Best teeth whitening toothpaste 2021: Brush your way to a brighter smile

Even the biggest smiles can do with some brightening now and again, especially if you’re a fan of smoking or drinking stain-worthy teas and coffees. If you’re not keen on a whitening procedure at the dentist – which can often be quite pricey – incorporating a teeth whitening toothpaste into your daily brushing routine is the best way to keep the brightness of your teeth topped up. It’s key to remember that most whitening toothpastes will only remove pre-existing stains on the tooth’s surface and not actively brighten the natural colour of your teeth, because a product you use every day legally can’t include a high percentage of whitening agents.

But with so many toothpastes on offer, how do you distinguish between them all? Some are intended for protecting those with sensitive teeth, while others can provide the illusion of instantly whiter teeth – great for a one-off occasion, but the result won’t necessarily last too long. To help you choose, we’ve rounded up the best whitening toothpastes on the market, along with a short guide about what they can do for you.

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3. Colgate Max White Whitening & Protect Toothpaste: Best for all-round protection

Price: £4 | Buy now from Boots

Colgate has long been a staple in many bathrooms, and although it has a wide range of whitening toothpastes available, we’re particularly keen on the triple action of the Max White. It contains three active minerals, which help to polish, protect and strengthen, including potassium nitrate to desensitise tooth nerves and cleaning crystals that remove surface stains.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the Max White also features a unique ‘smart foam’ that aids in the removal of debris but also feels a bit weird if you’re not ready for it. There’s none of the gritty post-brushing residue that some toothpastes leave behind, and your mouth does feel fresh and clean for hours afterwards. We noticed an improved whitening after using it twice daily for a week and didn’t feel any increased sensitivity, either. Another added benefit is the flat, stand-up cap, which is really useful for keeping your sink area tidy.

Key specs – Amount: 75ml

Buy now from Boots

4. Pearl Drops Strong Polished White Toothpaste: Best for strengthening enamel

Price: £6.99 | Buy now from Superdrug

Pearl Drops are a classic teeth whitening brand, and we’re big fans of the enamel strengthening capabilities of Strong Polished, which claims to leave teeth four shades whiter in three weeks. To aid this claim, the packaging features a colour chart for you to match your current (and hopefully eventual) tooth shade.

Pearl Drops uses dental grade polishing agents like perlite to gently polish teeth and lift stains without damaging enamel. As it’s classed as ‘low abrasion’ it’s safe to use this toothpaste every day, and most people see results pretty fast. You can also clearly see the little pearl-like blue beads of perlite in the paste, but the paste itself is white (if you’ve used other Pearl Drops products you’ll know its other toothpastes are bright pink and purple).

It’s a pretty pricey option – certainly the most expensive we’ve included here – but Strong Polished often seems to be on offer at various stores and online.

Key specs – Amount: 75ml

Buy now from Superdrug

5. Colgate Smile For Good Whitening Toothpaste: Best for the environment

Price: £5 | Buy now from Boots

Colgate’s first recyclable toothpaste tube is part of its ‘Smile for Good’ range, which aims to make all of its products fully recyclable by 2025. The packaging reflects the contents: it comes in an unassuming brown cardboard with the ingredients and their benefits plainly listed in a large font on the box and repeated down the front of the tube. Both the box and tube can be recycled as the latter is made from high density polyethylene – the same material used for milk bottles. Colgate claims the toothpaste is made up of nine ‘consciously selected ingredients’ and is suitable for vegans, thanks to an absence of glycerol.

In terms of whitening, there’s a marked difference after a week or so of using twice daily, although some customers report an increase of sensitivity, too. The other possible downside is the underwhelming flavour – it’s not as minty as other toothpastes and doesn’t make your breath as fresh as a result. But, when you consider how much waste is generated by normal toothpaste tubes, this is a fantastic environmentally friendly alternative.

Key specs – Amount: 75ml

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