The best teeth-whitening toothpaste in 2021 – CNET

For those who want pearly white teeth but struggle with tooth sensitivity, sifting through the range of teeth-whitening products out there is tough. 

I’m speaking from experience here — I once fell asleep with whitening strips in and my teeth have never been the same since. Most bleaching products hurt my teeth and sear my gums (but I’ve pushed through the pain in an attempt to find the best teeth-whitening products of them all). 

Anyway, if you have sensitive teeth like me, a daily whitening toothpaste is probably your best bet for achieving a bright smile without enduring pain. Toothpastes generally have lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and other whitening agents than products like whitening trays, strips and gel pens. 

This is my sensitive-tooth guide to whitening toothpastes, with each product judged against criteria including taste, texture, ingredients, residue and general mouthfeel. I can’t accurately judge these products for whitening capabilities because I used them in succession, so I wasn’t starting from my natural tooth color each go-around. 

Spry

I tested a lot of teeth-whitening toothpastes. In my opinion, none of them were awful, but none were nearly as great as Spry All Natural Whitening Toothpaste

Remember, I was only judging on taste, texture, ingredients, residue and general mouthfeel, so I’m not speaking to the long-term results of Spry’s whitening toothpaste (the brand claims it removes surface stains from coffee, tea and soda) — but to me, a toothpaste that feels and tastes good is going to give you the best results because you’ll actually use it consistently. 

As for product specs, Spry All Natural Whitening toothpaste contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as its main teeth-whitening ingredient. Many brands use this, and many use hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth, which is harsher, but may produce better results — but my opinion is that toothpastes with hydrogen peroxide don’t taste good. 

Spry uses both xylitol and erythritol, two sugar alcohols, as sweeteners. It also contains stevia. This combination of sweeteners may be one reason why Spry whitening toothpaste tastes better than its competitors. 

Again, to be fair, none of the other toothpastes I tested were strikingly bad — onward with the runner-ups.

Supersmile/Amazon

I can confidently say that this toothpaste gave Spry a run for its place as best overall. It was just as great in most ways, but didn’t taste quite as good. Of course, you and I don’t have the same taste buds, so maybe you’ll like Supersmile better than Spry. 

As for whitening power, Supersmile whitening toothpaste contains dicalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate and titanium dioxide, all of which contribute to pearly whiteness when used regularly. It’s sweetened with sorbitol, a sugar alcohol, only. 

The Supersmile whitening toothpaste didn’t leave any grainy or otherwise weird textures or aftertastes in my mouth. It also didn’t cause any sensitivity to my teeth after twice-daily use for nearly two weeks. All in all, I feel comfortable recommending this whitening toothpaste as one of the best. 

Native/Target

To be 100% honest, this Native toothpaste reminded me of attempts to make healthy versions of classic desserts. They always turn out crumbly and never taste as good as the real deal. (I feel this same way about natural deodorants, too, despite my attempts to incorporate more au naturel products into my life. Crumbly and just not as fun or good).

However, I must give credit where credit is due. Native makes use of hydrated silica in this toothpaste, which apparently is a natural and abundant compound that triples as a mildly abrasive cleaner, a thickener and a whitening agent depending on the exact formulation. Native also uses titanium dioxide for whitening in this toothpaste. 

The ingredients list claims the toothpaste is flavored with peppermint oil and sweetened with xylitol and stevia, but my experience tells me the toothpaste contains minimal amounts of all of those things. The mint flavor is very mild — barely there compared to the others on this list — and the sweetness is subtle, too. 

This would be a good choice for anyone who prioritizes sustainably and responsibly sourced ingredients over taste and texture. 

Colgate/Amazon

This whitening toothpaste is not for me — it felt too strong in every way — but I would recommend it to someone who’s looking for a heavy-duty whitening toothpaste and doesn’t have sensitive teeth or gums. 

Colgate Optic White toothpaste gave me the opposite experience to Native: Instead of tasting too natural or healthified, it tasted chemical. It is 3% hydrogen peroxide, so perhaps that’s the culprit. 

Hydrogen peroxide is the strongest whitening agent for teeth other than bleach, so this toothpaste will definitely get the job done. It might be worth it if you don’t care much about taste. 

In terms of texture, Colgate Optic White is phenomenal. It’s not grainy; not too thick and not too liquidy; and it doesn’t leave residue on your tongue or gums. 

Also tested

Crest 3D White Toothpaste

This toothpaste, though mighty popular, has never been a favorite of mine. I’ve used it many times over the years and always find it to be too sticky. However, I do know many people who are loyal to this toothpaste and also have pretty great teeth, so this isn’t to say it’s a bad whitening toothpaste.

Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste 

Another popular option, this whitening toothpaste felt liquidy yet grainy and left a residue I wasn’t fond of on my gums and tongue. This wore off after just a few moments, but I kind of felt like a dog licking his chops after eating peanut butter for those few moments. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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