If you’re considering a whitening mouthwash, it’s a great idea. They’re easy to use, easy to get and cheaper than whitestrips or gel procedures. And they care for the 80% of mouth surfaces your toothbrush doesn’t reach! But, even if you’re focussing on whitening, the choice is overwhelming. How do you decide which whitening mouthwash is best for you?
Each whitening mouthwash works in different ways or is formulated to meet additional needs. To make the best choice think about why you are trying to whiten your teeth and what other aspects of oral health matter to you.
We’ve hand-picked and reviewed a selection of the best whitening mouthwashes on the market to help you brighten your smile.
But before we get to the products, there are three absolutely fundamental questions you must consider first. Do this and you can be sure to find a whitening mouthwash that really works for you. These are:
- Does mouthwash make teeth whiter?
- How do whitening mouthwashes work?
- Is whitening mouthwash bad for your teeth?
1. Does mouthwash make teeth whiter?
This is a great question. The whitening ingredients in whitening kits have to be held against the teeth for at least 30 minutes in order to work. So how can a mouthwash which is only in your mouth briefly actually whiten your teeth?
Whitening mouthwashes can help to brighten your smile. But it’s important to understand how they work and have realistic expectations.
Whitening mouthwashes can help to:
✔ Shift and prevent external stains (from products such as tobacco or coffee)
✔ Reduce plaque and tartar that discolour your teeth
✔ Make your teeth as white as they once were by strengthening tooth enamel
✔ Maintain your smile after in-office whitening or the use of DIY whitening kits
But they cannot:
X Lighten your teeth beyond their natural shade (which is known as intrinsic whitening).
Intrinsic whitening can only be achieved by systems that hold peroxide against the teeth for a prolonged period.
2 How do whitening mouthwashes work?
Our selected brands base their products on one or more of the methods below. Understanding them will help you match the right product to your needs. If you love red wine, you will be focussing on stain removal. If your teeth have become discoloured through thinning enamel, you will be on the hunt for an enamel strengthening mouthwash.
- Some whitening mouthwashes contain ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide to lift stains.
- Others use ingredients that ‘loosen’ or break down stains such as sodium hexametaphosphate.
- This is achieved through ingredients that bond with your teeth to prevent future stains developing.
- These include pyrophosphate.
- Reinforcing tooth enamel prevents yellow dentin showing through.
- Ingredients such as fluoride will be used for this purpose.
3. Is whitening mouthwash bad for my teeth?
Potentially harmful Ingredients in mouthwash, such as hydrogen-peroxide, are at very low concentrations. This means they are very unlikely to harm teeth, gums or mouth tissues.
However, different people have different tastes, sensitivities and tolerances. It is possible that you may experience tooth or gum sensitivity or burn when using any mouthwash, whitening or otherwise. And rinses containing alcohol can increase sensitivity by drying out the mouth.
For good measure, our selection includes alcohol free and natural rinses. They also address other issues like sensitivity, bleeding gums or the need to source ethical natural products. So whatever your particular need, you should find a mouthwash to boost the brilliance of your smile here.
So which is the best whitening mouthwash?
|Product||Editor’s Note||Hydrogen Peroxide?|
|Colgate Optic White High Impact White||Best for rapid whitening results||y|
|Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse Toothpaste Mouthwash||Best for a wide range of oral health issues||y|
|Lumineux Oral Essentials Mouthwash||Best natural whitening mouthwash||n|
|Doctor Ginger’s Oil Pulling and Whitening mouthwash.||Best flavor||n|
|Reach Complete Care 8-In-1 Plus Whitening Mouth Rinse||Best anti cavity and enamel protection product||y|
|Crest 3D Glamorous White Mouthwash||Best for fresh breath whitening||y|
We review each product below, providing in each case:
- Pros and cons
- How it works
- Other oral health benefits provided
- How it tastes
Colgate Optic High Impact White
- Contains hydrogen peroxide to remove stains and brighten teeth
- Higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide means faster results
- Uses WhiteSeal technology to reduce future staining
- Designed to foam and reach hard to brush areas
- Eliminates bad breath germs
- Well known company for oral care products
- A small number of users report sensitivity, especially on first few uses.
- Taste and texture not to everyone’s liking
How does Colgate Optic High Impact work? It contains hydrogen peroxide at a higher level than other mouthwashes (2%) to remove stains and brighten teeth. Colgate also has WhiteSeal technology which means it is formulated to prevent staining products from sticking to teeth.
Other oral health benefits: Colgate freshens breath and eliminates the germs that cause bad breath
How does Colgate High Impact taste? Most users describe the flavour as slightly minty and not intense. The higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide makes this a very foamy mouthwash and may also be why some users find the flavour a bit ‘odd’.
Is Colgate High Impact right for me? If you want a mouthwash that gives rapid results, then Colgate is the best. This is a great product for lovers of staining culprits like coffee and red wine. If you are prepared to get on board with 2% hydrogen peroxide you will get noticeable results in a shorter time than with other mouthwashes. And WhiteSeal technology will protect your teeth from future staining. Even more effective if used with Colgate Optic White toothpaste.
Ingredients: Water, glycerin, propylene glycol, sorbitol, hydrogen peroxide, polysorbate 20, sodium acrylates/methacryloyl ethyl phosphate copolymer, phosphoric acid, citric acid, flavor, PVM/MA copolymer, sodium saccharin.
Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse Toothpaste Mouthwash
- Certified organic.
- Free of alcohol, glycerin fluoride, pesticides, animal testing, sodium lauryl sulfate and gluten
- Uses natural ingredients to address a range of issues including: whitening, sensitivity, bad breath, plaque and tartar build up, canker sores, ‘morning mouth’ and bleeding or receding gums.
- More expensive than regular products
How Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse works: Food grade hydrogen peroxide removes surface staining to brighten your smile. The peroxide also helps to distribute the ingredients around the mouth and between the teeth.
Other oral health benefits: Essential Oxygen contains a special blend of organic essential oils. Combined, the mix has powerful anti-bacterial, antifungal and anti-viral properties. This means it can help with the full range of oral health problems.
How Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse tastes: The flavour is mild and minty with no burn.
Is Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse right for me? If you are looking to lighten your smile in an gentle, ethical and green way this could be the product you are looking for. It is as natural as they come with no questionable ingredients.
However, in terms of whitening, results will not be immediate or dramatic. Its many users do comment that there teeth are noticeably whiter after several weeks of use. But remember, only treatments that use hold higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide against the teeth for prolonged periods will lighten your teeth beyond their natural shade. Its effectiveness is boosted if used as part of the Essential Oxygen 3-Step System.
Ingredients: Deionized Water, food grade hydrogen peroxide, aloe vera juice (aloe barbadensis)*, peppermint oil (mentha piperita)*, lemon peel oil (citrus medica limonum)*, rosemary leaf oil (rosmarinus officinalis)*, clove flower oil (eugenia caryophyllus)*, cinnamon leaf oil (cinnamomum zeylanicum)*, eucalyptus leaf oil (eucalyptus globulus)*
Lumineux Oral Essentials Whitening Mouthwash
- Natural ingredients, not hydrogen peroxide, used to remove stains
- Freshens breath
- Suitable for sensitive teeth
- Certified Non-Toxic, free of alcohol, preservatives, sugars, artificial colouring and BPA.
- Dentist Formulated & Recommended
- As a natural product, results will be slower and less dramatic
How does Oral Essentials work? It uses purely natural ingredients to remove stains and brighten your smile. These include coconut and lemon peel oils. Lemon peel oil in particular is rich in limonene which is a brightening agent. Other ingredients reduce plaque which can make teeth appear dull.
Other health benefits: There are lots! Xylitol helps to reduce harmful acids and the amount of bacteria and plaque in the mouth, as well as preventing cavities. Sage and coconut oils have strong antibacterial properties so they too work to reduce plaque. The addition of sea salt also reduces bacteria and helps sore areas of the mouth to heal. Soreness and gingival inflammation is also relieved by sage, aloe vera and clove oil. Peppermint and spearmint oils keep breath fresh.
How does Oral Essentials taste? It has a fresh minty taste that does not sting or burn.
Is Oral Essentials right for me? If you want a mouthwash that is entirely natural without hydrogen peroxide or any other bleaching agent this is definitely one to consider. It is safe for all the family and has been formulated by two doctors who are respected in the dental community (Dr K Maddahi and Dr H Nowrazi). This is reassuring, as is the fact that the company admits that the product will take longer to give you noticable whitening results – a testament to their integrity. If you like the sound of Oral Essentials and want faster results, try their whitening strips.
Ingredients: Organic aloe vera leaf juice, non GMO xylitol, purified water, dead sea salt, wintergreen oil, coconut oil, lemon peel oil, sage oil, spearmint leaf oil, peppermint leaf oil, basil oil, clove flower oil.
Dr Ginger’s Coconut Oil Pulling & Whitening Mouthwash
- Completely natural
- Free from fluoride, peroxide, alcohol, sugar and artificial dyes or sweetners
- Combines coconut oil and xylitol to detoxify the mouth and whiten teeth
- Unique coconut mint flavour
- Supports healthy gums
- Freshens breath
- Cruelty free
- You need to swish for a little longer (2-3 minutes)
- You should spit into a tissue and throw it away rather than down the sink where the oil could harden.
How does Dr Ginger’s Oil Pulling and Whitening Mouthwash work? Dr Ginger’s is an oil pulling product. Oil pulling is an ancient practice of swishing oil around your mouth to detoxify it. The process also lifts stains.
Other oral health benefits: First, coconut oil is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powerhouse, which makes it ideal for reducing inflammation in the mouth. The lauric acid contained in coconut oil also kills the bacteria that can cause teeth decay and lead to plaque build up in your mouth. This in turn reduces the likelihood of gum disease.
How does Dr Ginger’s taste? A minty coconut flavour that is very favourably commented on by users.
Is Dr Ginger’s Oil Pulling and Whitening Mouthwash for me? If you want a sweet tasting whitening experience that’s fun to use and based on a centuries old remedy, then Dr Ginger’s could be the mouthwash you are looking for. You need to be prepared to spend a little longer swishing for maximum effect. However, the combination of ingredients has taken this timing down to two minutes.
Hear what Dr Ginger herself has to say here:
Ingredients: Water, coconut oil, hydrated silica, glycerin, xylitol, aloe vera juice, zinc chloride, natural mint flavour, ascorbic acid, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (which is not the same as sodium lauryl sulphate and does not cause irritation)
Reach Complete Care 8- In-1 Plus Whitening Mouth Rinse
- Removes stains, protects against future staining and strengthens enamel
- Protects against cavities
- Foams between teeth for a thorough clean
- Fights bad breath
- No mess pump and correct dosage cup
- Manual toothbrush holder
- Alcohol free – but Propylene Glycol is used instead and there are disputed health concerns with this ingredient. Plus, it is chemically similar to alcohol.
How does Reach Complete Care work? Hydrogen peroxide is used to remove surface staining. Other ingredients are added which help prevent future staining. As well as this it protects tooth enamel and encourage remineralisation. This prevents the yellow dentine behind enamel from showing through and keeps teeth looking whiter.
Other oral health benefits: Reach Complete Care Whitening is also an anti cavity rinse which contains sodium fluoride. It also helps to maintain the correct pH value in the mouth which helps to protect enamel from harmful acids. Together, these ingredients both protect tooth enamel and encourage remineralisation. It also kills germs that cause bad breath.
How does Reach Complete Care taste? It has a mild minty, no burn taste.
Is Reach Complete Care right for me? If you are looking for a mouthwash that has a wide range of benefits, as well as one that will keep your smile white, you should consider Reach. Thanks to being multi-benefit, it will make your teeth look good and them stronger and healthier by protecting tooth enamel
It also has a no mess pump dispenser and measuring cap to make it easier to use. If you are using a manual toothbrush it also has a convenient toothbrush holder.
Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluoride – 0.02% (Anticavity)
Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogen Peroxide (stain removal), Poloxamer 407, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Flavor, Disodium Phosphate (helps to protect tooth enamel), Sodium Hexametaphosphate (helps to prevent future stains being absorbed by the tooth), Disodium EDTA, Sodium Phosphate, Sucralose
Crest 3D Glamorous White Mouthwash Review
- Removes surface stains
- Patented Whitelock technology protects against future stains.
- Eliminates the germs that cause bad breath.
- Crest is a well-known and trusted brand in the oral care industry.
- Claims to whiten smile in 2 days when used with Crest 3D White Glamorous White toothpaste
- Alcohol free – but Propylene Glycol is used instead and is chemically similar to alcohol
How Crest 3D Glamorous White Mouthwash works: It brightens your smile by removing surface stains. The active ingredient that does this is hydrogen peroxide. It is also formulated to prevent staining products being absorbed by your teeth. This protects your teeth from future staining.
Other oral health benefits: Kills the germs that cause bad breath.
How Crest 3D Glamorous White Mouthwash tastes: It has a fresh minty taste. It is not overpowering and most users do not experience any burning sensation.
Is Crest 3D Glamorous White right for me? If you indulge in tea, coffee, red wine or other staining products, this could be the right mouthwash for you. It is a popular and effective stain removal product from an established brand. It also helps to protect against future staining with its unique Whitelock technology.
But…. the promise to whiten your smile in just two days is over optimistic. Only procedures that keep hydrogen peroxide in contact with the teeth for longer periods can do this. So if you are looking for dramatic, quick results try Crest 3D Whitestrips. However, using it as directed will give noticable results over the longer term.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Sodium Hexametaphosphate (prevents future staining), Poloxamer 407, Sodium Citrate, Flavor, Sodium Saccharin, Citric Acid