Did you know that stained teeth could harm your job prospects? Your social standing? The way others see you?
Not only can discoloured teeth affect how other people view you, it’s also one of the leading causes of low self-confidence. White teeth make you look younger, feel happier and possibly even earn more.
What are you waiting for?
With varied diets, a love for curry nights and a hardcore addiction to coffee, it’s no wonder adults in the west look in the mirror and find they have stained teeth. All manner of foods and drinks add to the stains on our teeth and not just those that are bad for us, but plenty that are good for us too. So it’s not necessarily a case of cutting out the troublemakers (except when it comes to smoking of course), instead, let’s take a look at the best teeth whitening toothpaste.
What is teeth whitening toothpaste?
There are really two types of teeth whitening toothpaste (not including whitening pens and strips) and when faced with the array of tubes on the shelves, it’s between these two types that you’ll be choosing.
Abrasive teeth whitening toothpastes contain miniscule granules that gently polish the teeth and can help to remove surface stains. These can’t change the colour of your teeth intrinsically, but they can certainly help rid your teeth of those pesky tannins from the glass of red wine you just drank and other more recent stains. Most shop bought whitening toothpastes come under this category.
The downside? These toothpastes are very lightly abrading the surface of your teeth and, over time, this can cause sensitive teeth. If you already have sensitive teeth, it might be best to avoid these. However, remember that most good toothpastes contain tiny amounts of abrasive substances anyway to polish teeth in general.
Bleaching teeth whitening toothpastes contain small amounts of bleaching agents such as peroxide and actively change the colour of your teeth, bleaching away those stains and returning the enamel to a whiter shade. Bleaching chemicals can also cause tooth sensitivity and the best way of getting white teeth without the pain is to look for sensitive whitening pastes.
Do teeth whitening toothpastes actually work?
There’s a lot of information online about whether these teeth whitening toothpastes actually make a difference or not. But the problem with most of that information? It comes from toothpaste companies like Colgate and Arm and Hammer. Of course they’re going to say their products work. But do they? Really?
Teeth whitening toothpastes aren’t designed to offer instant results or be a one-time, one-off usage. They are actually designed to be used regularly throughout your life, in conjunction with other methods of keeping teeth bright and white. Unlike salon and dental whitening treatments, whitening toothpastes are a very affordable but long-term option. The really good thing is that since you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day anyway, why not whiten them at the same time?
Let’s take a look at the...
Best teeth whitening toothpastes
Macleans Whitening Toothpaste
Macleans have had a loyal following for decades and their whitening toothpaste doesn’t disappoint. Many people have reported whiter teeth after using it repeatedly and it’s seen as especially good for removing recent stains. This is down to the micro-particles in the formula, which gently abrade the stains without damaging the enamel.
Along with the usual toothpaste functions, such as enamel protection and plaque removal , Macleans regular whitening toothpaste is an excellent way to get started in the teeth whitening toothpaste department. If you use it regularly and look after your teeth in other ways (such as quitting smoking and reducing your intake of liquids such as red wine and black tea) then you could well see the results within a few weeks. The great thing is, it’s so affordable that if you don’t feel as though it’s working for you after a month, just try a different whitening toothpaste!
Crest 3D White Brilliance Toothpaste
Just like the Macleans Whitening Toothpaste, Crest 3D Brilliance toothpaste uses micro-particles to gently remove stains and keep your teeth white and polished. It’s a fluoride toothpaste as well, which ensures teeth remain healthy and prevents cavities from forming; this is ideal as a whitening toothpaste is good for looks but it must still be an excellent toothpaste for all-round oral healthcare.
Similarly to the Macleans, if used regularly in conjunction with general oral care, you should see results within a few weeks. Remember though that whitening toothpastes can’t return your teeth to their initial flawless state, but this Crest 3D White Brilliant Toothpaste can help remove some staining and continued use will help prevent new stains from forming.
Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste
Opalescence is a company that produce more than just toothpastes, they produce entire teeth whitening systems. Rather than using micro-particles to lift stains from the surface of tooth enamel, Opalescence use a form of peroxide to bleach unsightly stains in their teeth whitening systems and this Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste is designed for post-whitening use, in order to keep your teeth protected against further staining.
So can you use this toothpaste without having used any of Opalescence’s whitening systems? Absolutely, this is still a whitening toothpaste and it has a very loyal following. It’s considerably more expensive than household brands like Crest, Macleans and Colgate though, so some may prefer to try cheaper whitening toothpastes before trying this one.
Ultradex Recalcifying and Whitening Toothpaste
A little more specialist than the normal household whitening toothpastes, Ultradex Recalcifying and Whitening toothpaste is SLS-free (free from the foaming agent Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and is suitable for sensitive teeth. This Ultradex teeth whitening toothpaste contains hydroxyapatite, the compound that makes up the majority of your teeth’s enamel, as well as containing fluoride. When these two chemicals are combined, they work in your mouth to fill any microscopic tubules in your teeth and form a new layer of enamel, eradicating sensitivity and providing incredible protection for your teeth.
The whitening aspect of Ultradex’s Recalcifying and Whitening Toothpaste is achieved by micro-particles that work to lightly abrade the stains. Overall, this is one of the best toothpastes on the market for those with sensitive teeth but who are also searching for a gentle whitening treatment. The only weird thing about this is getting used to using an SLS-free product, as the formula won’t foam inside your mouth. The upside of that? It’s far easier to brush for longer!
AloeDent Whitening Aloe Vera Plus Silica Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
This is a fluoride-free toothpaste and it’s important to understand the role of fluoride before choosing it. Fluoride is necessary to keep your enamel strong and prevent cavities but can/should be avoided by certain people. Because very small children often don’t spit out their toothpaste, children under two should absolutely use a fluoride-free toothpaste (there are many child-specific toothpastes for them) and some people may be allergic to fluoride or live in an area where they already get enough fluoride from other sources such as drinking water. If you’re in doubt about whether you should be using a fluoride toothpaste, it’s essential you speak to your dentist.
This AloeDent Whitening toothpaste is designed for those who can’t use a fluoride toothpaste but still want whiter teeth. AloeDent uses silica to aid stain removal (micro-particles) and also Tea Tree oil to act as a gentle antiseptic. For those who need a good fluoride-free whitening toothpaste, this is a good choice and if used regularly can minimise teeth staining.
So these are the best…but what results can you expect?
These five teeth whitening toothpastes gently help to remove surface staining and will work better on recent staining. While they won’t change the colour of your teeth in a huge way, many people do see a general lightning of the enamel and these toothpastes should work well to help prevent future staining.
You must remember to use your whitening toothpaste regularly (not necessarily every day, depending on the brand) and also in conjunction with other methods of oral care such as;
- Stop smoking
- Use a straw if you’re drinking fizzy drinks
- Drink water or brush teeth immediately after wine, tea and coffee
- Use a whitening toothpaste several times a week
Considering most whitening toothpastes are the same price as regular toothpastes, there’s really no downside to using them as part of your routine. Most serious teeth whitening procedures can be large price commitments and before considering them, it’s definitely worth giving whitening toothpastes a try.