10 Best Teeth Whiteners | March 2017

10 Best Teeth Whiteners
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We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If evolutionary biology and behavioral psychology are credible fields of study, then your smile is the thing that lets others know instinctively if they can trust you, let alone like you. Ensure you make the right first impression with a friendly, brighter smile by using one of the teeth whiteners on our list. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best teeth whitener on Amazon.
10
The Dr Song Home Professional Kit achieves maximum whitening by combining 44 percent carbamide peroxide with a bright LED light for superior results. Most people tend to notice a difference in their smile after just two or three uses.
  • includes a gel brush
  • good for over 50 applications
  • may cause some sensitivity issues
Brand Dr Song
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
Unlike most other whitening options, the Bedrock & Bloom Smart Ash actually reduces sensitivity by remineralizing and restoring enamel. It also claims to prevent cavities, bacteria, and gingivitis, helping to improve your breath.
  • no artificial dyes or flavors
  • non-abrasive formula
  • is very messy to use
Brand Bedrock & Bloom
Model pending
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
8
The Shine Kit Bundle offers multiple use options in a single package. You can apply the gel directly to the teeth, or add it to the tray for longer applications to remove tougher stains. Easy-to-understand directions make the whole process simple.
  • takes just 5 to 15 minutes a day
  • results can be seen quickly
  • causes some pain
Brand Shine Whitening
Model 10001-ShineWhitening
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
Remove up to 14 years of stains with the Crest 3D White Luxe. They feature an advanced seal technology, which prevents the strips from slipping off during use. The set also includes an intensive 1-hour treatment for fast results.
  • use once a day for 30 minutes
  • easily mold to your teeth
  • able to drink while wearing them
Brand Crest
Model 3116194
Weight 7 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
If the more professional methods appeal to you, but you don't like to use time-consuming trays and frightening syringes, the Smilebriter Gel Pens can provide you with just the right balance of quality and ease of use. You simply apply, let dry, and move on.
  • 44 percent carbamide peroxide
  • peppermint flavor
  • may not whiten evenly
Brand Smile Briter
Model NA
Weight 1.4 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
If the light consistency of other whitening powders feels too thin for your tastes, the Rocky Mountain Essentials Tuxedo tooth and gum is engineered with bentonite clay as its primary ingredient, resulting in a thicker, more paste-like, product.
  • all organic materials
  • jar should last up to three months
  • makes it hard to clean your sink
Brand Rocky Mountain Essentia
Model pending
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
4
The Active Wow Charcoal Powder is an all-natural option that comes to you from a brand renowned for its gel-based whitening systems. In addition to its activated coconut charcoal, it includes both orange seed oil and a mint flavor to improve taste and consistency.
  • won't cause sensitive gums
  • peroxide-free formula
  • some may spill out upon opening
Brand Active Wow
Model AW_CPNTW
Weight 0.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
3
The Active Wow Premium Kit comes with a comprehensive array of tools to get the most out of your whitening experience, including four syringes -– two for the clear gel and two for the blue -– three professional trays, and an effective accelerator light.
  • works after a single treatment
  • easy step-by-step process
  • made in the usa
Brand Active Wow
Model No Model
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
2
Whiten your smile without the chemicals by using the Miswak Club. It is all-natural, as it is derived from arak trees grown in pesticide-free soil. Once chewed, bristles appear and brush your teeth while whitening at the same time.
  • each piece lasts 3 weeks
  • includes 2 sticks with cases
  • safe for children
Brand Miswak Club
Model pending
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
1
For a whitening experience that won't result in any kind of extra sensitivity, the FineVine Organics Powder is made from activated coconut charcoal, which gently removes stains both on and just below the surface, for a brighter smile in very little time.
  • lasts 3-6 months
  • gluten-free product
  • 100 percent natural
Brand FineVine Organics
Model FV001
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Penetrating Power Of Peroxide

At this point in the history of in-home tooth whitening, it's generally accepted that the methods work. How exactly they work is much more the mystery. It's one of those things that gets results, so maybe we don't really want to know how it works. Like the internet.

Most teeth whitening products rely on either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as a bleaching agent. What's the difference between the two? Well, not much.

Hydrogen peroxide is pretty unstable, and it degrades very quickly when exposed to light. That's why it's sold in those opaque brown bottles. Carbamide peroxide is just a little bit more stable, and during application it breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and urea, a natural organic compound produced by the kidneys.

The point is to get at the hydrogen peroxide, the oxygen in which penetrates the enamel of your teeth and attacks subsurface stains on the next level of the tooth, called the dentin. Down there is where the real discoloration culprits hide. Toothpastes and mouth washes can only get at surface stains with a variety of chemical reactions, but the intrinsic stains, like pirates hidden in the New Jersey Meadowlands, need to be flushed out by specific means.

This science has led some people to believe that they can just swish with hydrogen peroxide and whiten their teeth that way. Unfortunately for the H2O2 business, that's not quite how it works. It takes about 30 minutes for hydrogen peroxide at its most common 3 percent dilution to get whitening results. That's why we leave it on our teeth in gel form, to give it time to work.

Some strips and trays offer faster wear times, some longer. It all depends on the chemical material and the dilution (remember that carbamide peroxide takes longer to break down, so those products have longer wear times). A 10 percent H2O2 gel is more than three times the potency of regular hydrogen peroxide, so those products average closer to 15 minute wear times.

If all this chemistry turns your stomach (you will inevitably ingest some of this stuff, after all), there's always a few natural alternatives on our list, most notably the miswak sticks and charcoal powders.

How White Can You Go?

There seems to be no shortage of whitening products available over the counter these days. Figuring out which one of these products is going to fit your mouth the best can be a matter of trial and error, but we endeavor to give you a leg up in the process.

The most important question: How sensitive are your teeth? Are you in agony at the dentist's office? Do you only chew on one side of your mouth because the other one hurts? Are you prone to get, or do you currently have cavities?

If any of these questions sound like they apply to you, you'll want to talk to your dentist before working with any of the peroxide-based products like the trays or strips we've reviewed. Grab that miswak stick first, since that's a painless, all-natural alternative, and see how that treats you. You may find that it's all you'll ever need to get your best smile.

If you have adamantium teeth, or perhaps if you just don't feel pain, you can use anything we've talked about today. For you, you might want to investigate your lifestyle. Will wearing strips overnight be an issue? How quickly do you want these strips to be effective?

The strips at number four don't require a big calendar investment, but you do need to have them in overnight for the best results. Maybe the 20 minute crest strips that you use for two weeks or the trays that you use for 30 minutes over ten days fit your lifestyle best.

On the bright side, all the products work, and they work well. Just find the one that fits your schedule and you'll have teeth like Moby Dick in no time.

The Smile Through Time

Some evolutionary biologist and neurologists, notably V.S. Ramachandran, have argued that the human smile evolved from a kind of aborted snarl, a growl and a baring of the teeth that faded partly as the approaching animal proved itself not to be a threat. Evolutionary, then, it says that you aren't gauging a stranger or loved one as a problem, and that everything is copacetic.

Other studies have shown that a clean, white, evenly-spaced smile has taken on a kind of peacock function, alerting potential mates to the quality of the genes in the smiler.

But some cultures have seen the smile used in very different ways, most famously, perhaps, in Japan and southeast Asia. From at least the 6th century B.C.E. all the way through to Meiji Era Japan (1860s), the process of Ohaguro, or of dyeing ones teeth black with charcoal was a mark of status.

It can be seen in many of the samurai films of the middle 20th century, and in addition to conveying status, the charcoal acted as a kind of dental sealant, helping to prevent tooth decay.

That may seem pretty crazy to us today, with our incredible emphasis on white, vibrant smiles, but I wonder what a geisha would have thought of our quest for whiteness. Dental technology is getting more effective and less expensive, though, so there's no reason not to whiten.



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Last updated on March 28, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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