two Villains

Did you keep track of all of the mysterious figures and unanswered questions at the end of Netflix's Wednesday? Or did you...

Here Are the Best Movies of 2022

Despite 2021 being kind of a shite year overall, it was actually a fairly good year for movies. So many 2020 releases were delayed...

Let’s be real—I want white teeth, but I also am absolutely not willing to stop drinking coffee and wine (like, er, are you kidding?!). See the problem here? That’s why I invest in really good whitening toothpaste and at-home whitening products to keep my pearly whites sparkly asf. And because I know a lot of products promise great results without actually delivering, it can be a pain trying to sort through toothpaste tubes that actually work. But don’t fret, because I’ve got news for you: So many cool new whitening toothpaste formulas exist, and I’ve selected nine of the best to try now.

Although whitening toothpaste will not be nearly as effective as in-office professional whitening services, it can help to remove stains on the teeth over time that stick onto the enamel surface (think wine! coffee! berries!), explains Dr. Jonathan Levine, a NYC-based celebrity dentist and prosthodontist. So let’s dive into what makes a whitening toothpaste expert-approved, safe, and effective, shall we?!

Our top picks for the best whitening toothpastes in 2022:

  • Best Overall Whitening Toothpaste

    Twice Oral Wellness Toothpaste

    Read More

  • Best SLS-Free Whitening Toothpaste

    Sprinjene Natural Total Care Cavity Protection Toothpaste

    Read More

  • Best Whitening Toothpaste with Charcoal

    Moon Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste

    Read More

  • Best Whitening Toothpaste Value

    Colgate Optic White Whitening Toothpaste

    Read More

  • Best Whitening Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

    Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste

    Read More

Ahead, I rounded up the nine best whitening toothpastes—from brands like Twice, Crest, Tom’s, and Moon—that are gentle, affordable, and actually effective for yellow, stained teeth.

Best Overall Whitening Toothpaste

Twice Oral Wellness Toothpaste

Best SLS-Free Whitening Toothpaste

Sprinjene Natural Total Care Cavity Protection Toothpaste

Best Whitening Toothpaste with Charcoal

Moon Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste

Best Whitening Toothpaste Value

Colgate Optic White Whitening Toothpaste

Best Whitening Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste

Best Teeth Whitening Gel Toothpaste

Linhart Teeth Whitening Gel

Best Drugstore Whitening Toothpaste

Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh Whitening Toothpaste

Best Flavored Whitening Toothpaste

Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste in Rosewater Mint

Best Whitening Toothpaste for Cavity Prevention

Tom’s of Maine Luminous White Toothpaste

Does whitening toothpaste actually whiten?

No, whitening toothpaste does not actually whiten, as real whitening occurs from the inside of the tooth, and can only occur with whitening systems specifically designed to whiten and oxidize the color pigments inside the tooth, explains Dr. Levine. However, whitening toothpaste can keep the plaque and sticky substance off the surface (if you brush twice daily and floss as well!), which helps to prevent the stain from forming on the enamel surface, he says. (Think: anything that can stain a white shirt, coffee, red wine, tea, soy sauce, etc.)

If you’re still unconvinced, Dr. Levine paints us a picture: You brush your teeth for (hopefully!) two minutes at a time. The active ingredient—which is hydrogen peroxide—will not be left on for long enough, or be applied at a high enough concentration, to have any real effect on whitening the teeth. So just remember, “whitening toothpaste can only lift stains to make the tooth appear lighter, but it cannot significantly change the color of the teeth,” says Dr. Levine.

Is whitening toothpaste good for your teeth?

In order to determine if a toothpaste is good for your teeth, you have to keep in mind a few factors: “Toothpaste usually contains an abrasive—either a silicate or charcoal—and it is critically important for the abrasive not to scratch the enamel surface,” says Dr. Levine, adding that there are very mild abrasives or very aggressive abrasives that can mark and scratch the enamel surface. If this happens, the damage to the tooth surface is irreversible. In order to avoid this, it’s important to watch out for too high of a concentration of big particle silicates and charcoal abrasives. This leads us to…

How to choose the best whitening toothpaste:

Examine the RDA

The RDA, aka the Relative Dentin Abrasion, is the scale that determines “how abrasive the toothpaste is, which means how damaging the toothpaste performs as YOU brush your teeth,” says Dr. Levine. It is imperative that the RDA be below the number 200. Otherwise, it will scratch and mark the enamel where more stain can accrue, he explains. In order to figure out your toothpaste’s RDA, simply search it on Google.

Consider the ingredients

The number one ingredient in whitening toothpaste is hydrogen peroxide, however, there are other ingredients you should look out for. Dr. Lawrence Fung, a cosmetic dentist, has suggested to Cosmo to look for controlled amounts of fluoride (for cavity protection), xylitol or stevia rebaudiana leaf extract (for sweetening and cavity control), potassium nitrate and coconut oil (for a soothing effect and sensitivity control), and peppermint oil (for flavoring). If you’re unsure about fluoride because you’ve heard mixed reviews, Dr. Fung actually recommends it: “Fluoride is a natural mineral that not only helps prevent cavities, but also helps remineralize teeth at the very beginning stages of tooth decay,” Dr. Fung said.

Siena Gagliano is a contributing beauty editor at Cosmopolitan and has three years of experience writing about beauty, fashion, and lifestyle news. She’s an expert at researching and writing beauty stories, like the top lip masks and the best lip balms, and feels especially knowledgeable about whitening toothpaste thanks to wanting white teeth and using them on the reg. She regularly tests and analyzes toothpaste on her own teeth for efficacy.

Ruby Buddemeyer was the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan for nearly three years and has five years of experience writing about beauty, fashion, and celebrity news across print and digital, including the best gel eyeliners on the market, and SPF lip balms. Her whitening toothpaste picks were based on product reviews, ratings, and recommendations from experts.

Contributing Editor Siena Gagliano is a contributing editor at Cosmopolitan, where she primarily covers beauty in the makeup, skin, and hair spaces.

Ruby was the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covered beauty across print and digital.

More articles

Latest article

Gaslighting in Relationships Can Be Hard to Spot. Here’s How Therapists Define It

The term “gaslighting” has seen a major spike in popularity across social media and pop culture over the past several years, to...

21 Galentine’s Day Party Ideas That’ll Look Sooo Cute on the ’Gram

Christmas is great, Halloween is fun, and New Year’s Eve is overrated (I said what I said). But there will never be...

Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’s Ending, Explained: A Murder Mystery With Two Villains

Did you keep track of all of the mysterious figures and unanswered questions at the end of Netflix's Wednesday? Or did you...

Here Are the Best Movies of 2022

Despite 2021 being kind of a shite year overall, it was actually a fairly good year for movies. So many 2020 releases were delayed...

7 of the Best Bra Solutions for Every Kind of Hard-to-Wear Dress

Idk about you, but I’ve got a love-hate relationship with bras—at least when we're talking about the stiff underwire ones, that is...