The Best Teeth Whitening Strips To Use at Home

The Best Whitening Strips To Put a Smile Back on Your Face

Having stained or discolored teeth can lead to embarrassment and low self-esteem. In the past, achieving a whiter smile meant frequent visits to a dentist and a costly out-of-pocket expense. Thankfully, there are now teeth whitening strips purchasable over the counter that produce a similar effect.

This article looks at the best teeth whitening strips available today, addresses safety concerns, and reveals what makes them so effective.

 

Our Top Picks

 

Brand Award Star Rating
Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects Best Overall 4.5
Zimba Whitening Strips Best Flavors 4.5
HiSmile PAP+ Whitening Strips Best Teeth Whiteners for Sensitive Teeth
Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White Best Crest Whitening Strips
Snow Magic Strips Best Dissolving Whitening Strips 3.5
Lumineux Oral Essentials Certified Non-Toxic Whitening Strips Best Splurge 3.5
Smile Sciences Gel Infused Charcoal Whitening Strips Best Vegan Whitening Strips 3.5
REMBRANDT 1 Week Teeth Whitening Strips Kit Best Whitening Strips for Quick Results 3.5
Zimba Whitening Strips + LED Accelerator Kit Best Whitening Kit 3.5

 

Top Whitening Strips

Let’s look at what makes each of our top picks so special.

 

1. Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects –Best Overall

Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects stand out as the best teeth whitening strips currently available.

A pack of Professional Effects contains 40 whitening treatments for top and bottom teeth. Each whitening treatment has a single use, and you’ll need to use one each day. As an environmental bonus, the teeth whitening kits are shipped in a recyclable carton.

When looking at how to use Crest Whitestrips, the process is delightfully easy. You simply need to peel the whitening strip away from the plastic packaging, apply it to your teeth, and leave it on for 30 minutes per day to remove up to 10 years’ worth of stains.

The trickiest part of these sticky strips is placement, and Crest offers little in the way of tools to make this a smooth process. When not placed correctly, treatments can whiten your teeth unevenly and result in strange patterns on your teeth.

If you follow through with using these teeth whitening treatments for the full 40 days, Crest offers a 100% guarantee of whiter teeth. They add that the whitening effects should last six months or more. The main cleaning ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, known to be safe on teeth when used appropriately [1].

Crest’s website currently lists these for $45, half off the normal retail price.

 

Bottom Line: 

Crest Professional Effects help whiten your teeth in just 30 minutes, and can eliminate up to 10 years’ worth of staining.

Pros

  • 60-day satisfaction guarantee.
  • Removes 10 years' worth of stains.
  • Uses hydrogen peroxide.
  • Results last six months.

Cons

  • Can be challenging to place evenly.

2. Zimba Teeth Whitening Strips –Best Flavors

A Zimba teeth whitening kit comes with two weeks of whitening treatments, a total of 28 individual strips. You’ll need to use a strip every day, but you can see teeth up to six shades lighter once the whitening process is complete.

To use these whitening products, simply peel the strip away from the film and apply it to your teeth. It only takes 30 minutes per day to achieve the desired effect. Zimba claims you’ll have a whiter smile after just one use.

Each whitening strip uses hydrogen peroxide as the active cleaning ingredient. This substance has been proven safe for teeth in appropriate amounts and is the preferred solution of many whitening companies [2].

When it comes to flavors, Zimba can’t be beaten. The company uses naturally derived ingredients such as mint and coconut oil to create a realistic taste without artificial flavors.

Although Zimba has tweaked its formula to accommodate sensitive teeth, some tooth sensitivity may still ensue. If so, it should be fleeting. Zimba does sell a desensitizing pen (sold separately) to strengthen tooth enamel.

The price for the teeth whitening kit from Zimba’s website is currently $24.99, but setting up a recurring subscription nets a 20% discount.

 

Bottom Line: 

Zimba offers 10 incredible flavors to enjoy while your teeth become up to six shades lighter.

Pros

  • 10 flavors to choose from.
  • Up to six shades of improvement.
  • Uses natural ingredients for flavoring.
  • Results after one use.

Cons

  • Can irritate sensitive teeth.
  • May be challenging to align.

3. HiSmile PAP+ Whitening Strips –Best for Sensitive Teeth

HiSmile’s PAP+ whitening strips are carefully designed to whiten teeth throughout a 14-day treatment period. Like other whitening strips, HiSmile has a peel-and-stick method and needs to be worn for 30 minutes each day.

One teeth whitening kit contains 14 applications for each set of teeth. If used correctly, it’s possible to see the effect of the whitening power after just one use.

One notable difference is that HiSmile uses Phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP) for tooth whitening instead of hydrogen peroxide. PAP breaks down surface stains without gum irritation or pain to super sensitive teeth [3]

The price tag on HiSmile’s PAP+ design does come in higher than other brands at $39 for the two-week supply. However, this may be a negligible investment to forego the discomfort of sensitive teeth.

 

Bottom Line: 

HiSmile’s PAP+ teeth whitening strips work quickly to bring a brighter smile without gum irritation or tooth sensitivity.

Pros

  • Doesn't cause gum irritation.
  • Best for sensitive teeth.
  • No peroxide ingredients.
  • Can see improvement after the first use.

Cons

  • Pricier than other teeth whitening products.

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

At first glance, Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White looks no different than other whitening options, but the proof is in the packaging. These teeth whitening kits offer up a power-packed 14-day whitening treatment that delivers a whiter smile than you thought imaginable.

Although just a thin layer, each Glamorous White whitening strip is formulated to remove stains up to 15 years old. Stain removal is done with a more potent quantity of hydrogen peroxide that can leave an unpleasant flavor in the mouth.

Crest Glamorous White whitening strips require 30 minutes of wear each day for the entire two weeks. Whitening results can last up to six months after your last treatment.

Since this whitening product is more potent than others, it can lead to irritation along the gum line, especially if you overuse whitening strips. Be sure to use strips precisely as intended.

A two-week supply will set you back $45, a considerable amount more than other strips on the market. Although not cost-effective, most products aren’t able to deliver this level of clean teeth.

 

Bottom Line: 

Crest’s Glamorous White strips use a powerful whitening agent to remove up to 15 years of unsightly surface stains.

Pros

  • Removes up to 15 years of staining.
  • 60-day satisfaction guarantee.
  • Results last upwards of six months.
  • Cleans with hydrogen peroxide.

Cons

  • May irritate the gum line.
  • Pricey.

5. Snow Magic Strips –Best Dissolving Whitening Strips

Snow Magic Strips offer a unique take on ways to brighten teeth. While sticking to the whitening strip design, these products dissolve in your mouth after the whitening power is gone.

Each teeth whitening kit comes with 28 strips (14 for uppers, 14 for lowers) and only has to be worn for 15 minutes a day. At the end of that time, the Snow Magic Strips should dissolve completely. If you are left with any residue, rinsing your mouth with water should do the trick.

A two-week supply costs $49 on Snow’s website, notably pricier than other models. You can save 20% by signing up for a recurring subscription.

Like most other strips, Magic Strips use hydrogen peroxide as the active whitening agent. Peroxide is safe to use in small amounts and effective at cleaning teeth.

When it comes to flavors, Snow Magic Strips have a lovely lavender mint flavor as they dissolve away, leaving your teeth both looking and feeling cleaner.

 

Bottom Line: 

Snow Magic Strips whiten your teeth in 15 minutes before dissolving away to nothing.

Pros

  • Product works in 15 minutes.
  • Dissolves after use.
  • Lavender mint flavor.
  • Uses hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient.

Cons

  • Can leave a residue on teeth.
  • More expensive than other strips.

6. Lumineux Oral Essentials Certified Non-Toxic Whitening Strips –Best Splurge

Lumineux Oral Essentials are an all-natural approach to the whitening process, using essential oils such as coconut and lemon peel oil to get the job done. Oils are gentler on teeth than carbamide peroxide and have been used in a similar context for centuries [4].

It’s the mineral-rich salts that put Lumineux in a league of its own. These natural ingredients keep tooth enamel strong and sensitivity in check—both during and after treatment. The potential downside is that these ingredients may not produce as dramatic an effect as other whitening strips.

One teeth whitening kit ships with 28 strips for two weeks worth of treatment. Lumineux recommends using the strips for 14 days straight and one to two times a week thereafter to maintain whiter teeth.

With all these Lumineux strips offer, it’s no surprise they’re priced a little higher than other brands. A one-time purchase of one of these whitening kits costs $40, but a recurring subscription will save you 23%.

 

Bottom Line: 

Lumineux Oral Essentials whitening kits restore pearly whites without toxins or sensitivity.

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients.
  • Doesn't cause sensitivity in teeth.
  • Can be used indefinitely.

Cons

  • The whitening formula may not be as strong as other strips.

7. Smile Sciences Gel Infused Charcoal Whitening Strips –Best Vegan Whitening Strips

Smile Sciences’ unusual charcoal-based strips are designed to treat deep stains with a potent whitening gel. This whitening gel can break down residue left by cigarettes, coffee, tea, and more from years of buildup.

Although very visible in the mouth due to their black color, these charcoal strips only need to be left on teeth for 30 minutes per day. The package contains 14 sets of strips for two weeks of intense cleaning designed to break through stains quickly.

The charcoal strips forego hydrogen or carbamide peroxide and instead use coconut oil as a primary cleaning agent. Smile Sciences doesn’t use any animal products in this product, making them entirely vegan.

Pricing may be a point of contention for some at $70 for a two-week supply. However, these charcoal and coconut-infused treatments are designed to attack even the most stubborn stains.

 

Bottom Line: 

Smile Sciences shows that it’s possible to restore natural teeth to their former glory with the power of charcoal.

Pros

  • Proprietary whitening gel.
  • Charcoal based.
  • Attacks thick, dark stains.
  • Completely vegan.

Cons

  • Very expensive.
  • Strips are very noticeable in the mouth.

8. Rembrandt 1 Week Teeth Whitening Strips Kit –Best Whitening Strips for Quick Results

The whitening formula in the Rembrandt 1 Week Teeth Whitening Strips Kit is strong enough to deliver two weeks’ worth of whitening in just seven days. The kit comes packaged with 28 individual strips, enough for two weeks of use on upper and lower teeth.

Rembrandt is well-known as one of the best whitening toothpaste options, and it’s encouraging to see this intense whitening in strip form as well. Trademarked StayPut technology is meant to keep strips firmly in place, but the biggest complaint from users is that the strips come loose.

With effectively two one-week treatments, you can clean once and use the second batch down the road if you notice new staining. The strips only require 30 minutes per day to restore pearly whites.

The 1 Week Whitening Strips combine hydrogen peroxide with acrylates for short but effective cleaning. Peroxide can cause some sensitivity in teeth over time.

 

Bottom Line: 

Rembrandt boasts professional teeth whitening results in minimal time with its 1 Week Whitening Kit.

Pros

  • Two weeks' worth of cleaning in seven days.
  • Uses hydrogen peroxide.
  • Two treatments in one box.
  • Low price.

Cons

  • Strips may not adhere well.
  • Can cause sensitivity.

9. Zimba Whitening Strips + LED Accelerator Kit –Best Whitening Kit

Just when you thought Zimba couldn’t get any better, it pairs its strips with an LED light to achieve even faster results. The strips themselves can bring teeth six shades whiter.

After you’ve placed the strips on your teeth, the LED blue light comes into play. Keeping the LED light mouthpiece in your mouth for up to 16 minutes quickens the chemical reactions that remove stains. Since you’re leaving the strips in place for 30 minutes anyway, the LED blue light adds minimal time to the process.

Zimba offers 10 different flavors for its whitening strips, and each is flavored with natural ingredients. The product uses hydrogen peroxide as a cleaning agent, which may irritate sensitive teeth.

At $50, the package with the LED light costs twice the amount of the strips alone. Keep in mind that once you have the light, you won’t need to buy this component again.

If strips aren’t your thing, Zimba offers one of the best teeth whitening pen options that can also be paired with the LED.

 

Bottom Line: 

Zimba’s flavorful strips are enhanced by an LED light that accelerates the entire process, making it the best teeth whitening kit available.

Pros

  • LED blue light to accelerate whitening.
  • 10 flavors to choose from.
  • Brings teeth up to six shades whiter.
  • Uses natural ingredients for flavoring.

Cons

  • Can irritate sensitive teeth.

 

How Do Whitening Strips Work?

Whitening strips contain a gel with an active ingredient that seeps into your teeth to remove stains and whiten teeth.

 

Ingredients

All strips feature an active ingredient that, through a chemical reaction, breaks down and removes stains on teeth. Some brands use hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to function as bleaching agents, while others use natural oils to obtain the same effect.

 

What Whitening Strips Do Dentists Recommend?

Crest is well-known for whitening toothpastes and strips approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) [5]. It is the only brand at this time to receive this approval.

 

What To Look For in Whitening Strips

Consider these factors when picking up the strips you’ll use to restore your smile:

  • Ingredients.
  • Dentist approved.
  • Customer reviews.

 

Ingredients

When it comes to whitening teeth, low doses of hydrogen and carbamide peroxide are safe bleaching agents but can cause sensitivity [1]. Natural oils create the same effect and are harmless to teeth and enamel [4].

Strips with chlorine dioxide are best avoided, as the chemical can irritate the nose, throat, and lungs.

 

Dentist-Approved

Most strips don’t have ADA’s blessing but use the same hydrogen peroxide used in Crest’s approved formula. This common chemical is also used in in-office treatments.

 

Customer Reviews

When in doubt, read what others have to say about the product. Most manufacturer pages have a review section that you can read comments on. Similarly, most products are sold on Amazon with thousands of reviews.

 

Are Whitening Strips Safe?

These strips are indeed safe if used only for the instructed duration [6]. Excess use can damage enamel and gums that may not be restorable.

 

Potential Side Effects

The most significant side effects of whitening with strips are gum irritation and increased sensitivity in the mouth. These effects should be temporary and diminish with time.

 

Who Shouldn’t Use Whitening Strips?

Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children under 12 should not use strips to whiten teeth. Although a low dose, the chemicals in each strip may be too much for a child to handle. In addition, anyone with gum or mouth disease should avoid this whitening method as well.

 

Benefits of Whitening Strips

Using whitening strips often has the desired effect of revitalizing a white smile. These products can make teeth upwards of six shades whiter in just a few weeks.

 

Disadvantages

As mentioned earlier, whitening strip users can experience sensitivity due to the hydrogen peroxide used for a brighter smile. This chemical can also irritate gums and make eating or drinking more challenging for a short period.

 

How To Use Whitening Strips

Whitening with strips is an easy process, as long as you remember to do it every day.

  1. Brush your teeth to clear away any food particles.
  2. Take one treatment from your pack containing upper and lower strips.
  3. Separate the film from the whitening strip.
  4. Carefully place the strip on either the upper or lower teeth, making sure not to get any on the gums.
  5. Place the second strip on the other set of teeth, covering each tooth completely.
  6. Leave the strips in place for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove strips and clean off any residue with water.
  8. Repeat for as many nights as indicated by your kit.

 

How Long Does It Take To See Results From Whitening Strips?

Some products advertise that you can see results in as little as one use. The best results will come after using the whitening product for the recommended period of time, often two weeks.

 

Whitening Strips Before and After

Best Whitening Strips Before and After

 

FAQ

Here are answers to some of the commonly asked questions about whitening strips.

 

Do Whitening Strips Really Work?

What Are the Strongest White Strips?

Is LED Teeth Whitening Safe?

Do Whitening Strips Damage Teeth?

Are Crest Strips Bad for You?

 

Conclusion

 

There are several stellar whitening brands out there, but Crest takes the cake for its ability to remove years of stains and keep them away for up to six months. Plus, Crest is the only brand at present to receive the ADA’s stamp. Best of all, you’ll get 40 days’ worth of strips for a price that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

If Crest doesn’t speak to you, all the whitening strips in this article can bring about a whiter smile as well.

 

References:

  1. Li, Y., and L. Greenwall. “Safety Issues of Tooth Whitening Using Peroxide-Based Materials.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 12 July 2013, https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2013.629?proof=t%29Nature.
  2. Féliz-Matos, L., Hernández, L. M., & Abreu, N. (2015). Dental Bleaching Techniques; Hydrogen-carbamide Peroxides and Light Sources for Activation, an Update. Mini Review Article. The open dentistry journal, 8, 264–268. https://doi.org/10.2174/1874210601408010264
  3. Bizhang, M., Domin, J., Danesh, G., & Zimmer, S. (2017). Effectiveness of a new non-hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent after single use - a double-blind placebo-controlled short-term study. Journal of applied oral science : revista FOB, 25(5), 575–584. https://doi.org/10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0463
  4. Shanbhag V. K. (2016). Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene - A review. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine, 7(1), 106–109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.05.004
  5. “Crest 3D White Whitestrips.” American Dental Association, https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/ada-seal-of-acceptance/product-search/a065e000007A36zAAC/crest-3d-white-whitestrips.
  6. Tredwin CJ;Naik S;Lewis NJ;Scully. “Hydrogen Peroxide Tooth-Whitening (Bleaching) Products: Review of Adverse Effects and Safety Issues.” British Dental Journal, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16607324/.
  7. 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.

 


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