I am not someone with naturally healthy gums and teeth. Despite flossing regularly and brushing my teeth with a dentist-recommended sonic toothbrush, my gums have always remained on the red and slightly puffy side of the spectrum—and their swollen state worsens tenfold when I am stressed. Because of this, I’m on a first-name basis with my dentist and, for several years, had to go in for teeth cleanings four times per year, which is double the recommended frequency (and not covered by my insurance).
For years, I tried trendy toothpaste after trendy toothpaste in an effort to solve my dental hygiene woes. I went for the all-natural formulas, the eco-friendly packaging, and the higher price tags—but none of them made a difference. I even used some toothpaste formulas from classic oral hygiene brands, and, while those made a little bit of a difference, none quite compared to the Arm & Hammer Advanced White Toothpaste, which not only made my teeth feel cleaner than they ever have with an over-the-counter toothpaste, but also helped put an end to my ultra-regular dentist visits. I now attend just two dental cleanings per year (woohoo!)
An honest Arm & Hammer toothpaste review—from someone who needed a toothpaste overhaul
I first tried Arm & Hammer toothpaste on a whim when a friend told me about how clean their teeth feel after using it. Although my friend raved about it from the get-go, I never imagined it would work as well as it did (and does) for me. The thing that makes Arm & Hammer Advance White Toothpaste a standout formula compared to others is the dental-grade baking soda which is not only known to whiten teeth but can also keep plaque at bay and reduce acidity since it’s naturally alkaline (two things that wreak havoc on the gums). It also has some slight yet very gentle abrasion and peroxide that helps lift away stains and lightens teeth without irritating the gums and damaging enamel.
However—if you have sensitive teeth, the Arm & Hammer toothpaste may be too abrasive. “Baking soda acts to remove stains and whiten teeth by scrubbing the enamel surfaces with more abrasive particles,” Inna Chern, DDS, a New York City-based dentist, previously told us. “It is effective in removing superficial stains from teeth but not the ones that get embedded in deeper aspects of the tooth structure.” And if you’re thinking of solely using baking soda as a cleaning hack, it’s best to avoid that and stick to a toothpaste formula.
Flavor-wise, this isn’t the most amazing-tasting toothpaste out there. It has a slight baking soda taste that is a lot more noticeable if you’re used to classic toothpaste formulas from the likes of Sensodyne and Crest, however, you totally get used to it after a few uses (at least, I did). In fact, I ran out of toothpaste once and switched back to a formula from another brand and it tasted too sweet compared to the Arm & Hammer toothpaste. The flavor never really bothered me, though, because the instant effects of this toothpaste are too impressive to worry about taste.
Upon first using this drugstore toothpaste, my teeth felt as fresh as they do after a dental cleaning. With its baking soda and slight abrasion, it’s almost as if the toothpaste exfoliates plaque away, leaving teeth with a smoother surface that looks and feels squeaky clean. And, while my gums still aren’t where I want them to be, they are much lighter in color (more pink versus red) and less irritated than they were before I switched to Arm & Hammer toothpaste. If you’re unsure if this formula is right for your teeth, you can always ask your dentist.
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