teeth whitening is effective and affordable
Although whitening your teeth at home won't give you the instantaneous,
blinding white choppers that a professional treatment will, it does a pretty
good job at a fraction of the cost. Still, before you whiten your teeth, do
check with your dentist to be sure he or she has no concerns. We also recommend
that you use a whitening toothpaste, which are covered in a separate
report, to maintain that dazzling smile.
that teeth whitening product? We wanted to include the
percentage of whitening ingredient in each of the teeth whitening products that
we recommend, but it's not easy to ascertain that number because the
manufacturers do not include those specifics on their websites. In each case,
we reached out to the manufacturer to verify ingredient percentages, with mixed
results. Some makers were glad to share percentages, others politely declined,
saying that was considered proprietary information.
There are plenty of websites devoted to teeth whitening that claim to
know the exact breakdown, but, since there's no way to verify their
information, we did not accept those as reliable. However, experts generally
agree that home teeth whitening products have up to 10 percent hydrogen
peroxide, while professionally applied tooth whitening treatments can contain
from 25 to 40 percent. As a result, we would suggest being skeptical if you
read anything not directly attributable to the manufacturer that claims that an
over-the-counter whitening product contains more than 10 percent whitening
the best teeth whiteners
Teeth whitening is one of the more challenging categories for us to make
recommendations in. For one thing, there are a lot of shady products out there
made by companies looking to cash in on the teeth whitening craze. Many of
these are very highly rated -- or so they seem -- but digging into the ratings
tells a different story, with many obviously fake reviews for companies that
don't seem to exist outside of this one, specific product, or reviews given in
exchange for a free product.
Even those teeth whitening products made by reputable companies such as
Crest, Plus White and others tend to get reviews that aren't exactly glowing.
Again, digging into these reviews, we find plenty of low ratings from those who
expected miracles -- teeth whiteners can't remove 15 years' worth of stains no
matter what they claim, only a professional hygienist can do that. People with
realistic expectations tend to be the happiest. Fortunately, this isn't our
first rodeo: we were able to cut through the hype and the fakes to recommend
the teeth whitening products that you can trust and that will really work.
Experts agree: the best choice for most people for whitening their teeth
at home are teeth whitening strips. They are easy to use, with little muss or
fuss involved, and cause a minimal amount of pain. Furthermore, experts and
users also agree that Crest 3D Whitestrips are the best strips you can use.
Reviewers say that they see a noticeable difference in their smile even after a
few days -- and a very big difference after the recommended treatment time,
which is 14 to 20 days, depending upon formulation.
Crest Whitestrips couldn't be simpler to use, just peel them from their
foil package, remove the backing, and apply to your teeth. Crest recommends you
do so before you brush your teeth for optimal effectiveness and adherence, and
some users add that they get even better results if they dry their teeth first.
Once they're on though, they stay on, and you can even talk or drink water
while wearing the strips. Each treatment is 30 minutes, once a day. Crest makes
a variety of Whitestrips systems, but the two that are included in testing in
most of the professional roundups we spotted are (Est. $25 and up) and (Est. $35 for 14 treatments). But you can't go wrong with any Crest
Whitestrips formulation that might be on the store shelf (or on sale!) when
you're out shopping.
Most people, including many with sensitive teeth, say they can use regular
strength Crest Whitestrips without any significant problems. Others, however,
and especially those with very sensitive teeth, say these strips caused pain or
tingling, sometimes severe enough that they had to stop using them. If you encounter
problems, Crest does offer a gentler product, (Est. $35) that gets good reviews for causing
less pain. They are used once a day, 5 minutes a day, for 14 days. They don't
get as much praise for noticeable whitening that the other Crest Whitestrips
do, but they're a better choice if the standard formulations cause you pain.
No other strip-style whitener even comes close to Crest
Whitestrips when it comes to credible positive feedback -- many major dental
care manufacturers don't even make a tooth whitening strip. The only other
strips we saw that appear at first glance to be highly rated by users have
scores that were primarily the result of reviews made in exchange for a free
product; because of the high possibility of bias in such reviews, they were
teeth whitening kits
Kits for teeth whitening usually include gels, trays and sometimes other
items, such as whitening pens, to give you better coverage than strips can. Some
kits even include UV lights, but most experts say the lights don't really do
much except add to the cost.
Among teeth whitening kits from reputable companies, the (Est. $15) is a highly affordable choice that led to noticeably
whiter teeth in testing at Reviews.com, although the editors there didn't make
it one of their top picks due to the messiness factor of the trays. Still, the
benefit of the trays is that they whiten your entire tooth; strips, on the
other hand, only whiten the parts they touch.
Messiness aside, the Plus White kit is easy to use. Included are two
trays, the whitening gel and a post-whitening rinse. Just brush your teeth with
plain water, fill the trays with gel, put them on your teeth for 5 to 20
minutes, then rinse. Users agree with the testers at Reviews.com, saying they
noticed whiter teeth pretty quickly, and they became even whiter over the
treatment time of 14 days.
Plus White also recommends touch ups once or twice a week to maintain
your white smile. The good news is that, for the price, those touch ups are
The only other credible recommendation we saw for a tooth whitening kit
(and, to be honest, it barely made our credibility cut), was from Allure for the (Est. $40). The
reason for our caution is that the Allure roundup is a bit of an n=1
experiment. In other words, one person from Allure tried each product and
shared their experiences. Still, the tester who tried the Luster Pro Light
System said it was very easy to use and her teeth were definitely whiter after
treatment. Most importantly -- and probably the biggest selling point for this
particular kit -- there seem to be fewer sensitivity issues.
The Luster Pro Light Dental Whitening System is a bit finickier to use
than strips. You have to start with a rinse, apply a serum to each tooth, and
hold the light in front of your teeth for two minutes. The directions suggest
placing a cotton ball inside your mouth to absorb saliva build-up, something
that the Allure reviewer says is more trouble than it's worth. There are a
variety of treatment options based upon your time frame.
User reviews for the Luster Pro Light system are pretty "meh,"
with just average ratings overall -- although we only found a few dozen
reviews. Most say it does a good job, some say they didn't see any difference. Although
experts say these lights are more hype than anything, a lot of the reviewers
felt the light really helped to "lighten" their teeth up.
The best whitening
Gels are becoming popular among home teeth whitening aficionados because
their targeted application tends to cause less pain in sensitive people. That's
because you "paint" them directly on your teeth, which allows you to avoid the
solution coming in contact with your gums. Although they claim to whiten
quickly and to lighten up dark stains better than other types of whitening
products, experts say that's not so: because they're just painted on, they
don't really stay on long enough to be as effective as products that stay in
contact with your teeth for a set period of time.
In this category, the product that gets the best reviews we
spotted is the (Est. $60 for 14 treatments). Go
Smile contains 14 tubes filled with gel that you squeeze onto your teeth.
Reviews.com, which makes Go Smile their top pick in teeth whiteners, describes
it as very easy to use, saying it's "quick to apply and totally
wearable." In their testing, it lightened the testers' teeth three shades
in a week's time. You use it twice a day for at least 20 minutes -- overnight
for the evening treatment.
Go Smile actually gets somewhat better user reviews than most of the
tooth whitening systems in this report (although none of the credible products
get much more than slightly above average ratings), with users saying it worked
as advertised. The biggest complaint we saw was that the gel can be difficult
to squeeze out of the tube. Also, because you "snap" the gel cap
open, it's not quite as portable as most of the other methods we cover here
because of the possibility that the tubes will open accidentally.
If you prefer whitening on-the-go, (Est. $15) is another popular gel that gets better
reviews than most. Users like that they can use this daily or while traveling without anyone knowing that they're whitening. Quite a few
users say they leave the gel on longer than the minimum of 5 minutes for
greater effectiveness; up to 30 minutes is fine, according to the manufacturer.
We saw few comments regarding painful or sensitive teeth
with the Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel. In fact, many say that this
is the only whitening product they have ever been able to use without pain.
Quite a few also say it's easier to use than strips or tray systems, although
some say they use it with whitening trays they've obtained elsewhere.
Expert & User Review Sources
As we noted in the introduction to this report, teeth whiteners are a
popular category for questionable products and suspicious reviews, so we were
careful to weed those out. The professional roundups we found that involved
testing were at Reviews.com and Allure. Business Insider and GQ consulted with a dental professional to make their
recommendations. User reviews from Total Beauty, Amazon, Walmart and Walgreens rounded out the picture.