The Best At-Home Teeth-Whitening Kits, According to Experts (2024)

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By Morgan Evans, a Cut Shop contributor who covers fashion, beauty, and lifestyle

The Best At-Home Teeth-Whitening Kits, According to Experts (1)

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In the past few years, it seems like we, as a society, have become hyperfixated on improving our smiles. Everyone wants whiter, brighter teeth, but who can actually afford professional whitening treatments and Hollywood veneers in this economy? Luckily, at-home teeth-whitening kits exist — and we found the seven best options on the market from brands including Crest, Moon, Supersmile, and SmileDirectClub. Keep scrolling for your guide to the best teeth-whitening kits for the most picturesque pearly whites, plus how to use them in a way that is effective yet totally safe and painless, according to experts.

SO, WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUt at-home teeth-whitening kits?

FAQs
Our top picks
More tried-and-true options
Our experts

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Our Top Picks:

Known as the No. 1 dentist-recommended at-home teeth-whitening product, you can’t go wrong with Crest 3D Whitestrips. They’re formulated with the same hydrogen-peroxide whitening ingredient that dentists use, which will help enhance your smile after a recommended ten days of use. “Crest strips are a great option because they’re safe and ADA (American Dental Association) approved,” says dental hygienist Alejandra Diaz. “They recently became a part of my self-care routine that I do after my nighttime bath or while I’m steaming my face.” But you don’t have to save the popular products for evenings in. You can also wear them as you go about your day. The no-slip grip technology makes it easy to wear the strips while you talk or sip on water, so you can go about daily duties without disruption.

A personal favorite of mine (especially for travel) is this option from Twice, which is backed by A-list rocker Lenny Kravitz. According to Business Insider, following a dental mission trip in the Bahamas, Kravitz teamed up with the Levine brothers, whose father is renowned philanthropic dentist Dr. Jonathan B. Levine, and co-founded Twice. The mission-driven brand donates 10 percent of proceeds to the GLO Good Foundation, which provides underserved communities with dental services, supplies, and education. And when it comes to a brighter smile, these powerful whitening strips can provide whiter teeth with just a single 30-minute treatment. This kit comes with 40 easy-to-apply strips — that contain coconut oil to reduce sensitivity and actually taste pretty great — for 20 complete treatments.

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More Tried-and-True Options:

If you love teeth-whitening trays, look no further than Opalescence Go. A favorite of Apa Aesthetic’s Dr. Clement Kairouz for “stronger whitening,” these trays use 15 percent hydrogen peroxide to guarantee a bright, pearly white smile. The UltraFit pre-filled trays come ready to use right out of the box and easily conform to your smile. For optimal results, it is recommended to wear the trays for 15 to 20 minutes for five to ten days consecutively.

You may be familiar with Moon thanks to Kendall Jenner, who has collaborated with the brand on several products from the tooth-brush kit to the popular Teeth Whitening Pen. Moon took oral beauty to the next level with the launch of the Smile Perfector Duo, made of the brand’s best-selling platinum advanced whitening formula that uses a “gentle” urea peroxide (instead of hydrogen peroxide) as well as an Elixir III blend of honeysuckle-leaf extract to brighten and strawberry extract and lavender oil to help sooth your teeth and gums. “The lip gloss on the other end contains ethically sourced blue mica to counteract yellow tones on the teeth for an all-in-one smile product that delivers on brightness,” says Moon product developer Rachel Desai. Using the Duo’s brush applicator, simply apply the product to your teeth two times a day for up to two weeks for the best results.

If you’d rather just brush your teeth every day like usual and see instant results (instead of relying on whitening trays or pens), this may be the best option for you. Created by cosmetic dentist Dr. Irwin Smigel, Supersmile products contain Calprox, a proprietary whitening ingredient that helps to dissolve layers of plaque and bacteria that form on the teeth. The kit contains a professional whitening toothpaste, a whitening accelerator that lifts deep-set stains, a whitening pre-rinse, and rods. All you have to do is brush your teeth with the Supersmile products twice a day, every day, for two minutes (like normal), and you’ll have visible results in just a few weeks. For an extra-whitening boost, you can also purchase the Supersemile Dissolving Strips.

You’re probably already familiar with SmileDirectClub — it’s often referred to as the dental company that fixes smiles, so it’s no surprise that SmileDirectClub also has a fan-favorite whitening kit. Featuring the same enamel-safe whitening agent that dentists use, these hydrogen-peroxide gel pens are a great option if you’re looking for an easy-applicator tool with nearly five-star results. This particular kit comes with four pens and a 20-LED accelerator light that you can use to boost the power of the gel. Both the pens and the LED light are portable, so you can use them anywhere. For whiter teeth in just one week, apply the gel pens twice a day for about five minutes and top it off with the LED light.

The Glo Science kit is the only at-home whitening device on the market that uses advanced heat technology to optimize results. The clean formula won’t cause tooth sensitivity, plus it’s gluten-free and comes in biodegradable packaging. And unlike most whitening kits that provide results based on daily use and routine, the Glo Science kit is only a five-day treatment; after three eight-minute sessions per day, you’ll see long-lasting results for up to 12 months (depending on oral care and maintenance). The kit is equipped with a patented mouthpiece and cover, Advanced Glo Controller with a temperature indicator and countdown timer, five mint-flavored whitening Glo gel vials, and — similar to the Moon lip brighter — a Glo Nourishing Lip Care balm.

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FAQs:

What makes a good teeth-whitening product?

According to Dr. Clement Kairouz, a cosmetic dentist at New York’s luxury dentistry Apa Aesthetic, for a whitening product to be “good” “it must contain either hydrogen peroxide (fast-acting but increased sensitivity) or carbamide peroxide (slower-acting but less sensitivity).” He adds, “Acids or other chemicals that claim whitening can damage enamel, so make sure to read the ingredients list. Don’t fall for catchy marketing.” And while it’s great to use everyday oral whitening products like a toothpaste or a mouthwash, you need a true whitening kit to actually brighten your teeth. “Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes do not actually whiten enamel. All they do is remove extrinsic stains such as coffee, tea, and wine,” says Dr. Blair Schachtel D.M.D at New York’s CitiDentalGroup.

What’s the difference between a professional whitening and an at-home whitening kit?

It’s probably obvious that professional whitening is the optimal option as it’s “much stronger, quicker to get results, and better for avoiding sensitivity on the teeth,” says CitiDentalGroup dental hygienist Alejandra Diaz. “With in-office whitening, you’re getting a higher percentage of the active ingredient, applied by a professional, who knows how to isolate and protect your gums,” adds Dr. Kairouz, who went on to say for those interested in professional whitening treatments, he recommends doing it once or twice a year along with an at-home kit that can be used every four to six months to maintain results. At-home whitening kits, on the other hand, are much more convenient and affordable.

Do at-home whitening kits really work? Are they safe?

At-home whitening kits are for the most part safe to use. “Home bleaching is very safe, but be sure to have recently seen a dentist for a checkup to ensure there are no cavities or recession areas that could be an issue with whitening,” says Dr. Schachtel. Safety comes first! But what people really want to know is if these kits work. Rest assured, they do — if you put in the full effort to ensure the results. “At-home kits work, but you have to do your part to get results,” Schachtel adds. “Make sure to get a professional cleaning one to two months before whitening, and always apply product to freshly brushed teeth.”

Is it normal for my teeth to be sensitive after using an at-home whitening kit?

A good at-home whitening product shouldn’t cause a great amount of sensitivity to the teeth, but results vary based on oral health. “Any teeth-whitening product will cause temporary sensitivity that can last up to 24 hours. How much sensitivity depends on different factors, such as the percentage of whitening being used, the age of the patient, and much more,” says Diaz. “Patients who are not candidates are patients who are pregnant or taking medication with photosensitivity effects.”

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The Best At-Home Teeth-Whitening Kits, According to Experts
The Best At-Home Teeth-Whitening Kits, According to Experts (2024)
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