Crest 3D White Whitestrips reign supreme for yet another year. They receive more positive reviews than any other at-home teeth-whitening kits; they also receive high praise from trials presented at various International Association for Dental Research (IADR) meetings. Even when Crest Whitestrips go head-to-head with professional treatments, they still hold their own, producing comparable whitening results. Users say that, for the money, Crest Whitestrips work extremely well and that they're easier to use than other over-the-counter products.
Whitestrips are available in several varieties: some with stronger bleaching solutions and others designed for more sensitive teeth. Our best-reviewed pick, Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid (Est. $40) are among the most popular options in the 3D White lineup, producing fast results with a treatment of 30 minutes a day for 14 days. The 3D White Whitestrips contain 9.5 percent peroxide gel and have extra polymers to create a more secure attachment to teeth (previous versions were known to slip off teeth and cause drooling). In a clinical study presented by the IADR, Advanced Vivid Whitestrips were shown to lighten teeth as well as professional light-assisted whitening.
For most users, Crest Whitestrips lighten an average of three shades. Users say these strips are easy to use and grip to teeth so well that they can be difficult to remove. There are also complaints of the Whitestrips causing sensitivity issues, but the discomfort typically goes away once users stop applying them. Toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth (for recommendations, see the ConsumerSearch report on toothpaste) can help reduce tooth sensitivity; it's recommended to swap one of these in as your regular toothpaste when using teeth-whitening products. Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects are another well-received product in this category; pricier than the Advanced Vivid Whitestrips, they also have a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide, and are designed to be used for 20 days instead of 14. Crest Whitestrips Supreme also earn high marks among users and experts for producing dramatic results in a short amount of time, although some say they can be a bit messy.
Go Smile has emerged as a source of several noteworthy whitening products: their B1 system (Est. $50) uses a unique ampoule brush-on application, but its relatively weak formula doesn't produce professional-grade results. The Go Smile: Smile Whitening Light ($130) uses an innovative handheld light that can be used by the entire family, although some users say they were only able to achieve minimal whitening. The Go Smile: Smile Whitening System is also best for users whose teeth are already mostly white, but it can conveniently be used on-the-go.
Aquafresh White Trays (Est. $30) are another somewhat useful over-the-counter option, but they don't receive the accolades that Crest 3D White Whitestrips do. In fact, it's just the opposite: Reviewers complain of ill-fitting trays that are messy and uncomfortable. A few even say the teeth-whitening gel ran down their throats. All of that can make for a horrible 45 minutes a day for one week -- and to only whiten approximately one shade over the course of treatment. When the tray is actually a comfortable fit for the user, however, reviews suggest that the product whitens effectively.
The affordably priced Plus 5 Speed Whitening System ($15) produces great results for a low cost, but it requires a number of steps to assemble the formula each time.
Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid is our best-reviewed pick among over-the-counter teeth-whitening products because it is simple, effective, reliable and almost universally lauded by experts and users alike.