Young person rinsing their mouth

Best Whitening Mouthwash: How to Choose

Who would say no to a whiter smile? With so many at-home whitening treatments available, there are more options than ever before to brighten your teeth. A whitening mouthwash can help supplement your oral care routine and help you on the road to getting the teeth whitening results you want. A simple swish can impact your smile, so it’s important to choose the best whitening mouthwash for the job! Read on to find out more about whitening mouthwash, the ingredients you should look for and the Colgate whitening products you can use alongside mouthwash. 

What is a whitening mouthwash?

Whitening mouthwash contains the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide to help remove surface stains from your teeth. If you regularly rinse your mouth with the whitening solution, it will gradually change the colour of your teeth. The best whitening mouthwash will include ingredients that do more than whiten your teeth, such as fluoride to strengthen your enamel or cetylpyridinium chloride to kill bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath.

In addition to teeth whitening, a good mouthwash can help with lots of oral issues including

  • Improving bad breath
  • Helping with gum conditions like gingivitis
  • Removing plaque bacteria
  • Improving saliva flow, which can help conditions including dry mouth
  • Helping with gum recession

How to get the best teeth whitening results

Whitening mouthwash works best when combined with other at-home and professional teeth whitening treatments, according to Restorative Dentistry & Endodontics. In the UK, whitening mouthwash can only contain a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. In comparison, the bleaching products used by your dentist contain much more. The review in Frontiers in Dental Medicine notes that a 10% carbamide peroxide gel works better and faster to whiten teeth than a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash. Other whitening techniques include toothpaste, whitening strips, over-the-counter gels, take-home trays, and professional whitening treatments.

Talk to your dental professional about the best way to improve the colour of your teeth. Your dentist or dental hygienist can determine if you’re a good candidate for whitening treatments and recommend the best whitening technique for your situation.

Remember, even the best whitening mouthwash doesn’t replace regular brushing and flossing! Protecting your teeth from cavities and decay is the first and most important step to a more beautiful smile. Explore how a whitening mouthwash can accompany your oral care routine and other whitening products to help your pearly whites shine.

Ingredients to look for in whitening mouthwash

The next time you’re shopping for a whitening mouthwash, keep a look out for these ingredients that will not only brighten your smile but also protect your teeth from things like tooth decay and gingivitis.

  • Hydrogen peroxide - the active ingredient that will whiten your teeth, also look out for carbamide peroxide.
  • Fluoride - this helps to fight against tooth decay and strengthens your tooth enamel.
  • Cetylpyridinium chloride - kills the bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Chlorhexidine - reduces plaque buildup and helps gum conditions like gingivitis.
  • Essential oils - you may find these in natural mouthwashes as they can have antibacterial benefits.

We recommend Colgate Max White Mouthwash for instant results* and a lasting, whiter smile.* This whitening mouthwash creates a shield that helps to prevent stains from sticking to your teeth and provides lasting stain prevention.** It also contains fluoride, to give you effective protection against cavities.***

Effectiveness of whitening mouthwash

Whitening mouthwash may not be the quickest way to whiten your teeth, but with prolonged use, it can have a gradual effect. For a whitening mouthwash to be effective, you need to consistently make it part of your oral care routine. A review in Frontiers in Dental Medicine shows that hydrogen peroxide mouthwashes increase teeth whiteness over time but could take 6 months to have an effect. To get the most out of your whitening mouthwash, follow the instructions on the back of the bottle and commit to using it long-term. Most products will require you to swish the solution around your mouth for 60 seconds twice a day. Remember not to swallow!

Whitening products to use alongside mouthwash

When you start using whitening mouthwash the progress may seem slow, so you may be tempted to use more abrasive substances on your teeth such as activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar or a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Step away from any harsh products! We offer a wide range of Colgate teeth whitening products that will give your teeth a boost of whiteness over a shorter time. From whitening toothpaste to our LED kit, there are lots of affordable options to use along with our Colgate Max White Mouthwash. Read on for more details on these products:

Overnight Whitening Pen

Our Max White Overnight Whitening pen uses a whitening serum that can reverse up to 15 years of stains caused by food and drink. Simply paint the serum onto your teeth and let it dry, leave on your teeth overnight and brush in the morning as normal. With just 3 weeks of continued use, you should see the results!

LED Whitening Kit

The Colgate LED Whitening Kit is another great at-home choice. Again, it comes with an easy-to-use whitening pen with a serum that you can apply directly to each tooth. Then, insert the ComfortFit applicator into your mouth – the LED light is controlled by your smartphone and will activate the whitening serum for a quick whitening treatment that only takes 10 minutes! Repeat twice a day for 2 weeks for brighter, whiter teeth.

Max White Ultimate Radiance Toothpaste

Colgate Max White Ultimate Radiance Toothpaste is our most advanced whitening toothpaste yet. We’ve developed this enamel-safe toothpaste to reverse up to 15 years of deep-set stains caused by food and drink with just 4 weeks of continued use!

Whether you choose to use whitening toothpaste or whitening mouthwash, always be sure to brush your teeth twice a day along with flossing between your teeth. A great oral care routine is always the first step towards getting a brighter, happier smile!

*Temporary optical effect of instant whitening.

**Protection from surface stains with continued use.

***Plaque bacteria prevention with twice daily usage.


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.