Although they won't make your teeth instantly jump several shades brighter like an in-office treatment would, whitening toothpastes you can snag from the drugstore are a great way to subtly remove stains and diminish yellowness. While peroxide is still the gold-standard ingredient to make teeth sparkle, those concerned about its harshness have a number of alternative ingredients to help keep their smile bright. "There are a number of good products on the market for whitening that, when used correctly, will not damage teeth," Mark Wolff, a professor at New York University College of Dentistry. "They generally contain a peroxide of one form or another and some contain different abrasives." These picks feature a wide variety of whitening agents, including peroxide, silica, and charcoal, but Wolff urges people to have realistic expectations. "The 'tissue test' seen on commercials — holding a white tissue to the front of your tooth and expecting the same color — is just not realistic," he says. "Expecting teeth to be brilliant white even after whitening is not always possible." Start small with these 11 brightening formulas, recommended by the experts.
Apa Beauty White Toothpaste
New York City-based dentist Michael Apa recommends brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride or hydroxyapatite, which, he says, remineralize the teeth to make them stronger. The Apa Beauty White Toothpaste from his eponymous line features both ingredients, as well as the brand's proprietary Ultrapolish technology, which helps to scrub away hard-to-remove stains and leave behind a brighter smile.