While most of us would like a brighter smile, figuring out which whitening treatment to use can be a process. If you find in-office treatments too expensive and at-home whitening kits too time-consuming, whitening mouthwashes might be just what you’re looking for. Not only do they remove surface stains with little effort, but these multitasking products also help kill bacteria and can freshen breath at the same time.
Double board-certified dentist Dr. Rhonda Kalasho says whitening mouthwashes are safer to use than other whitening treatments since the “peroxide additive, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, is at such a low concentration.” That means these mouthwashes will brighten your pearly whites without causing harm to the teeth and oral tissue.
Dr. Kalasho recommends using them “about 3 to 4 times a week, in conjunction with your regular fluoride-containing mouth rinse.” And as for how to choose a whitening mouthwash, she says to stick to options that don’t have alcohol in them, as those cause “a drying effect of the tissue, and therefore leads to dry mouth, which ultimately causes you to more likely develop decay and exacerbate tooth sensitivity.”
“Hydrogen peroxide may be present in the mouthrinse, but make sure it is at a safe and low enough concentration. The best whitening products also contain fluoride, which is wonderful at reducing tooth sensitivity and preventing cavities,” she added.
Whitening mouthwashes are formulated to work over time with continued use, but if you find they aren’t brightening your teeth as quickly as you like, Dr. Kalasho says it is safe to use them at the same time as other whitening products. She also said they are a great way to upkeep the results of past whitening treatments, like higher-concentration gels, trays, and strips: “Whitening mouth rinses keep everything fresher and brighter longer, and they preserve your whitening stride.”
Ready to add one to your whitening routine? With these dental guidelines in mind, we rounded up 9 top-rated whitening mouthwashes that customers say made their smiles much brighter.
Hundreds of Amazon shoppers love this Colgate mouthwash so much that they’ve given it an impressive 4.7-star rating. The popular rinse uses hydrogen peroxide to remove surface stains and the brand’s patented Whiteseal technology to prevent future stains from occurring. In addition to making your teeth brighter, the mouthwash also kills bacteria and freshens breath. “This is a fabulous whitening mouthwash,” raved one reviewer. “It really seemed to work wonders when used according to the directions. I have used it for a few weeks now, and I really see the difference. There isn’t really a mint flavor, but it is effective, which is all I was worried about!”
To buy: Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash, $23 for 3-pack; amazon.com
Dr. Kalasho says this Act mouthwash is her go-to option because “it contains zero alcohol, a safe amount of peroxide, and it has fluoride. It checks all the dentist recommended boxes, and it is also very effective at keeping your mouth bright and healthy.” With details like that, it’s no wonder that it’s approved by customers, too. “I love this mouthwash,” wrote one shopper. “My dentist even complimented how white my teeth were after using this. I’ve tried other brands but this is the only one that I’ve found that truly works.”
To buy: Act Anticavity + Whitening Rise, $6; amazon.com
Crest says you can expect whiter teeth in just 7 days when you use this mouthwash, and hundreds of Amazon shoppers confirmed they saw a visible difference within the first week of use. The multitasking product removes surface stains, prevents future stains from occurring, and freshens breath at the same time. “I love this stuff and know it works for my teeth to keep them whiter than regular mouthwash,” wrote one reviewer. “So it’s no surprise that I like the flavor and the 4-pack value. It feels great and keeps my breath fresh all morning till lunch! The evening rinse keeps me locked in for a good morning.”
To buy: Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous Multi-Care Whitening Mouthwash, $20 for 4-pack; amazon.com
This whitening mouthwash by Essential Oxygen uses natural ingredients, like aloe leaf juice, and essential oils to whiten teeth and freshen breath. In addition to being one of the greenest mouthwashes available, the product is also vegan and gluten-free and is made from a female-owned company that doesn’t use animal testing. “I’ve only been using this for a little over a month, but so far I absolutely love it,” raved one shopper. “I will never go back to old mouthwashes. This is much nicer, and works better. My mouth feels cleaner, breath fresh, and teeth are actually whiter. I’ve changed my oral routine to help my gums and this has helped immensely.”
To buy: Essential Oxygen Certified BR Organic Brushing Rinse, $13; amazon.com
Thousands of Amazon shoppers love this Crest mouthwash not only for its whitening capabilities, but also for its great taste. The beloved product is alcohol- and peroxide-free, and it guarantees you’ll see whiter teeth in just 1 week. While most customers say they used this on its own, one said they saw dramatic results when they paired it with the corresponding Crest 3D toothpaste. “ I’ve been using the pair for many years and they keep my teeth very white and sparkly. I was a big soda drinker and these two products still managed to make a large difference. Oh and if you hate the burning of other mouthwashes don’t worry this one is alcohol free and tastes and feels fantastic.”
To buy: Crest 3D White Brilliance Whitening Mouthwash, $7; amazon.com
This Solimo mouthwash may be the least expensive option on the list, at less than $5 for a 32-oz. bottle, but shoppers say it works just as well as its expensive counterparts. The popular mouthwash is alcohol-free and safe to use twice a day. Hundreds of customers have given it their seal of approval, with one writing, “I used Scope mouthwash for years, but recently my dental hygienist suggested switching to a different mouthwash that was clear. I researched and decided to try this Solimo Amazon brand. I want to report after using this product for three weeks, I am shocked at how much whiter my teeth are. The difference is amazing. I have used professional whitening products in the past which did burn my gums, so at the moment I’m very happy with this Solimo product.”
To buy: Solimo Whitening Mouthwash, $5; amazon.com
If you have sensitive teeth, consider this whitening mouthwash from Popwhite. The cruelty-free product uses natural ingredients to reduce plaque and tartar, as well as remove surface stains from teeth, crowns, and veneers. It’s also free of any peroxides, so you shouldn’t feel pain or sensitivity when using it. One shopper said they “really saw a difference” with just one rinse, while another wrote, “Really like this stuff, definitely see that my teeth look brighter and it leaves a nice freshness.”
To buy: Popwhite Whitening Toner Oral Rinse, $19 (Originally $24); amazon.com
This mouthwash by Hello is infused with activated charcoal and coconut oil, which work together to help remove surface stains from your teeth. Shoppers love the natural mint flavor and the fact that the product is vegan, cruelty-free, and sulfate-free. Not only does it have a near-perfect rating at Target, but 80 percent of customers say they would recommend it to their friends and family. “I was just looking for a natural mouthwash, but I was pleasantly surprised to notice that it seems to whiten my teeth! My husband noticed as well, and it tastes pretty good,” said one reviewer.
To buy: Hello Activated Charcoal Natural Mouthwash, $8; target.com
Unlike most mouthwashes, which are typically used after you brush your teeth, this SuperSmile option should be used beforehand. The pre-rinse is formulated to cleanse, whiten, and prep your teeth before you use your whitening toothpaste in order to achieve maximum results. Along with boasting antibacterial benefits, the beloved product also freshens breath. “Mild and refreshing. So far one of my favorites,” wrote one shopper. “I use this about twice a day and love the effect I get from it. I have been using this mouthwash for about six months and have noticed my teeth are brighter.”
To buy: Supersmile Whitening PreRinse, $18; dermstore.com
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