The Best At-Home Teeth Whitening Products, According To The Pros

As many of us spend more time at home hunched over our laptops while practicing social distancing, it’s no surprise that more and more of us are taking self-isolation as an opportunity for DIY beauty, whether that’s in the form of a manicure or zapping away body hair from the comfort of your bathroom. Another thing you might be curious about trying? At-home teeth whitening, so we compiled everything you need to know before ordering a kit.

“A whitening treatment’s effectiveness depends on two factors: The concentration of hydrogen peroxide and how well and long the bleaching product remains isolated on your teeth,” says Brian Kantor, DDS, a NYC-based cosmetic dentist at Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor. “The length of time your teeth will stay whiter varies and is influenced by how often you drink coffee, tea, dark soda, red wine, or smoke. People whose teeth have more of a yellow or brown tone usually bleach better than people with gray tones in their enamel.”

Think of the delivery method this way: According to Dr. Kantor, things like strips will work better if you need serious whitening, versus a pen, which is great for touchups but won’t deliver dramatic results since the product isn’t isolated on the teeth so it can’t penetrate as well.

From the tried-and-true Crest Whitestrips to a dentist-developed system that rivals in-office treatments, here are the best whitening kits that have the pro stamp of approval.

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Apa White Duo

Dental hygienists we spoke to were fans of this system, which uses carbamide peroxide to noticeably whiten teeth in just five days. First, you use the pen to coat teeth in the gel solution, then cover them with the films and leave in place for 90 minutes. It may seem like a long time, but they pros we spoke to promise the fast results are totally worth it.

apa Apa White Duo (11 piece), $, available at DermStore

SmileDirectClub Teeth Whitening Kit – LED Light and 6-Month Pen Supply

This expert-approved teeth whitening kit by SmileDirectClub is not only convenient (you can whiten your teeth in five minutes), but it’s super affordable, too. The kit comes with nine whitening pens and a LED light similar to the ones dentists use for in-office treatments.

SmileDirectClub Teeth Whitening Kit – LED Light and 6-Month Pen Supply, $, available at SmileDirectClub

GLO Science GLO Lit Teeth Whitening Tech Kit

Like your pearly whites with a side of tech? Glo’s blue LED light kit (which activates the hydrogen peroxide gel) has Bluetooth-enabled pairing so it can track your schedule and progress.

GLO Science GLO Lit™ Teeth Whitening Tech Kit, $, available at Sephora

Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White

It’s the go-to for a reason. “They contain hydrogen peroxide, which is the major ingredient that whitens teeth by breaking down stains on the molecular level,” says Dr. Kantor. “The bleach within the strips remains in conteact with the tooth enamel long enough to deliver noticeable results.”

Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White, Teeth Whitening Kit, $, available at Amazon

Colgate Optic White Advanced LED Whitening

Looking for quick results? Colgate’s newest teeth whitening innovation comes with a LED light mouthpiece (just charge it up before use) and 20 vials of gel to get you a brighter smile in just ten days. It’s currently on sale on Colgate’s website, but you can also snag it on Amazon if you need it ASAP.

Colgate Optic White Advanced LED Whitening, $, available at Colgate

AuraGlow Deluxe At-Home Teeth Whitening System

With nearly 10,000 reviews on Amazon, you don’t want to miss out on this viral teeth whitening kit. In addition to a LED accelerator light, the system comes with enough gel syringes for 20 treatments.

AuraGlow Deluxe At-Home Teeth Whitening System, $, available at Amazon

Moon Kendall Jenner Teeth Whitening Pen

This top model-approved whitening pen gets you a smile that’s ready for an HD closeup — even if you’re not fronting a Calvin Klein campaign.

Moon Kendall Jenner Teeth Whitening Pen Vanilla Mint Flavor, $, available at Ulta Beauty

Oralgen NuPearl 32x Advanced Teeth Whitening Peroxide-Free System

If you have sensitive teeth, you may have been resistant to try a whitening kit — enter this peroxide-free option, with ingredients like sodium bicarbonate, peppermint and cranberry seed oil, which helps gently lift stains from your chompers.

ORALGEN NuPearl® 32x Advanced Teeth Whitening Peroxide-Free Sys, $, available at Bed Bath and Beyond

Toothpastes

“Of all the toothpastes I’ve tried personally, this one contains an ingredient that keeps plaque off teeth longer than any other,” says Youlanda Bates, a registered dental hygienist in Las Vegas. “It keeps your teeth feeling smoother longer, which is important to me both personally and professionally.”

Colgate Colgate Total Advanced Deep Clean Toothpaste – 4 oz, $, available at Walmart

Colgate also make a toothpaste hygienists recommend for sensitive teeth. “I love how it treats dental hypersensitivity while at the same time providing great taste and foam,” says certified registered dental hygienist Ana Laura Otero, who works in Pembroke Pines, Florida. It promises to replenish natural calcium within your teeth’s enamel, all the while building up protection against sensitivity with each use.

Colgate Enamel Health Multi-Protection Toothpaste Cool Mint , $, available at Target

For those who want some whitening with their tooth-cleaning ritual, NYC-based dental hygienist TK TK recommends this formula, which strengthens as it improves the color of your teeth. “The silica provides a gentle way to remove surface stains, and the hydroxyapatite is an essential building block when remineralizing teeth,” she says. Bonus: “The peppermint oil is a great addition that fights bacteria and freshens breath.”

apa Apa White Toothpaste, $, available at Neiman Marcus

You can also get sensitivity relief with the help of a few natural ingredients, like the aloe and coconut oil found in this formula. “My patients love that, on top of sensitivity relief, this product is also free of gluten, dyes, sulfates and artificial sweeteners,” Ochi says. “And in addition to relieving sensitivity, it contains fluoride and xylitol which helps prevent cavities.”

hello Toothpaste, $, available at hello

Toothbrushes

Ochi urges her patients to always choose brushes with extra-soft bristles, like the ones on this brush, which don’t compromise its effectiveness in any way. “This brush has tapered bristles that are able to sweep under the gums to remove unwanted plaque,” Ochi says.

gum GUM® Summit®+ Toothbrush, $, available at gum

Ochi also loves this option, which has soft, tapered bristled infused with activated charcoal and a plant-based handle. And although you can purchase it on its own, Ochi notes that it’s actually free with a subscription from Hello’s website, “so there’s no excuse not to replace old, worn out toothbrushes,” she says.

hello Toothbrush, $, available at hello

Bates is a fan of electric toothbrushes, especially those that help her patients become better brushers. “With features such as a timer that notifies you when to move to each quadrant of the mouth and a warning light when you use too much pressure, you can’t beat this toothbrush,” she says.

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Sonicare Electric Toothbrush, $, available at Philips

Bates also sings the praises of this high-tech option, which features a Bluetooth-activated phone app that lets you know if you’re using the right brushing technique.

Oral-B Bluetooth Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, $, available at Target

If you like the idea of charcoal bristles but prefer the power of an electric toothbrush, this clever device combines the two. “It’s a sleek powered toothbrush that features three brushing modes, a timer, and charcoal bristles,” Ochi says. “And the best part: Replacement brush heads are only $6.”

burst The BURST sonic toothbrush, $, available at burst

Floss

If a dental hygienist doesn’t nag you to floss more, are they really dental hygienists? Multiple hygienists, including Otero, recommend this easy-to-find kind. “My patients love when I use Glide waxed floss on them. It is soft to their gums and easy to roll in the fingers without being slippery,” Otero says.

Oral-B Oral-B Glide Cool Mint Pro-Health Deep Clean Floss, $, available at Target

“This floss is coated in a light cardamom natural blend of wax and expands to help remove plaque between the teeth,” Ochi says of one of her favorite flosses. “It’s gentle on gums and easy to maneuver between the teeth.”

dr tungs Dr. Tungs Smart Floss, 30 Yd, $, available at Walmart

For a vegan option that’s also ridiculously cute — yes, floss can be cute — Ochi recommends this Sephora-sold option. “It comes in variety of flavors, it’s coated in a vegan wax and coconut oil, and their bright and cheerful packaging brings a little fun to flossing for my patients,” Ochi says.

cocofloss Cocofloss, $, available at Sephora

Flossers

For extra between-teeth cleaning, Dico is a fan of these manual, disposable picks. “They have flexible, comfortable bristles to gently remove plaque, dislodge food and massage gums,” she says. “This is great for those who have larger spaces between teeth, and super-handy if you’re dining out.”

gum GUM® Soft-Picks® Advanced, 90 Count, $, available at gum

Otero recommends alternating the use of floss or picks with this device, which nearly every dental hygienist we spoke to raved about. “It’s excellent for patients with restorations, implants, bridges, braces, or permanent retainers,” Otero says.

Waterpik WP-560 White Cordless Advanced Water Flosser, $, available at waterpik

Mouthwash

Bates says this alcohol-free formula is the closest you can get to a prescription mouthwash over the counter. “In my 17 years of experience as a dental hygienist, I’ve seen more of an improvement in gum health with this than any other mouthwash,” she says. “I also advise my patients to use it in their Waterpik tank so that the mouthwash is getting delivered under the gum line where harmful bacteria thrive.”

CloSYS Original Unflavored Mouthwash for Sensitive Mouths, $, available at Amazon

Available in several flavors, this rinse is another favorite of Bates because it’s alcohol-free and contains fluoride. “Fluoride naturally combines with tooth enamel to strengthen it against sensitivity and decay,” she says. “I advise my patients to use this mouthwash in the morning and CloSYS in the evening.”

act ACT Mint Anticavity Flouride Mouthwash, 18 oz., $, available at Walmart

Another option for those who want a more natural rinse, this mouthwash is alcohol-free and contains coconut oil, tea tree oil, and xylitol in additional to titular charcoal. “It’s sure to keep your breath fresh without stinging your mouth,” Ochi says.

hello activated charcoal extra freshening mouthwash, $, available at hello

“Lately I’ve had many patients [who] swear by activated charcoal powder. It seems to do the trick and is becoming more popular,” says Bates, who has been impressed with the whitening results she’s seen. “I always advise patients that if they happen to start feeling sensitivity, then they should stop for a while and use fluoridated products. And any crowns or veneers will not whiten — only natural teeth.”

active wow Coconut Charcoal Powder Natural Teeth Whitening, $, available at Target

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