We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (2024)

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We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (1)

Teeth whiteners are an easy, convenient way to brighten your teeth a few shades, but they can also work under the enamel to remove built-up staining. If you’re looking for long-lasting results, Bianca Velayo, DMD of Green Valley Smiles Dentistry, recommends looking for peroxide-based products if you're hoping to whiten tooth enamel. You can opt for either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as both will reverse internal and external stains on teeth, she notes. But Dr. Velayo adds that while a peroxide-based treatment is your best bet for a long-lasting treatment, how well the product works will come down to the concentration of the peroxide, how long you use it, and how it's applied.

To find the best teeth whiteners,we tested over 50 products in our lab and are continually testing at home. We've narrowed down our list of top products by following expert guidance and ranking each option based on criteria such as convenience, comfort, effectiveness, and overall value. An orthodontist on ourMedical Expert Boardalso reviewed this article for medical and scientific accuracy.

SmileDirectClub Update

On Friday, December 8, 2023, SmileDirectClub announced it was shutting down global operations immediately. We’ve tested and included their products in our teeth-whitening articles in the past. However, in light of this news, we’ve removed their products from our stories.

We continuously test products and monitor the news to ensure our readers have the most factual and up-to-date news about the products we recommend.

Our Top Picks

Jump to Review

Best Overall

Crest Leave-on Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (2)

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Use

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Convenience

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Like It

The Crest Whitening Emulsion with LED Light stands out as the best overall teeth whitening product due to its ease of use, effectiveness, and comfort. Its simple, straightforward process, coupled with the ability to carry on with normal activities during treatment, makes it highly convenient and user-friendly. With noticeable results and a gentle formula that minimizes sensitivity, it provides an unparalleled whitening experience.

The whitening process was remarkably straightforward, and it was so simple that we initially doubted if we were doing it correctly! All we had to do was apply the gel, carry on with our daily activities for 30 minutes, then use the LED device in our mouths for 3 minutes, and that was it.The entire process takes about 33 minutes and is completely painless. No charging is required for this product, which is convenient, and it comes in a box with a small plastic stand for the wand and whitening product.

The product's instructions allow for up to four uses per day, which is surprising considering potential sensitivity issues but we experienced no issues, a surprising plus given our lack of gum sensitivity. The results were noticeable, lightening our teeth by about two shades. This kit was more enjoyable compared to other products we tested. It's easy to apply, comfortable to wear, and discreet enough for use during activities like Zoom calls, making it worth the investment for quick, effective whitening.

It's Worth Noting

  • This product is recommended to be applied four times a day, which could be inconvenient if you’re looking for a lower-maintenance product.

Product Details:

  • Type: LED light
  • Recommended frequency of use: Four times a day
  • Recommended duration of use: 33 minutes
  • Active ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide
  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (3)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (4)

Why We Like It

The Laser Glow Purple Toothpaste stands out as the best purple whitening paste due to its unique formula that combines ease of use, gentle whitening effects, and a pleasant taste, making it a standout choice for those seeking a mild and convenient teeth whitening solution.

It applied easily, although initially more liquidy than regular toothpaste. The first few seconds of brushing left a temporary purple hue on our teeth, but this quickly dissipated. The toothpaste, with its gel-like consistency, was easy to use and didn’t foam, allowing for thorough brushing without causing sensitivity. It had a minty, pleasant taste after an initial medicinal flavor. While we didn’t notice dramatic, immediate effects, our teeth appeared slightly whiter over time.

It offered a mild whitening effect and was a simple addition to our morning routine. While not a robust whitening solution, we’d recommend it for those interested in a gentle, convenient product.

It's Worth Noting

  • It may not provide as strong or noticeable whitening results as some users might expect or need, especially when compared to more intensive whitening treatments.

Product Details:

  • Type: Toothpaste
  • Recommended frequency of use: Daily
  • Recommended duration of use: 2 minutes
  • Active ingredients: Hydrated silica, xylitol
  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (6)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (7)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (8)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (9)

Best LED

Auraglow Whitening Kit

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (10)

Our Ratings

  • Comfort

    4.5/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Convenience

    3/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Like It

Auraglow’s Deluxe Teeth Whitening Kit uses a handheld LED device to whiten teeth in 30-minute sessions over the course of one week. The device claims to whiten up to 10 shades in that amount of time, which we found to be true.

But, while we found our teeth were noticeably whiter after testing, the device itself did leave us wanting more. The tray is quite large, especially for smaller mouths. However, in our opinion, the slight discomfort from the large tray isn't enough to take away from the satisfaction we got from the results. And given how much we know professional whitening costs, we would absolutely say this is worth the price for a brighter smile.

It's Worth Noting

  • This product needs to be recharged at least once a week with regular use, yet it doesn't give a low-battery warning.

Product Details:

  • Type: Gel
  • Recommended frequency of use: Daily for 1 week
  • Recommended duration of use: 30 minutes
  • Active ingredients: 35% carbamide peroxide
  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (11)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (12)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (13)

Best Pen

Lumineux Ultra-Bright Pen

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (14)

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Use

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    4/5

  • Convenience

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Like It

The Lumineux Bright Pen provides a gentle yet effective whitening solution that avoids the common issue of increased sensitivity or irritation, making it an ideal choice for those who want a brighter smile without discomfort.

Peroxide—either hydrogen or carbamide—is the active ingredient in most whitening products, but it can lead to tooth sensitivity. Lumineux, a fan-favorite whitening company, makes all its products without peroxide. Instead, they use a combination of essential oils to provide results—without any chemical taste you get from most whitening products.

Using the pen was straightforward: just twist, apply, and go. It was so easy that we could do it without a mirror. The pen's precise brush allowed for effortless application, reaching every part of our teeth without any mess. We had to wait 30 minutes after application before eating or drinking. Within two weeks, we noticed our teeth becoming a shade lighter, enhancing our confidence in our smile. We didn’t experience any sensitivity or irritation, a welcome change from our past experiences with teeth-whitening products. The pack included two pens, offering excellent value for a single purchase or a $10 discount with a subscription.

It's Worth Noting

  • The results may not be as dramatic as other pens that use peroxide.

Product Details:

  • Type: Pen
  • Recommended frequency of use: 7 days or whenever needed
  • Recommended duration of use: 1 minute
  • Active ingredients: Coconut oil
  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (15)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (16)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (17)

Best Trays

Opalescence Tooth Whitening Prefilled Trays

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (18)

Our Ratings

  • Comfort

    2/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Convenience

    4/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Like It

Opalascence Go Prefilled Trays wins our pick for best teeth whitening trays. A whitening tray can offer a happy medium between white strips and an LED device, typically with a more comfortable and sometimes more effective output. The Opalescence Go Prefilled Trays use a 15% hydrogen peroxide treatment, which is higher than some of the other options on our list, meaning you’ll get faster results.

We noticed almost immediate results after one use, although the higher dose causes some discomfort and sensitivity. We tried the higher formulation, but Opalescence also makes its trays in a 10% hydrogen peroxide formulation.

Opalescence is also a favorite brand of dentists, particularly Dr. Velayo. “More clinical studies, articles, and reviews have been published on Opalescence whitening than any other professional whitening brand. It's part of the reason why it's so highly trusted,” she says.

It's Worth Noting

  • These may not work well for people with tooth or gum sensitivity.

Product Details:

  • Type: Gel trays
  • Recommended frequency of use: 5–10 days
  • Recommended duration of use: 15-20 minutes
  • Active ingredients: 15% hydrogen peroxide; also available in 10%
  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (19)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (20)

Best for Sensitive Teeth

Crest 3D Sensitive Teeth Whitening Kit

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (21)

Our Ratings

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    4.5/5

  • Convenience

    5/5

  • Value

    4/5

Why We Like It

Tooth sensitivity is one of the biggest concerns for people looking to get whiter teeth. Some products are designed for sensitive teeth—like the Crest 3D Sensitive Whitestrips. The difference is a lower peroxide level; the sensitive strips contain 5.25% hydrogen peroxide compared to Crest’s standard 6.5%.

We were surprised by how gentle this product was on our very sensitive teeth and gums. We also noticed a difference in the color of our teeth right away while using the strips. The Crest Whitestrips for Sensitive Teeth work like the other strips in Crest’s lineup: just wear them once a day for 30 minutes, and you should see full results in about two weeks—all without tooth pain. Plus, these strips use Crest’s AdvancedSeal tech for a non-slip grip on teeth during whitening.

It's Worth Noting

  • They may not brighten your teeth as much as other Crest Whitestrips because of their lower peroxide percentage.

Product Details:

  • Type: Strips
  • Recommended frequency of use: Once daily for 14 days
  • Recommended duration of use: 30 minutes
  • Active ingredients: 5.25% hydrogen peroxide

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (22)

Best Strips

Lumineux teeth whitening strips

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (23)

Why We Like It

While using peroxide to bleach your teeth isn't harmful, it should be limited because it can soften your enamel over time, says Dr. Hovanisyan. If you’re worried about peroxide use, Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips is peroxide-free, using essential oils instead of more standard chemicals to whiten teeth. Its ingredient list includes lemon peel oil, coconut oil, sage oil, and Dead Sea salt.

If you’re wondering how well all-natural whitening solutions stand up to chemical whitening, the answer might be surprising. A study of chemical teeth whitening and all-natural teeth whitening products found that while chemical whitening provided more drastic results, all-natural products weren’t far behind—plus they left teeth with fewer surface issues after use.

We found these strips comfortable and easy to use, allowing us to carry on with our daily activities, including conversations, during the 30-minute treatment. The strips, which lack an unpleasant taste and instead offer a slightly refreshing flavor, showed effectiveness after two to three applications, gradually whitening our teeth by approximately two shades. We also found that the strips were easy to apply and stayed on our teeth even while talking, though they only cover the front 6-8 teeth on each row. For 21 treatments, we consider them a great option, especially given their effectiveness and suitability for sensitive teeth and gums.

It's Worth Noting

  • We advise caution in storing them in warm conditions, as we encountered a strip becoming gooey and tearing in high temperatures.

Product Details:

  • Type: Strips
  • Recommended frequency of use: 7 days, then 1–2 times per week for maintenance
  • Recommended duration of use: 30 minutes
  • Active ingredients: Coconut oil
  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (24)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (25)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (26)

Best Gel

iSmile LED Teeth Whitening Kit

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (27)

Our Ratings

  • Comfort

    4/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Convenience

    4/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Like It

Like some of the other products on our list, the iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit uses gel in combination with an LED device, but this device has a clean and easy application, which is rarely guaranteed with gel products. That’s why it’s our tested pick for the best teeth-whitening gel. It's convenient how you can apply the solution onto themechanism before putting it in your mouth. This allows it to be less messy and for the solution to be evenly applied when you bite down.

It’s also fairly quick and effective, requiring only 10-minute treatments over the course of a week, which brought us up five shades in lightness. We think it may have been more effective than previous whitening treatments we’ve done in the past at the dentist’s office.

It's Worth Noting

  • The only drawback is the slight discomfort. No teeth whitening product that has to sit in your mouth for an extended period of time will ever be extremely comfortable.

Product Details:

  • Type: LED device
  • Recommended frequency of use: Once daily for 7 days
  • Recommended duration of use: 10 minutes
  • Active ingredients: 35% carbamide peroxide
  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (28)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (29)

Best Budget LED

Cali White White Teeth Whitening Kit

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (30)

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Use

    5/5

  • Comfort

    4.7/5

  • Effectiveness

    4/5

  • Convenience

    4.5/5

  • Value

    4.9/5

Why We Like It

The Cali White Teeth Whitening Kit is a quick and easy teeth whitening kit. The LED process is a 10-minute three-step process, and then you’re done and ready to take on the world with a lighter and brighter smile. The sessions are quicker than LED options (10 minutes versus 30), and this is a more affordable option as well, which gives this product a lot of value.

The process required us to squeeze out the gel onto the tray, put the tray into our mouths, and turn on the LED light. That’s it! At the end of the lighting session, the LED light automatically turns off, which is good if you lose track of time or forget to use a timer.

By the end of initially testing this product, our teeth were one to two shades lighter.We didn't experience any discomfort beyond the mint-tasting paste, causing our gums to tingle throughout use. However, though it comes with a travel case for the guard, we do wish it included a travel case for the LED light too.

It's Worth Noting

  • The tray is a little big, so we had a little bit of trouble trying to breathe through our nose during use, which could be cumbersome for smaller mouths.

Product Details:

  • Type: LED device
  • Recommended frequency of use: Once daily for 7-10 days
  • Recommended duration of use: 10-30 minutes
  • Active ingredients: 35% carbon peroxide
  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (31)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (32)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (33)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (34)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (35)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (36)

  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (37)

Most Convenient

Colgate LED Teeth Whitening Kit

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (38)

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Use

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    3.8/5

  • Convenience

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Why We Like It

We found the Colgate ComfortFit LED Teeth Whitening Kit refreshingly uncomplicated to use, with no app required. This kit is conveniently powered by a cell phone outlet, making it easy to use on the go. We simply plugged it into our cell phone, put the tray in our mouth, and continued with our routine. The built-in auto-timer for 10 minutes, with beeps to indicate halfway and completion, made the process hassle-free and effortless.

We often used it during our nighttime skincare routine and would forget it was even there, thanks to its comfortable fit. The tray, being flexible and adjustable, caused no irritation or discomfort, and we felt no sensations while using it. After a couple of uses, we noticed our teeth looked brighter, though not necessarily a full shade lighter. Compared to white strips, which can leave the mouth feeling unpleasant and require constant swallowing of gel, this kit was barely noticeable and met our expectations for ease and comfort.

It's Worth Nothing

  • However, we would have appreciated extra whitening pens, as we quickly used up the first one.

Product Details:

  • Type: LED device
  • Recommended frequency of use: Once a day for 3 months (but results are noticeable after 3 days)
  • Recommended duration of use: 10 minutes
  • Active ingredients:Hydrogen peroxide
  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (39)

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  • We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (41)

Best for Stains

PurelyWHITE DELUXE Teeth Whitening Kit

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (42)

Why We Like It

The PurelyWHITE DELUXE Teeth Whitening kit is our pick for best teeth whitening kit for stains. It’s an LED-powered device that’s great at targeting ten years' worth of stains and spots on the teeth with minimal sensitivity.

There’s no app with this teeth whitening kit, and the process is simple and reminiscent of many other whitening kits on the market. The process itself was simple and quick, taking about 12 minutes per session. We immediately saw a difference in certain spots of our teeth after using the kit. However, the whiteness did seem to fade over time.

While this device doesn’t need to charge, we did experience some issues with the batteries. Turning it on and off can be a struggle, and in order for it to operate properly at times we had to completely remove the batteries. Despite these challenges, we still think the product is worth its price tag, as it does work.

It's Worth Noting

  • The timer stopped working after our fifth use, so if you need a teeth whitening kit with a timer this may not be the best option for you.

Product Details:

  • Type: LED whitening device
  • Recommended frequency of use: Once per day
  • Recommended duration of use: Up to 15 applications
  • Active ingredients: Peroxide

Our Testing Process

To find the best teeth whiteners, we tested over 50 whitening devices in our lab and at home. We tested a variety of whitening products, including LED devices, white strips, toothpaste, and pens, for effectiveness, comfort, convenience, and value.

Before testing, we determined our tooth shade and compared our shades two and four weeks later. In our lab test, we used products once according to manufacturer instructions and then took the products home and continued to follow the instructions on the package.

The Experts

We also spoke to experts to discuss what to look for in teeth whiteners, how to deal with sensitivity, and how to manage expectations. The experts we interviewed included:

  • Lena Varone, DMD, of the New York Center for Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Bianca Velayo, DMD, of Green Valley Smiles Dentistry in Henderson, Nevada
  • Lucy Hovanisyan, DDS, of ProHealth Dental in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Professor at UCLA School of Dentistry, Edmond R. Hewlett, DDS in Los Angeles, California
  • Cosmetic dentist Daniel Rubinshtein, DDS in New York City
  • Cindy Roark, DMD, MS, Senior Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer at Sage Dental based in Boca Raton, Florida

The Health Team Tests The Best LED Teeth Whiteners

What to Know About Teeth Whiteners

Key Ingredients to Look for in Teeth Whitening Kits

The most common ingredient in teeth whitening kits is peroxide, either hydrogen or carbamide. These ingredients work to remove stains both on the surface of teeth and on deeper layers. In addition to these ingredients, you'll also want to look for a few others that can help ease the after-effects of whitening, which can be painful for sensitive teeth. Dr. Velayo recommends also looking for potassium nitrate, fluoride, and/or xylitol because they can minimize sensitivity.

It's worth noting that an ingredient making its way into whitening kits lately is PAP (or phthalimido-peroxy-caproic acid), which should be avoided. According to Edmond R. Hewlett, DDS, Professor at UCLA School of Dentistry, unlike hydrogen peroxide, PAP may lead to lingering sensitivity.

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (43)

Types of Teeth Whitening Kits

Gel

Whitening gel comes into play in almost all whitening kits, typically acting as the activator in LED kits and whitening pens, as well as on their own, applied directly to teeth or in trays. Whitening gels are normally made with either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide.

LED

LED-powered devices are another popular choice. They work by using the peroxide gel as a base and activating the gel. The LED works to speed up the gel's effects, accelerating the process and enhancing results through an oxidation process. LED devices also have their own set of negative side effects (such as causing tissue damage), so dentists warn that you should use caution if adding one to your dental routine.

Pens

Whitening pens contain a peroxide gel, which is typically applied with a brush head. The peroxide available in pens is often lower than in a gel kit, and their lower duration makes them less effective than at-home treatments, but their effectiveness is sacrificed for their ease of use on the go.

Toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes also contain peroxide, but at a much lower concentration than most whitening products. Dr. Velayo explains that whitening toothpastes usually only offer a concentration of 1% hydrogen peroxide and sit on the teeth for much shorter lengths of time than other whitening methods. While you may see slight results from toothpaste, they likely won't last.

She adds that if you want a longer-lasting whitening effect from your toothpaste, check its relative dentin abrasion (RDA), which you can find on the manufacturer's website; the higher the RDA, the more effective the toothpaste is for whitening.

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (44)

How Much to Expect to Pay for a Teeth Whitening Kit

Teeth whitening kits are available at a variety of price points, with some coming in at under $30 and others over $150; most of our picks are less than $100. You can generally expect price points to be an indicator of effectiveness, with many less expensive products offering shorter-term or less substantial results. More expensive products typically use an LED device and a higher concentration of peroxide to promote more extreme, longer-lasting results. Our least expensive pick is the Auraglow Teeth Whitening Pen at $20, which we loved for its easy use and great taste but didn't like as much for its limited coverage. Our most expensive pick is the Opalascence Go Prefilled Trays at $84, which we loved for its quick, effective results.

More Teeth Whiteners to Consider

We also tested the following teeth whiteners. While our testers had a lot of great things to say about them, they ultimately fell short of the recommendations that made our list based on overall results and negative side effects.

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (45)

Your Questions, Answered

How do teeth whitening kits work?

"Teeth whitening products are meant to whiten the superficial layer of your enamel using some sort of acid solution," says cosmetic dentist Daniel Rubinshtein, DDS.

Teeth whitening kits and products work by removing stains, either intrinsic or extrinsic—that is, internal or external stains. You can think of external stains as the ones you might get from a coffee habit, while intrinsic stains are treated on a deeper, chemical level.

While some people might be looking to avoid peroxides in teeth whitening, Bianca Velayo, DMD, of Green Valley Smiles Dentistry in Henderson, Nevada, explains that peroxide is what ultimately makes the process effective. "[Peroxides] penetrate the enamel to reverse intrinsic and extrinsic stains," Dr. Velayo explains. "Peroxide gels break down into water, oxygen, and reactive oxygen molecules. These reactive oxygen molecules treat both the enamel and the dentin, oxidizing the bonds of discolored stain molecules. By changing the stained molecules, the tooth becomes lighter."

What types of teeth whitening kits do dentists recommend?

To see results, dentists recommend products that have a good combination of peroxide concentration and duration of use. Dr. Velayo points out that shorter-duration products, like toothpaste, don't do much in terms of whitening, but they also include ingredients you might want to avoid.

Charcoal toothpaste and whitening products have been popular in recent years, but Cindy Roark, DMD, MS, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Sage Dental, specifically recommends against them. She warns that you might not get the results you think you will, as charcoal works by using abrasion to remove the stain. As a result, the charcoal also wears away at the outer enamel of your teeth. "Enamel is clear, but the dentin under-layer is yellow. So it stands to reason that the more enamel you wear away, the yellower your teeth become," she explains.

Are teeth whitening kits safe?

The dentists we spoke with agreed that teeth whitening kits are safe, but that people with certain conditions should avoid whitening, at least until after proper dental treatment. Dr. Rubinshtein suggests that anyone with thin enamel can expect to experience pain while whitening their teeth, and those with gum disease and cavities should resolve those issues before deciding to whiten their teeth.

People with past dental work should also speak with a dentist before whitening. "Individuals with restorations such as fillings, crowns, bridges, and implants should understand that these restorations won't lighten, as only natural teeth can be whitened," says Dr. Hovanisyan. "In such patients, whitening treatment could result in color differences between natural teeth and restorations."

Who We Are

Jaylyn Pruitt has a Master of Library and Information Science with a focus on health information. Her goal is to provide easy-to-understand information with a patient perspective in mind.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

About Me

I am an expert and enthusiast assistant. I have extensive knowledge in various fields, including dentistry and oral care. My expertise is backed by a deep understanding of the concepts and practices related to teeth whitening, as well as insights from experts in the field. I can provide detailed information on the best teeth whiteners, their active ingredients, types of whitening kits, and safety considerations. Let's delve into the concepts used in this article.

Teeth Whiteners Overview

Teeth whiteners are products designed to brighten teeth by removing built-up staining, both on the surface and under the enamel. They can work to reverse internal and external stains on teeth, providing long-lasting results. The effectiveness of teeth whiteners depends on factors such as the concentration of the active ingredients, application duration, and the specific type of product used.

Active Ingredients in Teeth Whiteners

Peroxide: Both carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are recommended for whitening tooth enamel. They work to reverse intrinsic and extrinsic stains by penetrating the enamel and breaking down stain molecules. The concentration of peroxide in the product is crucial for achieving effective whitening results.

Hydrated Silica, Xylitol: These are active ingredients found in purple whitening toothpaste, offering a unique formula for gentle whitening effects and a pleasant taste.

Types of Teeth Whitening Kits

  • Gel: Whitening gel is a common component in various whitening kits, including LED kits, whitening pens, and trays. It typically contains hydrogen or carbamide peroxide as the active whitening agent.

  • LED: LED-powered devices accelerate the whitening process by activating the peroxide gel, providing quick and effective results.

  • Pens: Whitening pens offer a convenient and on-the-go solution for whitening, typically containing a lower concentration of peroxide for ease of use.

  • Toothpaste: Whitening toothpastes contain peroxide at a lower concentration and are suitable for daily use, although they may offer less dramatic results compared to other whitening methods.

Safety Considerations

Teeth whitening kits are generally safe, but individuals with thin enamel, gum disease, cavities, or dental restorations should consult a dentist before whitening their teeth. It's important to consider the potential impact on enamel and the need for resolving any dental issues before whitening.

Pricing and Effectiveness

Teeth whitening kits are available at various price points, with more expensive products often offering LED devices and higher concentrations of peroxide for more substantial and longer-lasting results.

Expert Insights

Insights from dental experts emphasize the importance of peroxide concentration, duration of use, and the potential impact of certain ingredients on tooth sensitivity and enamel health. They also caution against the use of charcoal-based whitening products due to potential enamel abrasion.

I hope this overview provides a comprehensive understanding of the concepts related to teeth whiteners and the factors to consider when choosing the best whitening products. If you have any specific questions or need further details on any aspect, feel free to ask!

We've Tested Over 50 Teeth Whitening Products—These 11 Teeth Whitening Kits Visibly Removed Stains (2024)

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