Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste is cleverly formulated. Its ingredients combine to both whiten your teeth and provide maximum protection for tooth enamel. In our article on Best Whitening Toothpastes we rate it best product overall. This article explains why.
Even if you are focused on whitening, there are hundreds of toothpastes out there claiming to brighten your smile. So how do you find the one that’s right for you?
Most whitening toothpastes use abrasives to remove stains. These can cause irreversible damage to the tooth enamel. So it’s vital to find a paste that is both effective and safe!
In the case of Opalescence, its patented formula aims to safely clean and whiten while also protecting and strengthening enamel.
In this review we provide some general guidance to help you make a decision and then tell you all you need to know to help you decide whether Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste is the right product for you.
What makes a good toothpaste?
Naturally, we expect toothpaste to clean teeth and make them look whiter. That’s a given. But crucially a toothpaste must also protect teeth and gums.
The American Dental Association (ADA) only award their Seal of Acceptance to toothpastes which are scientifically proven to be safe and effective and which:
- Contain at least 1000ppm fluoride.
- Use only artificial sweeteners (like saccharin), no sugar.
- Are not too abrasive (have a relative dentin abrasivity of less than 250)
- Encourage you to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen because they are enjoyable and effective to use *
*Factors that can influence this are texture, taste, design, etc.
|Good toothpaste criteria||Opalescence toothpaste|
|At least 1000ppm fluoride||Yes|
|Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA)under 250||90|
|Makes you want to use it?||Taste – Cool wintergreen taste. Texture – not gritty. Kind – great on sensitive teeth, 90 is low compared to most toothpastes.|
Opalescence Short Summary
Pros and Cons
- Lightens two shades in a month when used as directed
- RDA 90 (low compared to most toothpastes)
- Formulated to release fluoride quickly & efficiently to strengthen tooth enamel
- Uses an optical chemical to create the illusion of a much whiter smile
- Contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) which can be an irritant for some individuals.
Just a word about what whitening toothpastes can and cannot do.
They can’t lighten teeth beyond their natural shade. Only a whitening kit that holds hydrogen peroxide against the teeth for an extended period of time can do this.
But whitening toothpastes can:
- Buff away stains to make teeth brighter
- Strengthen and repair tooth enamel to restore natural whiteness
- Use pigments to create the illusion of a whiter smile
Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste uses all three methods to brighten your smile.
Silica is used as an abrasive to polish teeth and buff away stains.
To strengthen enamel and restore natural whiteness, three different things are going on when you brush with Opalescence:
1. It’s engineered so that fluoride is more efficiently absorbed by enamel;
2. It also contains xylitol to help protect enamel;
3. sodium hydroxide helps to neutralize the acids that attack tooth enamel.
Finally, it contains a shimmering pigment called sparkle C1 77019. This reflects and bends light to create temporary illusion of much whiter teeth.
Unlike some whitening toothpastes, Opalescence can be used long term as it has an RDA of 90 and a smooth, non-gritty texture.
Its taste is more wintergreen than mint and fans claim it is less sweet than other brands.
7 things you need to know about Opalescence toothpaste
1.) Does Opalescence toothpaste work?
Opalescence aims to gently remove stains whilst at the same time restoring natural whiteness by strengthening tooth enamel.
Indulging in staining products like red wine, coffee or tobacco causes teeth to become discolored. Opalescence uses silica to buff away these stains.
Enamel can also become discolored if it is attacked by acid causing bacteria. This causes the yellow dentin beneath to show through. Opalescence contains xylitol which starves acid causing bacteria and causes them to die off. You can read about xylitol and how it works in our article on xylitol toothpastes.
Lastly, it’s formulated to ensure fluoride is quickly and effectively absorbed. This helps to protect and repair tooth enamel and keep teeth naturally white.
So does it work? Yes it does… as long as your expectations are realistic. Like all whitening toothpastes, Opalescence will not whiten teeth beyond their natural shade. To do this you should use a whitening kit such as Opalescence Go or Crest White Strips with Light.
2.) Will Opalescence toothpaste damage my teeth?
No. Opalescence has an ADA of 90 which is low compared to most regular toothpastes. Used correctly there should be no damage to teeth or tooth enamel.
3.) How soon can you expect results?
We are all unique – age, medication, eating and drinking habits will all influence results. Some people may see results after just one brushing, for others it may take longer.
4.) How long do results last?
Whitening with toothpaste is a continuous process. For more dramatic and long lasting results try Crest Whitestrips with Light which give results lasting an astonishing 3 years when used correctly.
5.) Does Opalescence toothpaste protect your teeth?
Yes. Acid producing bacteria can eat away at minerals in tooth enamel. This is known as demineralization. If the minerals are not restored through remineralization, the enamel is weakened and tooth decay is the result.
Opalescence uses xylitol to inhibit acid producing bacteria. The addition of fluoride helps to replenish minerals to tooth enamel, making the teeth more resilient to acid attack.
6.) How does Opalescence toothpaste taste?
Regular Opalescence cool mint flavor is mild. Many users say it is more like wintergreen than mint.
7.) Is there something better?
Opalescence is a great product if you are looking for a toothpaste that is effective and gentle. However, it is quite pricey. If you are looking for this sort of product but want to pay less for it, try Sensodyne True White Toothpaste which provides subtle natural whitening for sensitive teeth.
Opalescence toothpaste ingredients
Sodium Fluoride 0.25%w/w (Anticavity) Glycerin, Water (aqua), Silica, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Flavor (aroma), Poloxamer, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Carbomer, FD&C Blue#1 (Cl 42090), FD&C Yellow#5 (Cl 19140), Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sparkle (Cl 77019, Cl 77891), Sucralose, Xanthan Gum.
Opalescence toothpaste summary
A tooth whitening toothpaste must strike a difficult balance between being strong enough to buff away stains, but gentle enough not to damage teeth.
With everything Opalescence does to protect tooth enamel, yet still brighten and whiten your smile, we think it has succeeded in striking this balance.
How long does a tube last?
If used as directed a tube should last about 3 months.
Can I use this to whiten my teeth, or just to maintain whiteness after professional whitening?
Many users notice a difference when just using the toothpaste. However, as we have said above, you should be realistic about what a toothpaste can achieve on its own. To whiten teeth beyond their natural shade requires a product containing hydrogen peroxide to be held against teeth for far longer than a two minute brushing.
If you use it after professional tooth whitening it is excellent for helping to maintain the results.
What is the fluoride content of Opalescence?
0.25% Sodium Fluoride. This works out to slightly above the 1000pmm recommended by the ADA.
Can I use Opalescence every day?
Yes, its low RDA (90) means it is safe to use on a daily basis.
If I order in bulk, what is the expiration date?
Most toothpastes containing fluoride have a two year expiration date (from the date of manufacture). So it depends how close the packs you buy are to their date of manufacture. Please read our article on toothpaste expiration for more information.