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Sparkling teeth are just a few brushes away.
While I’ll always love the natural shade of my teeth, to me, taking their brightness up a few watts has made a subtle yet impactful difference in my overall appearance. A few weeks after having my smile professionally upgraded with an in-office whitening treatment, I turned to one of the best whitening toothpastes to help maintain their luminance. "Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are typically the two main whitening ingredients found in toothpaste," Rich Lipari of Lipari and Mangiameli Dentistry in Chappaqua, New York, tells BAZAAR.com. "Additionally, many whitening toothpastes contain a variation of hydrated silica, which acts as a polishing agent to help remove extrinsic stains."
Dealing with sensitive teeth and gums? According to Lipari, you can still opt for a whitening toothpaste as long as its formula features a range of natural or gentler ingredients to remove stubborn stains without added pain or irritation. "The most common symptom or issue with whitening products whether it be a whitening toothpaste or strips is tooth sensitivity," he explains. "This doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to whiten your teeth again, but it does mean you should reduce the amount of whitening products you’re using on your teeth until the sensitivity subsides." Lipari suggests those with sensitive teeth keep their eyes peeled for whitening toothpastes powered by the ingredient potassium nitrate, which helps reduce overall sensitivity. While using one of the best whitening toothpastes makes it a breeze to brighten or maintain your desired smile shade, experts advise staying patient, as noticeable results can take up to a month to see with consistent brushing.
If you’re ready to swap your tried-and-true tube with a formula that helps your teeth really sparkle, read on for some of the most popular toothpastes available from Colgate, Hello, and more, that are worth adding to your daily (and nightly) routine.
Related: The 14 Best Teeth Whitening Kits for a Brighter Smile
When it comes to his top whitening toothpaste of choice, Lipari often reaches for this one from Colgate to brush morning and night. "I typically recommend Colgate Optic White, since I personally think I’ve had the best results with it."
I’ve tested a number of whitening toothpastes as a beauty editor, but this one from Marvis is one of my favorites—and over 5,000 Amazon shoppers agree. Not only does its vintage-inspired tube look stylish on my bathroom countertop, but its minty flavor always leaves my mouth feeling more refreshed after brushing.
For patients with sensitive teeth, Lipari often recommends Sensodyne’s Extra Whitening toothpaste. It contains an anti-cavity formula that provides up to 24-hours of gum and enamel protection while getting your pearly whites their brightest.
Crest 3D Whitestrips are a cult-favorite product for a number of beauty lovers, which is why it’s no surprise the brand’s Radiant Mint Teeth Whitening Toothpaste is also a hit.
If you suffer from sensitive teeth or gums, opt for Before’s minty toothpaste. It’s made with gentle, soothing ingredients like aloe vera and refreshing mint oil, yet thoroughly cleans with sodium fluoride.
Opalescence’s flouride toothpaste is another of Lipari’s favorites specifically for sensitive teeth. It uses low-abrasion silica to polish away surface stains, along with potassium nitrate to minimize tooth pain and gum irritation.
Baking soda works as the main ingredient in this popular toothpaste to gently lift surface stains and neutralize enamel-weakening acids.
Here’s a three-pack of minty toothpastes from Hello that uses a calcium mineral blend to get teeth whiter while strengthening enamel naturally.
"Risewell makes a hydroxyapatite based toothpaste which has natural whitening properties," Lipari continues. "Although hydroxyapatite based toothpastes are a newer product here in the United States, there are numerous studies showing that they may be a great alternative to traditional fluoride-based toothpastes."
Whitening toothpastes make it easy to enhance the hue of your smile with little to no effort, with noticeable results after about a month of use. "These options are a great way to maintain your teeth and achieve a more minor whitening result on a daily basis," Lipari says.
Brushing your teeth with one of the best whitening toothpastes is no different than the process of using a regular tube. Those already brightening their smile with a teeth whitening kit can still use a whitening toothpaste. However, experts advise being mindful that the more whitening products used on your teeth may increase risk for future enamel sensitivity.
Dr. Rich Lipari is a cosmetic dentist at Lipari & Mangiameli Dentistry in Chappaqua, New York.
For more than 150 years, Harper’s BAZAAR has been the preeminent fashion and beauty resource for women at every age. We cover what’s new and what’s next in beauty by working with the world’s leading authorities in dermatology, plastic surgery, cosmetics, skincare, haircare, and fragrance. Every story we publish has been thoroughly researched and vetted by our team of beauty editors and industry experts.
Tiffany Dodson is currently the associate beauty commerce editor at Harper’s Bazaar, where she specializes in trend forecasting, building relationships with major and emerging brands, and crafting shopping stories—from holiday gift guides to product road tests. Tiffany’s work has previously been featured in outlets like SELF, Bustle, and Teen Vogue, and she’s been quoted as a commerce and beauty expert in publications and platforms like The Business of Fashion and NPR’s Life Kit podcast.
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