Rather than trudging to the dentist and getting a 90 minute procedure, why not get whiter teeth from the comfort of home—and at a much more affordable price?

By Shannon Bauer
February 03, 2020
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Bright, white teeth—everyone wants it, seriously—is the most desired cosmetic dental solution, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. But even the most diligent brushers have difficulty getting the result they want. Between guzzling coffee or tea in the morning and enjoying a glass of red wine at night, your daily habits can wreak havoc on your teeth. (Related: The Best Electric Toothbrushes, According to Dentists and Dental Hygienists.)

While your dentist can professionally whiten your teeth in-office, those treatments can be incredibly pricey (up to $1,200 bucks a pop). The good news is at-home teeth whitening kits have gotten really good, says Jessica Lee, D.D.S., and president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Not to mention, teeth whitening kits are affordable, easy to use, effective, and can be conveniently done from the comfort of your couch. The trick is that you must commit to using kits consistently for consecutive days (even up to 14 days) since the results are building on each day for the whitest shade possible, says Lee.

Although a little discomfort is normal when whitening your teeth, you can use fluoride toothpaste or rinse after a treatment to lessen sensitivity, says Lee. Because teeth feel more exposed after bleaching, studies have shown that using fluroide after a whitening treatment helps to minimize sensitivity and strengthen enamel, she adds.

Whether you choose in-office or at-home treatment, the process to whiten teeth is actually the same. A bleaching agent (like hydrogen or carbamide peroxide) is applied to your teeth, and it helps to lift color out of your enamel, also known as the pores of the outermost layer of your teeth, says Pia Lieb, DDS, founder of Cosmetic Dentistry Center NYC. Teeth whitening kits are great for brightening external stains—including those from coffee or wine—however, teeth discoloration caused by age, trauma, or disease would need to be addressed by a dentist, says Lee. (Related: The Best Whitening Toothpaste for a Brighter Smile, According to Dentists)

Ahead, the best teeth whitening kit for everyone—even those with sensitive teeth—according to dental experts.

Crest 3D Whitestrips Arctic Mint

AMAZON

The OG teeth whitening kit, a favorite of Lieb, has recently launched a new version. Like the original, the kit has strips for top and bottom teeth that are applied and left on for 30 minutes. Be sure to position them slightly below the gums to ease sensitivity, cautions Lieb. The main difference between these strips is a burst of mint flavor, which makes them taste good as they whiten.

Buy It: Crest 3D Whitestrips Arctic Mint, $50, $55, amazon.com

Glo Science Glo Lit Teeth Whitening Tech Kit

SEPHORA

This dentist-created device combines hydrogen peroxide, blue light, and heat to whiten teeth. The device connects via Bluetooth to your phone to schedule eight-minute treatments, and can even track results. The reminders are key since consistency is important when it comes to at-home teeth whitening. This kit comes with the device, individually-portioned whitening gels, storage case, and lip treatment. (Related: The Ultimate Guide to Teeth Whitening)

Buy It: GLO Science GLO Lit Teeth Whitening Tech Kit, $149, sephora.com

iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit

AMAZON

If you want super-fast results for an event that is quickly approaching, iSmile uses LED lights to whiten up to 10 shades in 10 days. Just use the pen to brush on the whitening gel and then insert the LED light for about 15 minutes per day. The blue lights accelerate the whitening powers of the gel and the red lights reduce sensitivity. (Related: Does Light Therapy for Skin Really Work?)

Buy It: iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit, $45, $80, amazon.com

Burst Coconut Whitening Strips

AMAZON

Heard of oil pulling? It's an ancient technique where you swish coconut oil for about 20 minutes to draw toxins from the teeth and gums. Well, Burst took that inspiration into the modern age with a coconut oil-infused strip. Six percent hydrogen peroxide and coconut oil (which has been lauded for its ability to attack bacteria) combine to form a powerful whitening strip that gets results in just one week. And trust us when we say, a strip that sits for 10 minutes a day is infinitely more pleasant than 20 minutes of swishing oil. (Related: This Floss Turned Dental Hygiene Into My Favorite Form of Self-Care)

Buy It: Burst Coconut Whitening Strips, $20, amazon.com

Colgate Optic White Advanced LED Whitening

AMAZON

The newest innovation from Colgate is its professional-level whitening solution. It might just be one of the best teeth whitening kits, thanks to the nine percent hydrogen peroxide. The whitening gel is activated by LED blue light for 10 minutes per day for 10 days. The specific wavelength of blue light ensures the product is effective while minimizing sensitivity. While it's one of the pricier kits on the market, this at-home kit is a steal compared to in-office treatments.

Buy It: Colgate Optic White Advanced LED Whitening, $185, amazon.com

Beaueli Teeth Whitening Pen

AMAZON

Boasting 35 percent carbamide peroxide—don't worry it sounds scary but it's totally safe—this whitening pen allows you to swipe and get on with your day. Paint the gel on each tooth to target stains, let it dry, and avoid eating and drinking for 30 minutes afterward. See results after about seven days of use. This deal comes with three pens so when you're ready for your next session you'll already have an extra pen on hand. (Related: Should You Brush Your Teeth with Activated Charcoal Toothpaste?)

Buy It: Beaueli Teeth Whitening Pen, $18, amazon.com

Smile Direct Club Teeth Whitening Kit

AMAZON

The brand that helped to revolutionize the teeth straightening business has launched an at-home whitening kit. Using LED lights and an enamel-safe formula in a brush-on pen applicator, this kit whitens teeth in five days with five-minute, twice daily treatments. The LED light speeds the whitening process to be three times faster than strips. The kit contains two full treatments to be used six months apart for a full year of white smiles.

Buy It: Smile Direct Club Teeth Whitening Kit, $74, $79, amazon.com

SuperSmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste

AMAZON

One of the easiest ways to whiten teeth might just be this dual toothpaste kit. The pastes containing encapsulated calcium peroxide, minerals, and fluoride to remove plaque 10 times better than toothpaste alone. To use, take a dry toothbrush, squeeze out a pea-sized amount of the whitening toothpaste and of the accelerator, then brush for two minutes. The combination of the products removes daily bacteria and plaque, while also lifting deep-set stains. Your enamel is safe too since the formula is 75 percent less abrasive than the limits set by the American Dental Association. (Related: How to Whiten Teeth Naturally with Food)

Buy It: SuperSmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste, $75, amazon.com

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit

AMAZON

With over 5,000 five-star reviews, this highly-rated teeth whitening kit comes with a mouth tray that allows you to comfortably whiten top and bottom teeth simultaneously, with the added benefit of an LED light to help accelerate the process. The whitening solution features 35 percent carbamide peroxide—and for reference, most dental offices use a 40 percent peroxide formula with lasers to boost results, says Dr. Lieb.

Buy It: AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit, $60, $45, amazon.com

Lumineux Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Strips

AMAZON

If the thought of peroxide hurts your teeth just thinking about it, then consider using this natural solution. These whitening strips use a mixture of sea salt, aloe vera, coconut oil, sage oil, and lemon peel oil to gently brighten without harsh chemicals or sensitivity. They're also one of the best teeth whitening kits to be used on caps, crowns, and veneers.

Buy It: Lumineux Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Strips, $50, amazon.com

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