Tooth Whitening Things

Mr AMR and I have been on a bit of a testing mission recently, looking at all kinds of toothpastes that promise to whiten and brighten. My dental hygienist swears that no toothpaste can actually whiten your teeth, they just remove stains, but every little helps, surely? I hate that overblown, whiter-than-white Hollywood look – I think that too white looks a bit ridiculous. But it’s nice to have teeth that look clean and fresh and a bit sparkly rather than manky and yellow, so the testing has been carried out with much enthusiasm.

I can’t promise you any kind of sensible information on the versions that Mr AMR tested – he finds it impossible to commit to one definite statement, so just try and de-code where possible.

1) Blanx: £5.23 at Mr AMR’s personal favourite. When asked why, he said, “perhaps it’s psychosomatic, but I just feel like it’s working.” I said, “how do you know? Did you track your progress with the little chart that came with it? The one with the varying shades of yellow and white?” No, nothing so scientific as that. He just “felt like it worked.”

2) Arm & Hammer: £2.60 from This is my personal all-time favourite. My dental hygienist had a heart attack when I told her that I used the bicarbonate of soda version – I have no idea why! – but I continue to stock up on Arm & Hammer when I’m in the supermarché. I think that this one does a marvellous job and I also enjoy the burning sensation when using it. It’s as though every nerve ending inside my mouth is being blasted with a blow-torch. Extreme, but effective for eliminating dragon breath. What does Mr AMR think about Arm & Hammer? “It’s cheap. It looks cheap. Blanx looks scientific, this just looks like toothpaste.” Sigh.

3) Retardex: £6.12 from This isn’t a whitening product at all, but I have struggled in the past for a place to mention it and this is the most relevant post! A weird one, this mouthwash, because it’s both clear and tasteless yet it really does work to keep breath fresh. Mr AMR’s comment on it? “What if you drank the whole bottle thinking it was water?” Somebody, please give me some strength.

4) Yotuel: I have only quite recently started testing this one. It’s a new excitement, let’s say. I like that it looks posh – much posher than the others, except for perhaps the Blanx. It apparently helps to repair tooth enamel and strengthen the teeth as it whitens, using carbamide peroxide to whiten and then a load of other shebang to stop the tooth enamel from weakening. It’s apparently very low abrasion, but God knows how low it can be when you’re using Mr AMR’s toothbrush! It’s a new one from Costco and it almost takes your teeth out it’s so powerful! It gives me a headache.

Yotuel is available as a co-buy on Buyapowa on Monday, apparently. Obviously I have no idea what the co-buy price will drop to, but if you fancy buying this at a much cheaper price, you can pre-register your interest and Buyapowa email you when the product goes live! Here’s the page:

Favourite whiteners, everyone? Let me know! I’m always looking to add to my research. I haven’t tried the whitening strips, but probably should do.. I find that the best whitener of all is simply going to the dentist and having one of those excruciatingly long and boring cleaning sessions. Probably better for your teeth and gums, too!

(Nice white tooth image is courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at Free Digital Photos. His portfolio is:

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  1. April 15, 2012 / 6:32 am

    Ugh! Am on the hunt for a new toothpaste too. With so many on the market, you’d think it’d be so easy. But it’s a migraine-inducing exercise! Do think the dentist and dental hygienist is best route in long run. Watch the strips, even bleaching which the dentist gives you: they started splitting my front teeth vertically, but then my teeth are rather thin. Do not like the look where teeth are whiter than than the whites of your eyes, where the teeth are almost neon!!!

    • Ruth
      April 15, 2012 / 3:37 pm

      @Upa whoa! What do you mean, splitting? That sounds horrific! x

      • April 15, 2012 / 7:29 pm

        Not sure if that was a rhetorical question, Ruth, so to be on the safe side:

        Oh yes! Awful since I have this thing about teeth…I even recognize people whom I’d last seen at 6 years old and recognized them 20 years later. Always had “beautiful” teeth, the thing people commented on. But didn’t notice until too late that suddenly I had these cracks going from top by the gum to the bottom, perhaps 4 on each of my two front teeth. Noticed that some pix from a trip to Oz came back with weird smiles, like my teeth were almost black. My teeth had become so thin/transparent(grinding occasionally at night didn’t help matters either) that is was the darkness from the mouth “shining” its darkness through the teeth. Dentist added a plate of some sort to the back of each front teeth and that’s helped somewhat. These enamel building toothpastes MAY be helping, not use. You can look at my blog… I have one recent picture of me… The camera really, really doesn’t like me so photos of me are hard to find…the kids hide them from me since they’d like a few pix of their mum but know I’ll tear them up if I find them…I just marvel at how cameras love some and really dislike others!!! ;)

        • Ruth
          April 15, 2012 / 10:33 pm

          @Upa ARGH! I htink I may need this on one of my front ones, it has gone REALLY thin! I need to go and see about it… Do you still have the plates on? x

          • April 15, 2012 / 10:58 pm

            Sorry…meant to give you the post so you wouldn’t have to plow through everything. Yes, I still have those plates cemented to my teeth and it’s been at least 4 years, I would guesss. I keep going back and forth on porcelain veneers, but I’d have to do 6 teeth minimum since my smile shows so many teeth. Very costly, very dramatic measures and we’ve all seen botched up veneers in Hollywood, NYC, where people know who to go to. So, it’s all in the air for me. Will most likely keep the plate behind each of the two teeth or discuss if a second one behind each is possible. (Bleaching dries things out so it kind of makes sense if you’re bleaching teeth that contraction could happen. I know my dentist is not a huge fan of bleaching.)

          • Ruth
            April 16, 2012 / 7:36 am

            @Upa right, I am DEFINITELY steering clear of bleaching now! x

  2. April 15, 2012 / 7:42 am

    Mr. AMR sounds exactly like my bf… oh boys, they all sound and think alike! lol “It’s cheap. It looks cheap. Blanx looks scientific, this just looks like toothpaste.” I swear that sounded exactly like him!

  3. Susan Fallon
    April 15, 2012 / 8:04 am

    The Yotuel is definitely the best of them, I use the mouthwash as well – probably the only mouthwash I’ve ever liked, that’s really actually good for gums.
    Next on my list to try is the Blue Illume toothbrush, that whitens your teeth with a strong blue LED that kills bacteria too… I’m such a sucker! xxxx

  4. Aveling
    April 15, 2012 / 8:20 am

    you should try the crest 3d white toothpaste and matching mouthwash

  5. April 15, 2012 / 9:49 am

    Great post Ruth, such typical comments from a male :) I’m currently using Colgate max white one, it’s not incredible, but I have definitely noticed a difference. Lots of love x

  6. poorani
    April 15, 2012 / 10:04 am

    I prefer the dentist cleaning too. I am not sure how far it is true but eating apples is supposed to make teeth look clean. I feel it works a little.

  7. April 15, 2012 / 10:35 am

    I tried Blanx and Arm & Hammer. Weird, I actually really didn’t like Blanx … I just couldn’t feel it was cleaning my teeth, let alone whitening it :/

    I love A&H :D like you said, they do burn (I avoid using it every day, I’d alternate with a normal tooth paste) but it leaves you feeling squeaky clean :D but I think because its so strong & has soda, it might not be too good with protecting our enamel or something :O

  8. April 15, 2012 / 10:49 am

    Let’s hear more reviews from Mr AMR! There’s too much precision and attention to detail in this world – more posts based on hunches, please. It’s like an episode of House.

    So what was the conclusion. Can whitening toothpastes make a substantial difference?

  9. Chloe Elizabeth
    April 15, 2012 / 12:23 pm

    Bit sceptical about whitening toothpaste, I just use “Oral B Pro-Expert All-Around Protection” (Clean Mint) because I love the fresh-out-of-the-dentist feeling it gives, although I was reviewing the new “Colgate Max White One” yesterday so if thats on offer may try it but the “Janina Ultrawhite Extra Strength” (although on the more expensive side) has good reviews. In terms of whitening though, CREST and Listerine whitening strips are brilliant, I usually get mine from the States, they’re a bit difficult to find here. Clean healthy white teeth are important, and its amazing the difference it has for not only your smile but your age and when speaking to people its just so much more pleasant to look at! x

  10. Sarah
    April 15, 2012 / 1:00 pm

    Your hygienist is right, toothpastes only remove stains. It is actually illegal in the UK for products like this to contain a high enough concentration of the active ingredients – you have to go to a dentist for that.
    I would however generally recommend colgate total – it’s the only toothpaste I’ve seen so far that backs up its claims with a full unbiased scientific study.

  11. NancyH
    April 15, 2012 / 2:18 pm

    I love mr AMR, just saying.

  12. April 15, 2012 / 3:14 pm

    You and Mr. Amr sound like me and my husband in reverse :-) I didn’t know that you guys had Costco in the UK. I had thought they were US only. Anyways, are you referring to the Sonicare HealthyWhite toothbrush? If so, we just bought the same set :-D I, too, have been on a mission to whiten my teeth. I wouldn’t recommend what I’ve tried so far but I remember a long time ago receiving a sample of the GoSmile whitening vials. I think I may buy the set and see if it works :-)

    • Ruth
      April 15, 2012 / 3:35 pm

      @Julie has, we have Costco – it’s amazing! x

  13. Love in a mist
    April 15, 2012 / 3:58 pm

    I use good old fashioned Pearl Drops, the Hollywood white one, it works mostly at removing stains, but it has whitened up my teeth quite a bit, they ave never been whiter than white naturally but I feel it’s brought them back to their original status! Lol! You do have to use it religiously twice a day for the first month or do, but I now only use it every other day as maintenance.
    I have tried the arm and hammer whitening toothpaste as it came out top in a reader survey in Essentials magazine I think it was a couple of months ago, and it was less than £2, so cheaper than pearl drops by quite abit, but to be honest I didn’t get on with it it made my gums sore, my teeth did feel squeaky clean but I didn’t feel it really did anything to make them whiter. I agree though to get your teeth truly white then you have to go to dentist bleaching.
    The brand you’ve shown look interesting I’ll give them a try, see if I can get abit more of a result! Xxx

  14. Ali Harriman
    April 15, 2012 / 7:37 pm

    I like that Aussie one, White Glo. But it can make your teeth sensitive. The dentist claims there’s nothing you can buy over the counter that does the job of a proper, professional cleaning. Which reminds me, I’m overdue for my checkup!

  15. Shannon
    April 15, 2012 / 10:43 pm

    The daughter of a dentist, I’ve been fortunate enough to have an endless supply of bleaching products over the years (which truly is the best fix once every year or so). However, I also suffer from weak enamel and find that hard bleaching makes my teeth even more translucent. As a diehard coffee drinker, I swear by baking soda as a mouth rinse to remove light staining – simple but effective. Other things I’m impressed by are Marvis Elgydium toothpaste and Rembrandt Deeply White + Peroxide Mouthwash. Hope this helps!

    • Ruth
      April 16, 2012 / 7:35 am

      Thanks Shannon – I have weak enamel too so shall steer clear of the bleaching! x

  16. amanda spencer
    April 15, 2012 / 10:54 pm

    I agree with Aveling Crest 3D toothpaste and mouthwash have made my teeth look a lot cleaner, unfortunately I have naturally yellow looking teeth, but this is the only toothpaste which has shown a significant difference.

  17. rachel
    April 16, 2012 / 5:45 pm

    I have tryed many teeth whitening products but the best one is the actual teething whitening strips. The best teeth whitening strips are crest. They dont give you that fake hollywood smile but a natural clean one.

  18. Kasia
    April 16, 2012 / 6:07 pm

    I love Opalescence toothpaste (sweet mint, vanilla mint – all have great flavor) because it really does whiten my teeth. I follow up with Beyond Whitening Mouthwash and use Curaprox toothbrush and it’s the best combo to keep my teeth looking healthy, sparkly white – even my friends noticed the difference after I started smiling more :-)
    Also Crest stripes are really good for a quick but long lasting effects!

    • Ruth
      April 17, 2012 / 8:55 am

      Thanks Kasia, shall add these to the testing list! x

  19. ei
    April 16, 2012 / 6:54 pm

    you must try Oral B pro whitening toothpaste – it’s amazing and makes your teeth really white! I bought a couple of tooth whitening kits on groupon (the trays that fit round your gums filled with the whitening gel). They work really well but I find the effect is not long lasting. My dentist told me its because they temporarily dehydrate your teeth which is what makes them look whiter!!

    • Ruth
      April 17, 2012 / 8:54 am

      @Ei oh goodness! That sounds bad! xx

  20. Amber Harris
    August 1, 2014 / 4:06 pm

    If you want to get really white teeth I can recommend Stella white strips, they don’t contain any hydrogen peroxide which is illegal. I bought it at Groupon for £70. It’s slightly expensive but a lot cheaper than going to the clinic at least.

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