Lighten up! Dentists explain how to buy the best teeth whitening kit for your needs.
Beauty trends may come and go, but when it comes to your smile, nobody's ever said “Yellow is the new white.” Pearly whites are always preferable, which is why we got in touch with top dentists to learn the top causes of teeth stains—and which teeth whitening kits work best to do away with discoloration for good.
“Stains on the teeth can be a product of extrinsic sources, like foods or drinks that have dark ingredients, or intrinsic sources, such as a yellowing of the inner layer of the tooth,” explains Scott Cayouette, DMD, a Charleston-based dentist and fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. “Smoking and the natural process of aging can also contribute to discoloration.”
As for the right way to get your smile to shine bright, there’s no single option that’s best for all. Instead, consider your body and preferences first: “Choose a product that fits your lifestyle,” says Trey Wilson, DDS, a New York City-based dentist. “And know that there is variability to whitening results, since genetics, diet, oral hygiene habits, and medication all play a part.”
Nervous to jump on the bleaching bandwagon? Ask your dentist to evaluate your tooth sensitivity level before you choose a bleaching product to ensure that you’re opting for one of the right strength. “I generally recommend using a product that contains between 10 and 12% hydrogen peroxide, which is the whitening agent,” says Dr. Cayouette.
Whether you want to whiten your smile gradually or brighten up in one long sitting, there's a DIY kit out there for you. Here are four to consider.
Crest 3D White Professional Effects Teeth Whitening Kit
Simplify your whitening experience with Crest’s no-hassle strips that let you go about your day while you perfect your smile. Just be careful if your teeth are not aligned or crooked, since splotchy bleaching can occur if strips sit closely on one side of the mouth, but not the other.
Supersmile Professional Whitening System
Not a fan of the sometimes-slobbery mouth tray method? Ditch the plastic piece and simply brush as normal with Supersmile’s toothpaste and whitening accelerator gels, which work together to fight cavities, strengthen enamel, and amp up your bright white smile.
Rembrandt 2 Hour Teeth Whitening Kit
This 2-hour whitening kit comes with Comfytray applicators that mold to the contours of your teeth, so you can bleach with ease.
Crest Pro-Health HD Daily Two-Step Toothpaste System
If you’re set on streamlining your whitening system, combine Crest’s purifying cleanser and perfecting gel to purge plaque and then polish in just two simple steps.