We took a detailed look at both the ingredients and the claims for a number of at home teeth whitening products to provide you with this list curated list of the 4 best at home teeth whitening product options to get your teeth shades whiter.
We looked at key factors such as comfort, cost, and ability to brighten yellow or stained teeth.
At-home teeth whitening products may not always be as effective as in office dental treatments, but these over-the-counter picks may help you come closer to your whitest teeth.
Whitening products come in a variety of formats for you to choose from. Here are four of the best options to consider.
Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitestrips
Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitestrips are premium tooth whitening strips.
Many users report that these strips stay on teeth easily and come off cleanly. Their no-slip grip design helps the strips stay in place on teeth.
One box provides enough strips for about 2 weeks. The strips are meant to be used once daily for thirty minutes. When used as directed, they will remove both extrinsic (surface) and intrinsic (in dentine) tooth stains.
Each strip contains around 14 percent hydrogen peroxide. Some people find that their teeth can become sensitive for hours or days after exposure to hydrogen peroxide so make sure you start slowly and follow the manufacturers guidelines.
Crest 3D Whitestrips Gentle Whitening Kit
Crest 3D Whitestrips Gentle Whitening Kit are less abrasive alternative to Crest’s main whitening strips.
If you have sensitive teeth or are looking for a more gentle alternative to products that contain high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, this kit may be a good fit for you. It contains around 6% hydrogen peroxide per strip.
One kit supplies enough strips for two weeks. The strips are meant to be worn once daily.
Since this product is formulated for sensitive teeth, it isn’t as powerful as some other varieties, including the Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitestrips. Even so, users report that this product is effective and comfortable.
Tom's of Maine Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpast
Whitening toothpastes are an easy and convenient way to whiten teeth, although they typically lack the fast and dramatic impact of whitening strips.
Tom’s of Maine Fluoride-Free Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste uses silica gel to naturally remove surface stains from teeth, with no added chemicals. It also has fluoride for cavity protection, plus it works effectively as a breath freshener.
It’s available as a cream or gel and comes in two minty flavors. Both the cream and gel have the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.
Colgate Optic White Advanced Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
Unlike most other whitening toothpastes, Colgate Optic White Advanced Teeth Whitening Toothpaste removes intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Its active whitening ingredient is hydrogen peroxide. It also contains fluoride to protect against cavities.
Many users report seeing a difference in their tooth color in under 2 weeks.
This toothpaste has a refreshing taste. It also has a slightly coarse texture, which some people like as it provides a mildly abrasive cleaning action, and others do not.
Pros and cons of whitening strips
Whitening strips are easy to use and don’t require a prescription. They’re less expensive than in-office dental procedures for teeth whitening, and they typically produce decent results.
Why whitening strips work
Whitening strips contain a thin layer of hydrogen peroxide or other active ingredient, adhered to a pliable, plastic strip. The active ingredients in whitening strips vary, but many use carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
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.
Things to look out for
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.
Whitening strips are usually safe to use, as long as you follow package directions. If you leave them on too long or use them more often than recommended, you may experience side effects.
Keep the following in mind when using whitening strips:
- Avoid chlorine dioxide.
- Don’t use products for longer or more often than directed.
Possible side effects of teeth whitening strips
The most common side effects are discomfort caused by tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.
Other potential side effects include:
- changes in tooth enamel, such as increased roughness or softness
- erosion of dental restorations, such as fillings
- damage to braces
Pros and cons of whitening toothpastes
In order to use whitening toothpaste effectively, brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes.
Why whitening toothpastes work
Whitening toothpastes usually contain abrasives that work to scrub off surface stains. They also contain active ingredients that can lighten teeth by up to several shades.
What to look out for
Keep in mind that whitening toothpastes contain ingredients that might increase tooth sensitivity or gum irritation. Using a soft bristle brush may help mitigate these effects for some people.
You’ll also have to have patience. Whitening toothpastes can be very effective, but you may need to use them for an extended period and make them part of your daily oral care routine as they don’t work quickly.
Other teeth whitening products
There are many other at home teeth whitening methods and teeth whitening products you can try. Many don’t have the ADA Seal of Acceptance, but that doesn’t mean they’re not safe or effective.
Products to consider include:
Teeth whitening powders
Teeth whitening gels
Teeth whitening gels contain the same active ingredients as whitening strips. They’re available in several forms, including:
- pre-filled trays you leave in your mouth for 30 minutes or longer, based on tooth sensitivity
- brush-on gels, which are different than tooth paint. Tooth paint, which also goes on each tooth with a brush, doesn’t contain whitening ingredients. Tooth paint coats teeth, covering up stains, but not removing them. Brush-on gels contain ingredients designed to lighten teeth.
- teeth whitening pens designed for on-the-go use
Yellow or stained teeth can be made significantly whiter with the use of at home teeth whitening kits and products. These products include teeth whitening strips and whitening toothpaste.
Teeth whitening products are typically safe to use, as long as you follow package directions. There are even options for people with highly sensitive teeth.
It’s important to note that teeth whitening products aren’t meant for use by children.
Learn more ways to whiten your teeth naturally.