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Many foods and drinks can stain your teeth. Fortunately, home teeth whitening kits can brighten your smile, and they’re generally not difficult to use and won’t last forever … unless you spend hours online figuring out which one is best.
We save you time and money. Discover which teeth whitening kits are best and what you should look for in a product.
What you should look for in a teeth whitening product
- Get the right ingredients. Hydrogen peroxide is the most important ingredient to look for. “Most OTC whitening products contain a hydrogen peroxide concentration between 7% and 10%. Or they contain a hydrogen peroxide derivative called carbamide, a peroxide that is just as effective at higher concentrations,” said cosmetic dentist Brian Kantor, DDS, von Lowenberg, Lituchy & Cantor in NYC.
- Make sure it can stay in contact with your teeth for a while. Another property of an OTC product is how well the product can remain isolated on the teeth, he says. “A whitening pen doesn’t work as well as something that stays on your teeth and doesn’t wash away from your saliva,” he explains.
- Pay attention to long-lasting effects. Toothpastes for whitening are not as effective because they only remove the outer surface stain on the tooth. If you have a lot of stains, they will be removed so that the teeth appear whiter. However, they do not penetrate the enamel and bleach the teeth. “Using whitening strips and toothpaste for whitening is a good double hit for quick whitening,” he says.
Which kits have the best results?
The length of time your teeth stay lighter depends on how often you drink trigger drinks like coffee, tea, dark soda, red wine, or whether you smoke (don’t you?). “The results vary from person to person depending on how sensitive the teeth are to the bleaching gel,” says Dr. Cantor.
“People with teeth that are more yellow / brown tend to bleach better than people with shades of gray in the enamel,” he says.
And while home products generally contain a lower percentage of hydrogen peroxide than office bleach products, they can still work. However, a higher percentage of chemicals may not be better for you. “If you are a patient who tends to be more sensitive, choose a whitening product with a lower peroxide concentration (15 percent or less) or a product that does not use peroxides as the main ingredient for whitening,” said orthodontist Heather Kunen, DDS, MS , Co-founder of Beam Street.
Whitening products always work best when the tooth surface is clean and free of dirt, says Kunen. Brush and floss before whitening with the product you selected.
Here are the best teeth whitening kits we’ve found.
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HiSmile teeth whitening kit
Those whose teeth are prone to sensitivity will love the HiSmile Home Whitening Kit. “HiSmile uses pthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP) as the main brightener as opposed to the more traditional and harder peroxides, so patients who are sensitive do better with this product,” says Kunen. The kit contains user-friendly gel syringes that are placed in a mouth cup with a blue LED light attached to them.
ZIMBA teeth whitening strips – mint
Zimba White Strips also use a gentle chemical formula, making them a great choice for people who tend to get tooth sensitivity through whitening products. These white stripes are smooth (no gel or goop) and available in delicious coconut and mint flavors.
Crest 3D White Whitestrips Vivid Plus Teeth Whitening Kit
Crest Whitestrips were one of the first whitening products to be affordable and accessible to the masses, and doctors still recommend them. They are made with a traditional peroxide formula, says Kunen, calling them “effective and safe to use”.
GLO Brilliant Deluxe teeth whitening device kit
$ 159.37 (20% off)
This easy-to-use system has an app that lets you track progress and preview results. The kit includes an LED mouthpiece and a storage kit, a Bluetooth power supply, bleach bottles with GLO lip care, a travel bag and an instruction manual with a color guide.
EZGO teeth whitening kit with LED light
The tray in this kit fits in every mouth. It has powerful LED lights and a 10-minute timer, so you don’t have to guess when you’re done. The kit uses the alternative peroxide type carbamide, which is as effective as peroxide.
Teeth whitening kit with LED light
The home kit contains two syringes with teeth whitening formula and an LED light. “30-minute sessions provide results in one application,” said Marianna M. Weiner, DDS, a cosmetic dentist at Envy Smile.
MySmile Teeth Whitening Kit with LED light
This is ideal for people with sensitive teeth. “It is gentle on tooth enamel and quick and safe for whitening at home,” says Weiner. With the well-known LED and universal tray design, it is also easy to use.
Novashine Professional Teeth Whitening Kit Couples Bundle
With this double kit you get two sets of lighter teeth – in 15 minutes and without sensitivity (and without your partner stealing your kit).
Opalescence GO 15%
Opalescence has traditionally sold syringes of its gel to put in a whitening bowl. The new Opalescence GO is supplied with prefilled disposable trays that save you one step.
Opalescence whitening toothpaste, 3 tubes
This is a great toothpaste that can be used in conjunction with a whitening kit. Wiener says that the toothpaste can remove stains while being gentle enough for everyday use.
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