How To Whiten Teeth at Home: The Best Teeth Whitening Kit

The Best Teeth Whiteners: LED Kits, Whitening Strips, and More

As you get older, your pearly whites may not be quite so white anymore. It could be due to your morning cup of coffee over the years, bad habits like smoking, or just age. Whatever the reason, you can get that bright, white smile back again. All it takes is the best teeth whitener for your needs and a little bit of time.

Our Top Picks: The Best Teeth Whiteners




 What Is the Best Teeth Whitener?

Check out the details of each option to find the one that’s best for you.

1. Byte Snow Wireless Teeth Whitening –Best Overall

Feature Description Star Rating
Price At $299, you’re paying a premium for the wireless mouthpiece
Peroxide Content Regular: 6–10%
Extra Strength: 12–18%
Guarantee Refund within 30 days,
less shipping and restocking fees
LED Light Both red and blue lights
Shipping Cost Shipping is free over $99

Byte Snow is a partnership between two premier teledentistry brands, Byte Aligners and Snow brand at-home teeth whitening. Snow’s kit is a free add-on to Byte’s treatment. Rather than teeth whitening trays, it uses pens to make their gel easier to apply and two wavelengths of light to speed the serum’s effects.

The big selling point of this package is that the LED mouthpiece is wireless, which is a convenient option if you’re willing to pay for it.

Bottom Line:

For quick and easy teeth whitening, this kit is effective and doesn’t lead to sensitivity. With almost everything from the Snow standard bundle, the Byte wireless bundle puts a higher price on convenience.

Pros

  • Both regular and extra-strength serum options.
  • Free shipping.
  • Convenient wireless mouthpiece.
  • Cost can be broken up into payments.

Cons

  • More peroxide than recommended in extra strength serum.
  • Demanding refund/return policy.

2. Snow All-In-One Whitening Kit –Best for Sensitive Teeth

Feature Description Star Rating
Price At $150, Snow’s kit is one of the more expensive
Peroxide Content Regular: 6–10%
Extra Strength: 12–18%
Guarantee Refund within 30 days,
less shipping and restocking fees
LED Light Both red and blue lights
Shipping Cost Shipping is free over $99

This is a similar package as Snow and Byte offer with their wireless mouthpiece. However, the mouthpiece that comes with this option is wired and needs to be plugged in to work.

The percentage of carbamide and hydrogen peroxide is lower than some other options. While that may mean longer treatments, it’s probably better for teeth sensitivity and health.

Bottom Line:

Pens and lights speed the gentler effects of Snow’s peroxide teeth whitening product.

Pros

  • Easy to use wands and mouthpiece.
  • Free shipping.
  • Combines serum and LED treatment.
  • Cost can be broken up into payments.

Cons

  • Extra strength serum has high peroxide content.
  • Demanding refund/return policy.

3. AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit –Best for Quick Results

Feature Description Star Rating
Price At $80, AuraGlow is middle of the pack in pricing
Peroxide Content 35% carbamide peroxide gel
Guarantee Full refund within 30 days for any reason
LED Light Blue LED light
Shipping Cost Free shipping in the US

AuraGlow includes the standard at-home teeth whitening system components of two tubes of whitening gel and an LED mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is wireless, rechargeable, and additionally comes with a case for the mouthpiece and a treatment timer.

The gel is 35% carbamide peroxide, which is likely to be effective but is also over the recommended percentage by quite a bit [1]. Tooth sensitivity is a possible result.

Bottom Line:

An affordable option, but with a very high peroxide content.

Pros

  • Generous refund policy.
  • Built-in treatment timer.
  • Wireless, rechargeable LED.

Cons

  • Far higher peroxide content than recommended.

4. GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Kit –Safest Whitening Kit

Feature Description Star Rating
Price At $150, Glo’s kit is an expensive option
Peroxide Content 6% hydrogen peroxide
Guarantee Refund within 30 days, less shipping and restocking fees
LED Light Blue lights
Shipping Cost Free standard ground

As with many whitening products, Glo’s offering includes whitening gel and an activating LED mouthpiece. Its teeth whitening gel is milder than some other options, making for a longer treatment, but also one that’s better for your teeth long-term.

The corded mouthpiece is used to heat the gel and speed the chemical reaction which removes stains. The big selling point is the uniquely designed applicator and included lip treatment.

Bottom Line:

Quick-acting but gentle teeth whitening agent, heated and activated by an LED mouthpiece.

Pros

  • Specialized tube and applicator.
  • Warming light to accelerate treatment.
  • Free shipping.
  • Healthy peroxide percentage.

Cons

  • Wired mouthpiece.

5. Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White –Best Whitening Strips

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $45 is a lower cost option
Peroxide Content 9.5% hydrogen peroxide
Guarantee Refund within 60 days
LED Light No lights
Shipping Cost Free shipping

Unlike some of the other teeth whitening products on this list, Crest isn’t a new brand jumping onto the teledentistry bandwagon. Crest is a well-known brand. Rather than a whitening gel, their product uses convenient teeth whitening strips, which you may find on your local store shelves.

Customers mention that while Crest 3D White Whitestrips are easy to use and effective, unfortunately, the bottom strips are too small and don’t cover all visible teeth. Many users also experienced tooth sensitivity.

Bottom Line:

Easy to find and use, Glamorous Crest 3D White Whitestrips may not be the right choice for those with sensitive teeth.

Pros

  • Well-known and respected brand.
  • Free shipping.
  • 60-day guarantee.
  • No trays or gels.

Cons

  • Lower strips are too small.

6. Crest 3D Whitestrips Sensitive Teeth Whitening Kit –Best for Sensitive Teeth

Feature Description Star Rating
Price A $70 kit is slightly less than average
Peroxide Content No data
Guarantee Refund within 60 days
LED Light Blue light
Shipping Cost Free shipping

Specifically designed for sensitive teeth, this at-home whitening treatment might be a good choice if that’s a concern. However, the amount of hydrogen peroxide in these Crest Whitestrips is unknown so it’s impossible to make an informed choice.

In addition to the teeth whitening strips, the Crest 3D White kit includes an LED light to speed up the whitening process.

Bottom Line:

A national brand’s offering for sensitive teeth, you may still want to look elsewhere without more information.

Pros

  • Reliable and well-known brand.
  • Free shipping.
  • Easy to use strips.

Cons

  • Unknown peroxide content.

7. Zimba Whitening Strips –Best Rewards and Deals

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $24 for strips (add an LED light for $50)
Peroxide Content 6% hydrogen peroxide
Guarantee 100% money back, though with stringent requirements
LED Light Blue light w/Zimba light
Shipping Cost Shipping free over $50

If you’re interested in making your pearly whites whiter but are worried about animal testing or special diets, Zimba teeth whitening products may be a good option. Their teeth whitening treatment is fairly standard, including strips to whiten your teeth and, optionally, LED lights to speed things up.

Zimba guarantees teeth two shades whiter, though you’ll have to take pictures before and after, as well as meet several other requirements, to get your money back. On the other hand, they offer savings on subscriptions and reward points.

Bottom Line:

Subscribe for regular deliveries and reward points, particularly if dietary concerns are an issue.

Pros

  • Vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free.
  • Range of flavors.
  • Coconut oil option.
  • Subscription deals and reward points.

Cons

  • Difficult refund requirements.

8. Colgate Optic White Advanced Whitening Toothpaste –Best Whitening Toothpaste

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $6 is as cheap as it gets
Peroxide Content 2% hydrogen peroxide
Guarantee Refund within 30 days, if purchased direct from Colgate
LED Light No light
Shipping Cost Depends on retailer, available in stores -

Toothpaste is the most basic tooth whitening product there is, which Colgate improves on by adding a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. It’s less expensive than more complex kits and easier to use, with no whitening gel or LED light to mess with.

Bottom Line:

Simple, safe, and effective, it’s a great option if you don’t mind waiting a little longer.

Pros

  • Trusted national brand.
  • Safe for daily use.
  • Affordable option.

Cons

  • Takes longer to be effective.

9. Colgate Optic White Advanced LED Whitening –Fastest Whitening Treatment

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $110 for one-time treatment, or $94 with a subscription
Peroxide Content 9% hydrogen peroxide
Guarantee Refund within 30 days, if purchased direct from Colgate
LED Light Blue light
Shipping Cost Depends on retailer, available in stores

Colgate’s version of the whitening system with an LED light comes with gel in easy-to-use applicators. Unlike similar versions of the LED whitening kit, Colgate gets results in 10 days rather than weeks. It accomplishes that with a harsher amount of peroxide, which is more likely to cause sensitive teeth.

Bottom Line:

Colgate’s LED kit gets faster results than competitors, though with harsher amounts of peroxide.

Pros

  • Trusted, national brand.
  • 10-day treatment.
  • Easy to use, hands-free light.

Cons

  • Can’t be used on veneers or implants.

10. Candid Whitening Foam –Best for Use With Aligners

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $25, but also the cost of the aligners
Peroxide Content 3.8% hydrogen peroxide
Guarantee Exchange if defective
LED Light No lights
Shipping Cost Free shipping

Candid’s foam is designed to be used with their aligners, either during the day or through the night. Simply add the foam to your aligners and insert them as normal. No whitening gels to worry about. Additionally, the hydrogen peroxide is mild enough to use overnight.

To use the foam with the aligners, however, you have to be using the aligners. The foam isn’t available if you’re not one of Candid’s customers.

Bottom Line:

Designed for gentle use throughout the day or night, it’s unfortunately only available to Candid Aligner customers.

Pros

  • Gentle, with low peroxide levels.
  • Simple to use.
  • Usable overnight.

Cons

  • Only available to Candid Aligner customers.

11. AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen –Best for On-the-Go Whitening

Feature Description Star Rating
Price $26 is affordable for a basic whitener
Peroxide Content 35% carbamide peroxide gel
Guarantee Full refund within 30 days for any reason
LED Light No light
Shipping Cost Free shipping in the US

Containing the same teeth whitening agent as in their full kit, AuroGlow’s Pen offers an easy, portable way to whiten your teeth. A quick treatment time is also pretty appealing. However, as with the LED kit, the amount of peroxide is higher than recommended. Customers are more likely to develop sensitivity as a result.

Bottom Line:

While portable and great for quick treatments, AuroGlow’s Whitening Pen peroxide level is higher than recommended.

Pros

  • Portable and simple to use.
  • Quick treatment.
  • Generous refund policy.

Cons

  • Harsher 35% peroxide content.

Do Teeth Whitening Products Really Work?

Whitening products can remove stains. Evidence shows that at-home teeth whitening methods are nearly as effective as professional whitening you’d get at a dentist’s office [2]. However, not all options are equal, with whitening toothpaste, whitening gel, and LED whitening kits all working to different degrees and at different speeds.

The primary bleaching agent in most whitening products is carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, which break down the organic film coating teeth and then the compounds causing the stain. However, the complete whitening process is more complicated. Abrasives are also used and may be the most effective method. Other ingredients break down colors or protect teeth.

How Do Whitening Strips Work?

Whitening strips are coated with a whitening gel, which contains a bleaching agent like carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. Teeth enamel consists of hard material bound by a protein ‘glue’. An organic film called pellicle coats the enamel. Bleaching agents break down those bonds, allowing other compounds to break down stains.

While it may seem like they are useful only for surface stains, strips for whitening can also help with deeper stains.

How Does Teeth Whitening Floss Work?

Many home teeth whitening treatments are backed with chemicals and compounds to remove stains. Whitening floss helps achieve a white smile by adding small amounts of silica to the formula. The abrasive helps remove stains between teeth when otherwise flossing. It does mean that whitening floss might not be the best choice for those with sensitive teeth [3].

How Does Whitening Mouthwash Work?

Most whitening mouthwashes use the same bleaching agent as other whitening products, hydrogen peroxide. As with other products, it breaks down the organic coating that forms the stains. However, they might be better used to prevent further stains, rather than removing existing problems.

How Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth?

There is no clear evidence that using coconut oil will result in a whiter smile. When studied under scientific circumstances, even mild peroxide whitening treatments resulted in teeth several shades brighter than after using coconut oil, though the oil caused much less tooth sensitivity [4].

On the other hand, it has been shown to reduce plaque and inflammation.

What Causes Teeth to Stain?

There are a number of reasons teeth collect stains. Discolored teeth may be caused by factors staining the outer coating, the tooth enamel. Stains can also be caused by damage to the inside of the tooth. Younger people are more likely to have whiter teeth, as they tend to stain with age [5].

Extrinsic Teeth Stains

These are surface stains, which can affect the pellicle, a protective protein coating that forms over your teeth. Alternatively, they may also be caused by a chemical interaction with enamel or dentin. The stains, more technically called chromogens, remain on the enamel and don’t penetrate to the interior of the tooth. Common causes include:

  • Diet: Tea, coffee, and other foods can stain teeth.
  • Oral hygiene: Poor hygiene causes plaque, cavities, and calculus which can discolor teeth.
  • Habits: Tobacco use, among other poor habits, can cause staining.
  • Medications: Some medications will cause discoloration.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to chemicals, particularly heavy metals, can cause tooth staining.

You can prevent surface stains simply by avoiding some bad habits, while brushing and flossing regularly.

Intrinsic Teeth Stains

The enamel is not completely opaque, so changes to the interior, or pulp, of the tooth can cause teeth to discolor. The most common example is after a cavity is filled. The tooth is often darker in color as the white pulp has been replaced with darker amalgam. Other trauma can also cause intrinsic staining, but more often, it is caused by chemical exposure or a medical condition:

  • Genetic disorders: Including conditions like dentin dysplasia, will often turn teeth yellow or brown.
  • Trauma: One of the most common causes of intrinsic staining is infection or trauma that damages the pulp.
  • Dental conditions: Cavities and wear on the tooth can also cause stains.
  • Medications and chemicals: Some chemicals can change tooth color, such as the fluoride added to water.
  • Tetracycline stains: You may have stained teeth if your mother took the antibiotic tetracycline during the last two trimesters of pregnancy.

Intrinsic staining may occur before the baby teeth even erupt, if caused by a genetic disorder or chemical exposure in utero [6].

Age-Related Teeth Stains

As we age, our teeth naturally start to lose their bright whiteness. The cause is primarily wear and changes due to age. Enamel thins and changes texture, leading to tooth stains.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

As long as you follow the directions, the whitening process should be safe. Hydrogen peroxide works by breaking down organic bonds, which may sound like a bad thing to put in your mouth. However, even the stronger formulas are still safe to use. Each teeth whitening kit, whitening strip, and whitening toothpaste use similar methods to those you’d experience with an in-office whitening.

With that said, there can still be some downsides. In particular, whitening can cause gum irritation, damage to enamel, and tooth sensitivity [7]. Peroxide breaks down organic compounds, including those that are part of your mouth. The best teeth whitening products balance effective whitening and harshness of formula.

What Is the Best Way to Whiten Teeth Quickly?

Some teeth whitening products have shorter treatment times, but that usually comes with harsher bleaching agents or higher percentages of hydrogen peroxide. While a teeth whitening kit might quickly remove surface stains, it can also cause sensitivity, damage to enamel, and other problems. A better way to get noticeably whiter teeth might be to visit a cosmetic dentist, also known as aesthetic dentists.

While the best teeth whitening kits may be able to match some in-office treatments, a dentist’s expertise can’t be matched.

What Is the Best Way to Whiten Teeth Without Damaging Enamel?

A dentist can help you find the best solution for your specific needs; however, the best way to brighten teeth, while avoiding gum irritation and tooth sensitivity, may be to use a whitening toothpaste. It will take longer, but do less damage along the way.

Both the worst and best teeth whitening products use hydrogen peroxide, which can cause irritation. However, whitening toothpastes usually have a lower level of peroxide, meaning less irritation. As a result, they can be used safely multiple times a day like regular toothpaste.

FAQ

Here are some straight answers to simple questions.

Can Yellow Teeth Become White?

What Is the Most Effective Teeth Whitening Product?

What Is the Best Teeth Whitening for Smokers?

What Is the Strongest Teeth Whitener on the Market?

Do LED Lights Really Whiten Teeth?

Conclusion

Your pearly whites get quite the workout through your life, and they generally show it. However, that doesn’t mean that you can bring that brighter smile back. Using a gentle whitener can both improve your teeth’s appearance and help maintain good oral health.

References:

  1. Redha, Ola, et al. “Compromised Dental Cells Viability Following Teeth-Whitening Exposure.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 30 July 2021, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-94745-w.
  2. da Costa, J. B., et al. “Comparison of at-Home and in-Office Tooth Whitening Using a Novel Shade Guide.” Operative Dentistry, Allen Press, 1 Jan. 2010, https://meridian.allenpress.com/operative-dentistry/article/35/4/381/107546/Comparison-of-At-home-and-In-office-Tooth.
  3. Epple, Matthias, et al. “A Critical Review of Modern Concepts for Teeth Whitening.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 1 Aug. 2019, https://www.mdpi.com/2304-6767/7/3/79/htm.
  4. Wheatter, Michelle, and Zachary Friedl. “Effect of Oil Pulling on Tooth Whitening In Vitro.” Sagepub, 1 Nov. 2016, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2229411220160104.
  5. Manuel, ST, et al. Etiology of Tooth Discoloration- A Review. Dec. 2010, https://eprints.manipal.edu/1970/1/21._Nig_Dent_J._2010_etio_discolo.pdf.
  6. Jacobsen, P. E., Henriksen, T. B., Haubek, D., & Ostergaard, J. R. (2013). Developmental enamel defects in children prenatally exposed to anti-epileptic drugs. PloS one, 8(3), e58213. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0058213.
  7. Eachempati, Prashanti, et al. “Home‐Based Chemically‐Induced ... - Cochranelibrary.com.” Cochrane Library, 18 Dec. 2018, https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006202.pub2/abstract.
  8. Park, Choa;Park. “Application of Teeth Whitening Led for Prevention of Dental Caries : Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy Approach.” JOURNAL OF THE KOREAN ACADEMY OF PEDTATRIC DENTISTRY, Korean Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 2020, https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO202022560454542.page.

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