The Best Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

The Best Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

by Lauren West

All of the current ‘teeth whitening in a box’ products may seem like a great, cost-effective idea, but are they the best option? We’ll go over each of them to decide which is truly the best and if they can hold up to getting your teeth professionally whitened.


When it comes to finding affordable ways to whiten your teeth, it seems like the market has really expanded in the past five years, offering everything from LED or “laser” light whitening products to whitening strips and a whole variety of whitening toothpastes.

But can these cheaper methods actually deliver on their promises?

LED-based whitening products like iSmile promise no sensitivity and quick results, utilizing a sort of set-it-and-forget-it method by adding a gel to the teeth and LED light to “accelerate” teeth whitening. While products like iSmile have largely positive reviews on sites such as Amazon, some studies show that the strength of the lights you would get at home do next to nothing to help the process.

On their website, another company, Smile Brilliant states: “We have since discontinued the sale of such products as our team (and 3rd party research) concluded that the light has little/no impact on the whitening of teeth.” They go on to explain that in many cases, the blue light you get in an LED whitening product is merely a blue light bulb and does not provide the same results as a UV light. They also state that these products are “FDA regulated and cannot be sold for home use.”

However, in spite of their own evident doubts, Colgate sells its own version of this trend, Colgate Optic White, which can also be purchased from your dentist. Speaking to a professional ahead of time is always a smart move.

Whitening toothpastes like Colgate 3D, for example, are generally not known to provide the strongest whitening but are good options for smile brightening at home and can cost as little as $11 for a 3-pack on Amazon. There are plenty of round-up listicles about which are the best, but Healthline gives a good rule of thumb when it comes to choosing what works best for you: Check for ADA-approval for extra security and pay attention to the ingredients.

This can be said for any teeth whitening product, as they don’t all work the same way or use the same methods, as Healthline states: “Whitening ingredients to look for include hydrogen peroxide and silica. Silica products are usually best for sensitive teeth and gums. The higher the hydrogen peroxide content, the more effective the toothpaste will be at whitening.” 

Regardless of treatment, between whitening sessions, it can also be good to use a paste-like Sensodyne ProNamel to help strengthen and rebuild your enamel, especially if you already have sensitive teeth.

Whitening strips may be the most popular and the most infamous of the home whitening products, and with good reason. Teeth-whitening strips are some of the most intense ways to whiten your teeth at home and require some maintenance to avoid side effects. Leaving them on for too long, whether by accident or with the hope of better results,  can leave your teeth and gums feeling overly sensitive.

According to Health.com, Good Housekeeping, and Business Insider, the absolute best-branded option between all home whitening products is Crest 3D No-Slip White Strips. It’s easy to use and seems to give the best results for an at-home boxed product.

But how do they compare to professional treatment? 

Bleaching trays and treatments at a dental practice are the best way to ensure that your teeth reach the level of whiteness you’ve been hoping for.

When you have trays made for you at a dental practice, they are formed precisely to your teeth so that you can be sure that every part of your teeth are being bleached equally for the allotted time your dentist and the product prescribes.

As mentioned earlier, there are some dental offices that provide UV bleaching treatments as well, which can be a pricier option, although it can, unfortunately, lead to sensitivity issues.

At the end of the day, everyone’s teeth are a little different. Talk to your dentist about which product would be right for you.

Surf City Dentist would like to be your family dentist.  Call us for an in-person interview appointment.  Your health, your family, your kids are important to us.

This blog is for advisory purposes only.  Actual medical/dental diagnosis can not be done online. This blog does not replace the opinion or procedures recommended by others licensed professionals in the field.
Please see a licensed dentist or doctor. 

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