Opalescence is a brand from the USA that is primarily focused on achieving whiter, teeth.
They have a series of products to suit different users needs and the whitening toothpaste that I am reviewing here, is part of the after-care range which is designed to compliment the the whitening products that they offer.
Although this is part of the after-care range, there is no requirement for you to have used any other Opalescence product and there is absolutely no harm in using this paste independently as an everyday whitening toothpaste.
Many of us dream of having lovely white teeth. When you have these, you feel more confident, you smile more and show more of your personality.
This whitening toothpaste is just one of the ways you can go about achieving that dream.
Does it actually work?
Yes, it can.
I say it can, rather than it does, because it is going to depend on you and your teeth.
I personally found no colour difference in my teeth, that I could tell of, after using this paste for 6 weeks.
However, I have tried many whitening toothpastes prior to testing Opalescence and as such there are no stains on my teeth that could be removed to make them whiter.
I certainly have not noticed any tooth discolouration, meaning that the paste does remove substances that could stain my teeth during this time.
If you have yet to use a whitening toothpaste or have had limited success, then Opalescence can most certainly work for you.
Tea, coffee, red wine and smoking are four causes of teeth becoming stained. The scientific makeup of this paste can remove such stains and leave your teeth looking whiter in just 1 month and many other users have confirmed they have seen the results first hand.
How much does it cost?
Typically, a tube of Opalescence Whitening toothpaste will cost around £10 and will last for about 3 months.
Compared to many toothpastes at £2-4 per tube, this does appear expensive, but actually, compared to other quality whitening pastes, this price is pretty much spot on. And this tube is bigger than most others too!
It is also considerably cheaper than cosmetic whitening and leaves your teeth a more natural white.
Where can I buy it?
Depending upon your location will to some extent depend on where you can purchase this toothpaste.
It is more readily available in the USA, with the opportunity to purchase direct from Opalescence.
- It can improve teeth colour and ‘whiten’ them
- Tastes good
- Smart packaging
- Flip lid
- Freshness did not appear to last as long as many other pastes
- Will not whiten teeth for all
Would I recommend it?
Yes. Whilst I have not personally seen any benefits, I have experienced no loss of colour, nor have I seen or felt any side effects from using this toothpaste.
As such I have no reason not to recommend it, providing you are aware that the potential ‘whitening’ of your teeth may not be as great as you hope for if you currently use whitening toothpastes.
During my time testing this paste, I did have a dental appointment and no comments were made about my teeth having been affected for the worse as a result of using it.
Right, so here is the real detail, the nitty gritty as it were about using this whitening paste from Opalescence on an everyday basis.
Just before I do, let me set the scene just a little more.
Most ‘whitening’ toothpastes achieve a whiter smile by removing surface stains on teeth more effectively.
Most, including this do not have any bleaches or peroxides within the formula that can stain the teeth a different shade.
Really, the best way of thinking of a ‘whitening’ toothpaste is just as a really good cleaner.
There is a limit to how white your teeth will be without cosmetically altering this through bleaching.
This is of course an option for anyone, but the costs are higher. If you do want to do this, ALWAYS go to a registered dental professional for advice or to complete the procedure.
Opalescence suggest that teeth can be made up to two shades whiter in just one month.
The paste is safe to use as an everyday solution and has been awarded the Dental Townie Choice award in 2015 for Best Whitening Toothpaste.
It is also certified Gluten Free and Kosher. Things look positive for this paste.
How I tested the toothpaste
Whilst I want to provide as much information as I can, giving clear and honest feedback on how effective Opalescence is as a toothpaste; I am not a scientist and I am not using and testing this in a lab. I am using it at home like you would and giving you my honest but detailed opinions on the paste and the results.
Many lab tests work in favour of the brand selling the paste with the positives being highlighted and sometimes exaggerated; so I am here to present the information as I see and understand it.
However in the interest of trying to be fair I have not made any changes to my normal routine. I am eating and drinking the same sort of things, I am still flossing and using an electric toothbrush.
The test lasted for 6 weeks. During this time I used the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean electric toothbrush set to the ‘White’ mode, which is specifically designed for removing stains.
I brushed twice a day for 2 minutes each time and flossed once a day, using the advised ‘pea’ sized amount of paste each time.
Summary how I tested the toothpaste
- Test lasted for 6 weeks
- Used Philips Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush on clean and White mode
- Cleaned twice a day for 2 minutes
- Flossed once a day
- Pea sized amount of paste
- No changes in diet
Once you obtain our tube of toothpaste, you should really on the whole be impressed with the overall experience.
The packaging is smart and informative.
There are no ridiculous claims of what it can do for you and I did not feel that most of the money had been spent on packaging just to look appealing, although it is rather smart.
One of the first things I noticed was that the tube had a flip lid. Hurrah, I can’t tell you how such a simple flip lid is to me a massive bonus over the traditional screw caps found on many pastes.
Not only is the paste easier to access one handed with a flip lid, it also stands upright nicely.
You do have to remove the cap the first time you use it as there is a seal over the end of the tube for freshness.
The tube is also a good size at 133g or 4.7oz. Most tubes of paste specifically designed to whiten teeth are smaller at around 75g. Using a pea sized amount of paste each time, this tube should easily last 3 months, if not longer. As a result, you get a bit more value for the price you pay.
At £10 or thereabouts per tube (view on Amazon), some would argue this is very expensive compared to conventional paste which is £2-4 on average per tube. However it is more effective.
The paste itself is a green colour and has a mild mint flavour. By no means is it strong, in fact I would agree with the ‘cool mint’ flavour that they class it as.
I liked the taste and the freshness. For me this lasted approximately an hour after cleaning. It probably had a longer lasting effectiveness on my breath, but after about an hour I could no longer really taste the freshness myself. I have used others that appear to have lasted longer.
Unlike some toothpastes, the paste itself is not speckled with nor does not feel or taste abrasive.
With some pastes like Oral-B 3D White Luxe Perfection you can see and feel the abrasive grain and texture, not with Opalescence.
It can be damaging to the enamel on your teeth to use a whitening toothpaste everyday or for extended periods of time.
The Relative Dentin Abrasion (RDA) scale measures how abrasive a paste is. Opalescence is rated at just 90 compared to some other pastes from leading brands which are double this. The higher the rating, the more abrasive the toothpaste which causes tooth sensitivity.
Toothpastes with a higher RDA rating may damage your enamel, decrease the luster of restorations, and may not be safe for everyday use. Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste has a lower abrasiveness than other leading whitening toothpastes, making it suitable for everyday use.
There is no benefit to a toothpaste that actually froths, it is an artificial effect which serves no purpose when it comes to cleaning other than making you think it is doing something.
Opalescence did not froth all that much and at no point did I not like the taste or feel any side effects from using the paste. If you do, stop using and consult a medical professional.
As I mentioned earlier, this pastes achieves whiter teeth by effectively removing stains rather than bleaching the teeth a different colour. There are no peroxides in this paste.
The ingredients in the whitening paste are:
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. *
Certified Kosher and Gluten free this toothpaste is suitable for some users that might otherwise have to stay away from some types of toothpaste.
As you can see the fluoride inclusion is also great for keeping teeth healthy, protected and strong; the downside is is does contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which is a chemical some do not agree with and try to avoid.
The paste can be used by anyone including children, it is safe, but do keep out of reach of younger children.
Please be aware that should you notice any abnormalities or extra sensitivity from using a different toothpaste you should stop and consult your dentist.
Summary of Daily Usage
- Smart packaging
- Flip lip
- 133g tube will last about 3+ months
- The paste is green
- Minty taste but very mild, described as a cool mint flavour
- Not a particularly frothy paste
- Reduces and removes tooth staining
- Can be effective in 1 month, making teeth up to 2 shades whiter
- Does not whiten teeth through bleaching
- Expensive at £10 per tube but the larger size makes it more cost effective compared to similar pasts
- Contains fluoride
- Kosher and gluten free
- Award winning paste
Having used Opalescence for 6 weeks I have already expressed that I personally did not see any change in tooth shade colour. Here are my before and after photos, that include a colour shade from the VITA colour chart that appeared to be the closest match at the time of taking the image.
Conclusion, is Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste any good?
The lack of actual colour difference in my teeth after 6 weeks of use is somewhat of a disappointment, however there is a ‘but’ and a big but at that.
My teeth are already at the peak of their natural whiteness as a result of the various products I have used. I am not exactly the ideal candidate to really show how well this paste can work.
That said, my teeth have remained white and I have noticed no discolouration, so I have every reason to believe that it can make a difference. In fact, I know it can as there are countless reviews and user feedback that suggest it does.
If you are under the impression you are going to have a Hollywood smile from a £10 tube of toothpaste then I am sorry you will be disappointed, but it can effectively and safely remove stains and give you a greater confidence to smile, without the need for expensive cosmetic surgery.
- Where can I buy Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste?
- As you will unlikely find it in your local chemist, for UK readers we suggest heading to Amazon or purchasing through another specialist provider online. USA based customers can purchase direct.
- What are the ingredients in Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste?
- 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.
- Does it contain peroxides?
- What does it taste like?
- It has cool mint flavour which does not last or as long as I would like post clean. Freshness for me lasted about an hour.
- Does it actually work?
- Yes, it does, but the results are going to be driven by your natural tooth colour and how stained your teeth are.
- Previous or current whitening toothpaste users may see little or no benefit compared to those who have heavily stained teeth.
- Does it hurt?
- I had no sensitivity, pain or side affects from using this paste, should you should gain additional sensitivity or side effects as a result of using it, stop doing so and consult a dentist.
- How long does it last?
- Approximately 3-4 months based on 2 pea sized amounts being used each day.
*This paste does contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) (more information) and CI 77891, otherwise known as Titanium Dioxide (more information) which are potentially contentious inclusions for some. Whilst commonly used within cosmetics and toothpastes for many years, in more recent times studies have identified potential health and environmental concerns. There are arguments for and against with either ingredient and a range of toothpastes that are specifically designed without the inclusion of such, particularly SLS. Further reading: Telegraph, Druge.com, NCBI, SLS Free, Daily Mail.