We don’t know about you, but we could certainly do with a boost of happiness right now. Did you know that smiling has been scientifically proven to make us happier? According to some studies, smiling spurs a chemical reaction in the brain releasing certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin which make us feel happier.
It’s totally normal to feel a little insecure about your smile, but there are a few simple things we can do to help us feel more confident when smiling. One of those things is swapping your usual toothpaste for a whitening alternative to help lift stains and plaque to make your smile whiter and brighter.
How do whitening toothpastes work?
Whitening toothpastes work to remove surface stains and plaque as a result of food and drinks such as coffee or red wine to help whiten teeth. They often use three different methods to achieve those pearly whites.
Optical: The use of blue toned brighteners can often provide that ‘instant’ whitened effect which is the reason why so many whitening toothpastes can be blue in colour.
Chemicals: Hydrogen peroxide, for example, is sometimes used to brighten teeth within whitening toothpastes.
Buffing: If you’ve ever had your teeth cleaned at the dentist, you’ll know how rough the polish they use can feel in the mouth. Many whitening toothpastes use a similar formula, such as activated charcoal to break down any discolouration.
If you’ve never used teeth whitening toothpaste before, you may be thinking, is this really safe for my teeth? The short answer is yes. However, if you do suffer from sensitive teeth, you may want to opt for a more gentle toothpaste and one that isn’t abrasive as this could break down your enamel even further, causing more sensitivity.
The best teeth whitening toothpastes
Colgate claim this is their most advanced and most effective whitening formula yet, and can remove up to 15 years of discolouration and stains, as well as fighting bad breath, leaving your mouth fresh.
One reviewer said: "I love the taste of this toothpaste which after reading other reviews I thought was going to be nasty. It’s a mixture between minty and fresh, and really makes my mouth feel clean. I used twice a day for a week and recorded the results. The changes started on about day 2 where I could see a difference... by day 7 the changes were significant. I’d love my teeth whitening but the dentist said I have a white spot inside a front tooth and it would show if whitened, so I have spent a fortune on different whitening toothpastes. Wish I’d known about this earlier."
This whitening toothpaste is formulated to show results in just three days. Not only is it designed to remove stains but it will also help combat any new stains too.
One reviewer said: "I like this toothpaste, it tastes good and it doesn't cause me any sensitivity. The only thing I would say is it hasn't effected the colour of my teeth. I suppose if you never brush then start brushing twice a day for a couple weeks it may turn them whiter, but otherwise if you a regular brusher like me it's probably unlikely to have an effect."
If you're familiar with whitening toothpaste, you'll have already heard about Pearl Drops. They have a number of different whitening kinds of toothpaste on the market and this one promises to make teeth up to four shades whiter in just three weeks using a buffing technique.
One reviewer said: "It's a shame that this is getting harder to find. I've tried all kinds of 'whitening' toothpaste, and have found that none of them work except Pearl Drops. After experimenting with different brands over about six months, it took a couple of months using this stuff for my teeth to be brought back to their original whiteness. I have always had white teeth, but now that I'm in my sixties, I'm having to fight the 'old age dingy' look. This is the only product that works. I use it along with Pearl Drops whitening toothpaste, and together, they keep my smile as bright as it was when I was 20. Just give it time, and use it twice daily. In a few weeks, you'll start seeing a real difference."
If you suffer from sensitivity but still want to achieve a whiter look, Sensodyne's teeth whitening paste is for you. While providing an extra whitening effect, it also works to build and protect your enamel to combat sensitivity.
One reviewer says: "This toothpaste works wonders. I noticed the first signs of possible tooth decay so I wanted to try and find something which would help defend against this and all I can say is my teeth are looking great and feel great. The sensitivity has lessened dramatically and there are no further signs of tooth decay. It leaves my mouth feeling fresh and clean all day."
Crest's whitening toothpaste uses crystal technology to remove up to 80 per cent of stains while being enamel safe for gentle whitening.
One reviewer said: "This toothpaste cleans well, makes teeth whiter, brighter, and smoother. It removes plaque and stains well."
Looking for something a little more natural? Try this organic formula which uses coconut oil to naturally whiten teeth. It also works to prevent cavities and freshen breath.
One reviewer said: "I love Dr Organic, the whole range is amazing. Not animal tested and it's great for the whole family. This toothpaste leaves a lovely clean feeling in your mouth and it lasts quite a long time."
Containing both a toothbrush and paste, this enamel-safe formula is number 1 in Australia and is great if you're looking for a whitening toothpaste with extra strength.
One reviewer said: "Best toothpaste ever!!! And this came in a great double pack well worth it! Really leaves your teeth white never used a toothpaste as good as this one."
Ideal for stubborn stains from years of coffee drinking and smoking, this intense paste this product uses naturally active Arctic Lichen to remove stains and fight plaque.
One reviewer said: "I don’t often write product reviews but this is the best toothpaste I have ever used. Within a few days, my teeth look and feel hygienist clean. I had some tough stains on my front teeth, no other whitening toothpaste made any difference, but Blanx has all but removed all staining within a few days."