This Is The Only Toothpaste That Actually Whitens My Hypersensitive Teeth
My teeth are hypersensitive. So much so that if I indulge in a sugary cocktail, I'll be wincing with every brush for the next few days. At the first sip of ice water, I'm greeted with an uncomfortable sharp sensation. No cavities (I've checked...multiple times), just highly sensitive gums and weakened enamel. So as you can probably guess: I shudder at the thought of slapping on a whitening strip. Even traditional whitening toothpastes give me pause since many rely on heavy-duty bleaching agents to lift lingering stains—while effective, some of these can also result in tooth and gum sensitivity.
That said, I sure do know my way around the sensitive toothpaste aisle—I've tried them all, it seems, and while many formulas are gentle enough for my delicate teeth, none of the aesthetic results really wowed me. In the pursuit of healthy, pearly whites, I had two options: I could either opt for a peroxide-laden paste and smile through the pain, or I could grab a more comfortable option and forget about any sort of brightening. I wanted a toothpaste that could do both—was that too much to ask?
Apparently not. I recently tested Wellnesse's Whitening Toothpaste, and it's the gentle yet effective answer to my pleas. If you have sensitive teeth and gums like me, you'll be happy to know that this formula puts in the work and keeps your protective enamel intact.
How this toothpaste whitens without irritating my sensitive teeth.
When it comes to irritating toothpaste ingredients, there are two main culprits at play: sulfates and hydrogen peroxide. Traditional pastes typically contain sodium lauryl sulfate (or SLS), which is what gives them their foamy, squeaky-clean feel. The problem is, sulfates can potentially irritate your soft oral tissue and disrupt the oral microbiome, which some experts say can actually lead to chronic bad breath in the long run.
Traditional whitening toothpastes will also call on SLS and fold in hydrogen peroxide, as it's one of the only widely studied ingredients for teeth whitening—the solution can bleach fabrics, so it's no surprise lower concentrations can whiten teeth pretty well. However, many people claim it can make your teeth sensitive, and preliminary research has found that it can penetrate the enamel and potentially degrade the proteins in this layer, which may explain why some (ahem, I) face sensitivity.
Wellnesse's formula skips both iffy ingredients, instead relying on botanical-derived surfactants (from coconuts) to provide a much gentler clean—the paste won't foam up like its traditional counterparts, but it still provides that nice fresh feeling. You'll also find hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral that can help strengthen and protect teeth when used topically. It’s a common alternative to fluoride, which also strengthens teeth but is a little questionable according to some functional dentists (others deem it just fine; as of now, it’s really up to personal preference). Hydroxyapatite makes this a non-issue, as it's a main component of your own tooth enamel that provides those same protective benefits.
Neem oil also makes an appearance, as it has been used for centuries for its medicinal, antibacterial properties. For oral health, that means it can help keep bacteria from sticking to teeth and turning into plaque down the line. Neem oil also has soothing abilities, as does green tea powder (another star ingredient), so even when I brush on my sensitive gum line, the paste doesn't irritate the delicate area. In short: Not only does this natural toothpaste avoid those stripping surfactants; it also includes ingredients that further safeguard the teeth from damage, nourish the oral microbiome, and improve oral health over time.
Now, for the million-dollar question: Does it actually whiten? After using this paste, I can personally attest to its brightening abilities. It's very gradual—it's not like I had a dazzling white smile overnight—but I have noticed some stubborn stains start to lift. The formula calls on aloe vera for those natural brightening abilities, thanks to its capacity to remove plaque and reduce tartar formation. Plaque, after all, has a yellowish color and can keep your smile from looking sparkly.
However, it's the antibacterial, tooth-strengthening ingredients we discussed earlier that make up the whole whitening package: Each ingredient works synergistically to build up the tooth's natural enamel, which can not only buff away stains but prevent them from cropping up in the first place. And when your teeth and gums are healthier, they appear less dull and dingy. It's a concept I'm quite familiar with but didn't understand until I saw the power of healthy enamel play out in real time.
Whitening properties aside, I think I'm most impressed by how the Wellnesse toothpaste actually reduces my sensitivities with each use. Thanks to the bouquet of enamel-strengthening and gum-soothing ingredients, I now don't need to brush with as much caution the next time I drink a glass of lemon water or acidic red wine. No more combing the sensitive toothpaste aisle for my perfect match—I finally found a formula that does it all.
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.