Choosing the best toothpaste for whitening teeth may seem like a daunting task because many manufacturers produce whitening toothpastes. Some key ingredients to watch for include baking soda, hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, and fluoride. There are also some ingredients that you should avoid whenever possible, such as sodium lauryl sulfate.
The best toothpaste for teeth whitening likely will contain baking soda, a mild abrasive that penetrates tooth enamel and helps to remove stains from teeth. Baking soda gently scrapes away yellow and brown stains caused by drinking coffee, tea, cola, or smoking cigarettes. Toothpastes containing baking soda interact with stain molecules to break down discoloration and leave teeth whiter. Buying baking soda toothpaste will also allow you to receive the daily benefits of brushing with baking soda without harming your tooth enamel.
Hydrogen peroxide also may be included in the best toothpaste for whitening teeth. Toothpaste containing peroxide actually bleaches teeth to some degree because peroxide is mildly acidic and has oxidant properties. Instead of hydrogen peroxide, manufacturers sometimes use carbamide peroxide, which turns into hydrogen peroxide in the mouth.
Calprox® may be a helpful ingredient as well. Food, plaque, and bacteria build up on a thin layer of protein coating your teeth. Calprox® dissolves the layer of protein, preventing the harmful buildup and whitening your teeth in the process. It may be more difficult to find products that contain the substance, but the benefits may be worth the search.
Fluoride is another potential ingredient in the best toothpaste for whitening teeth. Many tooth whitening agents can cause tooth sensitivity, and although fluoride is well-known for preventing cavities, it also reduces tooth sensitivity. Purchasing a whitening toothpaste containing fluoride may prevent the discomfort that sometimes follows the use of whitening toothpastes. You also may find toothpastes that include potassium nitrate, which is another substance that lessens tooth sensitivity.
Lemon may seem like a strange addition to the best toothpaste for whitening teeth, but it could be helpful. The citric acid found in lemons can remove stains from your teeth and freshen breath at the same time. Too much lemon, however, can deplete the calcium in your teeth, and it is important to only use lemon if heavily diluted in premade toothpaste.
There are also a number of ingredients to avoid when choosing a whitening toothpaste. Sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient used to make toothpaste foam while brushing, has been found to cause canker sores. Despite being toxic if swallowed, some manufacturers use stannous chloride, sulfide, and oxide in their toothpastes. Sorbitol, a sweetener used in toothpaste, has laxative properties that you may wish to avoid as well.