Our team is currently conducting a massive test of teeth whitening products on the market in our Manhattan-based Lab and at home, spanning multiple categories from kits to pens to strips. At the conclusion of the testing period, we will update this page with the products that have the best teeth-whitening prowess. Stay tuned.
Dr. Jon Marashi is a cosmetic dentist in Los Angeles where he specializes in teeth whitening. He has a long list of celebrity clients, is the chief cosmetic officer of Byte, and is a member of the American Dental Association.
This GH Beauty Award-winning Go Smile kit features a LED blue light toothbrush that's used with an included hydrogen peroxide gel for enhanced teeth whitening results, no extra steps in your routine needed. Just combine equal parts toothpaste and peroxide, then brush for two minutes. GH Beauty Lab testing found that when used twice daily, the kit whitened the teeth of 90% of testers in just two days. \"I actually saw results,\" a tester marveled. Bonus: You'll have clean teeth and fresher breath at the same time!
SmileDirectClub's mess-free kit includes a hands-free LED accelerator light and whitening pens made with the same whitening agent used by dentists during in-office treatments (but at a lower dosage, so there's less pain from sensitivity). You can even plug the light tray into your phone for on-the-go whitening sessions. The company recommends 10 minutes a day for at least one week to see results. \"I have REALLY sensitive teeth and gums, I have never been able to use white strips without discomfort,\" an Amazon reviewer reported. \"I can notice a big difference after only two treatments!\"
Whiten your teeth while you sleep with Colgate's time-saving pen that contains 3% lightening hydrogen peroxide. \"I used this three or four nights in a row and saw my teeth go from yellow to a nice, bright white,\" an Amazon reviewer reported.
Moon's innovative minty teeth whitening strips with hydrogen peroxide are self-dissolving after about 15 minutes on teeth, so you can stick them on and forget about them. \"This product actually worked after the first use!\" an Ulta reviewer raved. \"Within 20 minutes they were completely gone and they taste really great too.\"
Kalliath C, Mukunda A, Pynadath M, Venugopal V, Prethweeraj J. Comparison between the effect of commercially available chemical teeth whitening paste and teeth whitening paste containing ingredients of herbal origin on human enamel. Ayu. 2018;39(2):113-117. doi:10.4103/ayu.AYU_82_18
Teeth whitening products use common ingredients to minimize the appearance of stains and discoloration on your teeth. They do this through a combination of bleaching, lightening the appearance of stains on your teeth, and breaking down and removing the stains.
Most at-home whitening kits cost around $50 or $60; our best overall pick from Smile Direct Club was $65 on Amazon when we published this list (and is available for $40 when you buy it directly from the Smile Direct Club). There is a lot of variation, however: Some cheaper alternatives may come in closer to $25 or $30, and some luxury kits (like those with UV lighting) may cost well over $100.
\"We want to make sure that your teeth are healthy, that you don't have any active decay, and that you don't have any active gum disease, gum loss, or bone loss,\" Dr. Zappia says. \"If we put bleach on top of that, we can do more harm than good, and the patient can be in a lot of pain.\"
\"You might want to wait about 1/2 hour before brushing, the reasoning being that teeth have pores like your skin,\" Dr. Zappia says. \"When you bleach, you open those pores up so you can break the stain down, and it's going to take a little bit of time for those pores to close back up.\"
\"We kind of call it the white diet,\" Dr. Zappia says. \"Anything that will not stain.\" So, cheese, yogurt, fresh fruits with the exception of berries, vegetables, pasta, and other foods that won't easily darken your teeth are all great choices.
To use, brush and dry your teeth. Then apply a thin layer of gel to your front teeth, but make sure to avoid your gum line. Some people find that using a check retractor to hold back their lips is helpful.
Whitening strips bleach off surface stains. They also penetrate tooth enamel and dentin to remove intrinsic stains from deep within the tooth. If not used correctly, they can be harmful to your teeth.
Always check labels for a list of ingredients. Unlike the whitening strips we reviewed for this article, some rely on chlorine dioxide, a chemical oxidizer that can erode tooth enamel and damage teeth.
Extrinsic stains are caused by things in your environment that come into contact with your teeth. These include foods and drinks that contain tannins (such as red wine), beer, coffee, and tea. Colas and cigarette smoke also cause extrinsic stains to occur.
In actuality, the most effective way to whiten your teeth is at the dentist's office; however, that's expensive and inaccessible for many people. Whitening toothpaste helps with daily maintenance but it won't create that 'wow' factor.
Instead, at-home teeth whitening kits save you both money and time, and allow you to regularly re-whiten as needed. The problem is, a lot of whitening kits are too strong, causing your gums to become sensitive to pressure and your teeth sensitive to cold after just one use.
To find the most effective at-home teeth whitening products, we talked to a handful of dentists about the best options currently available. We took into consideration options for sensitive teeth and gums, as well as folks on a budget.
Below are the six best teeth whitening kits we've tested, picked based on dentist insight and our own experience. We've also included answers to a range of FAQs, and a rundown of other kits we tested and recommend, at the end of this guide.
The Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips kit comes with 40 strips for 20 treatments (each treatment consists of a strip on the upper teeth and one on the lower teeth.) You are supposed to wear the strips for 30 minutes, once per day. Crest claims that after the 20 daily treatments, you can remove 14 years of tooth stains.
Dr. Hadaegh also likes this product, adding that the trays adapt to your teeth all the way to your molars. \"They have 15% hydrogen peroxide, which means you only need to wear them for 15 to 20 minutes a day for five to 10 days. It also contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to help reduce sensitivity while strengthening enamel.\"
However, because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is so high, there's a chance you may still experience some sensitivity, in which case it's best to switch to a less concentrated alternative like Crest Whitestrips.
If you're looking for teeth whitening strips but have had issues with teeth sensitivity in the past, Kunen suggested Zimba white strips. It's made with a gentle formula that uses a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide.
One box contains 28 stain-removing strips (14 upper, 14 lower) which cover your front 10 teeth on top and 10 on the bottom. The strips stay on pretty well with anti-slip technology and they're slick, so there's no gel or goop. Moreover, you can choose between two tasty flavors, coconut or mint.
The idea of LED teeth whitening kits has mixed reviews: Brands claim the light helps make teeth whitening more effective than traditional whitening strips or trays, but there aren't any studies to support this claim and many dentists feel like they don't speed up the process. Patrick Campbell, DDS put it succinctly when speaking with Insider: \"Frankly, these products are not worth the money.\"
That being said, LED whitening kits are probably as effective as the other options so they're not a waste of money if you can find a well-priced option. Also, they come with whitening pens that allow you a bit more control in terms of the application so you can avoid your gums and any increased sensitivity, and they usually require you to spend less time per day with the formula on your teeth.
The Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit features two Miswak root sticks with two carrying cases. Each stick will last for three weeks of daily use. Miswak comes from the Arak tree, and this product contains no pesticides or chemicals. Miswak Club offers a 120-day money-back guarantee if you do not have noticeably whiter teeth after using their kit.
Glowup LED Kit: This direct-to-consumer LED whitening start up will personalize the whitening formula to your level of tooth/gum sensivity and discoloration. The LED light is powered by your phone and requires 16 minutes of use. It only comes with three gel vials and the syringes aren't the most intuitive to spread on your teeth, so SmileDirectClub is a better choice for most people. But if you have sensitive teeth and want lasting results, Glowup is a great option. (Read our full review here.)
Snow LED Kit: This well-designed LED teeth whitening kit comes with 4 serum pens (no syringes) that are easy to apply precisely to your teeth. All four will last you 75 treatments. The mouthpiece is very comfortable to bite for the suggested 10 minutes and plugs into your phone for power. The kit is quite pricey, but I saw results after two uses, so the included treatments will allow a whole family to whiten regularly for basically all of time.
Opalescence PF 35% Whitening Gel: This is a cheaper alternative to the Opalescence Go that Dr. Kunen and Dr. Hadaegh both recommend, delivering the same Carbamide Peroxide formula in a syringe. You'll need to use your own mouth trays, but we can confirm it delivers whiter teeth after just a few 30-minute sessions.
HiSmile Whitening: If whitening kits have left your teeth or gums sensitive in the past, Kunen suggested this brand which uses Pthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP) as its principal whitening agent as opposed to the more traditional and harsher peroxides. It's definitely more expensive than the other options, but it's also super easy to