How to Choose a Whitening Toothpaste

With magazines and television screens full of celebrities flashing dazzling white smiles, it’s easy to desire a similar aesthetic. Patients can request a quick and easy process to brighten their smiles with dental treatment.

While you can look into professional whitening sessions done by your dentist, you can gently whiten your teeth over time at home simply by brushing your teeth. By switching to whitening toothpaste, you can see improvements in the color of your teeth as you follow your daily dental care routine.

It can be tempting to get impatient with the speed of your results and ask if your toothpaste even works. With whitening toothpaste, it is important to keep in mind that it is not an instantaneous whitening process. Because it is an at-home treatment, the results you will see are gradual. You will need to be consistent with its use.

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Check the Active Ingredients

There are many brands and options of whitening toothpaste available, so you should research which toothpaste will be the best fit for you. One of the most important aspects that you should look into is the active ingredients.


One type of whitening toothpaste contains mild abrasives rather than bleaching chemicals. Since abrasives don’t contain chemicals, they don’t change the color of your teeth.

They work by gently rubbing or abrading the enamel, which gives your teeth a whiter appearance. Over time, abrasives can remove more than just surface stains, including the protective layer of enamel. You may find your teeth feeling more sensitive with use, so you can supplement with a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient in whitening toothpaste. It is a bleaching agent in both at-home and professional whitening kits.

Unlike abrasives, hydrogen peroxide can change the color of your teeth because it removes more than just surface stains. It will take longer to see results with hydrogen peroxide as an ingredient because it sinks deeper into the layers of your teeth to remove set-in stains.

Carbamide Peroxide

Another active ingredient in whitening toothpaste is carbamide peroxide, which is a bleaching agent much like hydrogen peroxide. It works in a similar manner by working its way into deeper layers of your teeth and changing their color. Carbamide peroxide is in most whitening trays and kits.

Look for ADA Seal

When choosing your whitening toothpaste, check that it has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This seal ensures that the toothpaste you are using is safe and effective for its designed purpose.

That doesn’t mean that toothpaste that does not have the ADA seal is inherently unsafe. You can just rest assured that the toothpaste you have selected will do its job as meant to.

If you do feel any sensitivity while using a whitening toothpaste, you can alternate using a regular toothpaste and your whitening toothpaste on a routine that works best for your teeth.