Our testers were divided on Harmony Life Teeth Whitening Strips. One tester whitened her teeth four shades (!!) in just 14 days. Another complained of having to brush her teeth again after removing the strips each night because they left behind a gel residue. Overall, our testers rated it 3.5 stars out of 5 — just average.
Teeth Whitening Without Side Effects
The two side effects that occur most often with teeth whitening are a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity and mild irritation of the soft tissues of the mouth, particularly the gums. Tooth sensitivity often occurs during early stages of the bleaching treatment. Tissue irritation most commonly results from an ill-fitting mouthpiece tray rather than the tooth-bleaching agent. Both of these conditions usually are temporary and disappear within 1 to 3 days of stopping or completing treatment.
Kits for teeth whitening usually include gels, trays and sometimes other items, such as whitening pens, to give you better coverage than strips can. Some kits even include UV lights, but most experts say the lights don't really do much except add to the cost. These kits are easy to use, too, just fill the trays with the gel, fit them on your teeth, and wear them for a prescribed period of time every day for a specific number of days. Teeth whitening kits are usually how companies package "fast whitening" products, and these are thought to have a higher hydrogen peroxide combination than the standard maximum of 10 percent, but, since manufacturers won't confirm the exact percentages of their whitening ingredients, that's merely speculation.
The ADA also says that certain foods like apples, pears, celery, carrots, cauliflower and cucumbers can actually help keep teeth cleaner and eliminate bacteria. 4 Adding these foods into your diet can help keep teeth white.
We found some teeth whitening products touting 16 percent hydrogen peroxide and 44 percent carbamide peroxide. While most tissue irritation is temporary and goes away after you stop treatment, the ADA says that irreversible tooth damage has been reported on rare occasions. Which brings up a good point: the ADA cautions that there have not been enough studies done “to support unsupervised long-term and/or repeated use of bleaching products.” So, consult your dentist before you begin any whitening regimen.
Best For: Consistent whitening Fancy a quick fix for super-tidy ivories? This powerful teeth-cleaning solution comes loaded with 3x more whitening agent than your favorite whitening strip. That means it’s capable of removing surface stains in a matter of two days by unleashing a burst of peroxide to bleach teeth. Squeeze some over your toothpaste and brush in normal fashion to achieve the most effective outcome. A tube is said to give you a good two to three months use depending on the shade of yellow present on your teeth. Consistency is key when using the product, so make it part of your morning grooming routine. $10.39 at Amazon.com
If a bite of ice cream sends shooting pain up and down your teeth, you probably suffer from sensitive teeth. According to the ADA, sensitivity can occur for a variety of reasons: cavities, fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel, or an exposed tooth root.
The Truth About Teeth Whiteners
Most people with sensitive teeth say they can use Crest Whitestrips Professional Effects without any significant problems. Others, especially those with very sensitive teeth, say these strips caused pain or tingling, or caused cankers on their gums or lips -- although the latter complaint is very rare. Crest does offer a gentler product, Crest 3D White Whitestrips Gentle Routine (Est. $35) that gets good reviews for causing less pain. They are used once a day, 5 minutes a day, for 14 days. They don't get as much praise for noticeable whitening that the other Crest Whitestrips do, but they're a better choice for those with sensitive teeth.
Not all manufacturers seek the ADA's Seal of Acceptance. This is a voluntary program that requires considerable expense and time on the part of a manufacturer. Just because a product doesn't have the seal does not necessarily mean that the product isn't safe and effective.
Are Teeth Whitening Strips Supposed To Hurt
Cataldo: Almost universally, teeth will get darker with age. For most older people, their teeth will turn kind of a brownish yellow—not necessarily from smoking, from coffee, or wine. Our hair turns white, and our teeth turn yellow. I wish it were the other way around. Other teeth turn out to be grayish. There’s a whole spectrum of what is normal.
Crest also says these strips grant results that last up to 12 months, which means you can do this whitening regimen just once per year; we didn’t have a full year to test this out, but on its FAQ page, Crest admits that, “The length of time your teeth will stay whiter is influenced by several factors, including how often you drink coffee, tea, dark colas, red wine, or smoke.” (Right. The weight you lost on a month-long diet will also stay off if you don’t eat carbs, sugar, or alcohol.)
Teeth Whitening Without Lemon
In this category, the product that gets the best reviews we spotted is Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel (Est. $7 for 2 oz. tube). Users like that they can use this "on the go" or while traveling without anyone knowing that they're whitening. Quite a few users say they leave the gel on longer than the minimum of 5 minutes for greater effectiveness; up to 30 minutes is fine, according to the manufacturer.
Teeth Whitening For Invisalign
We started with 86 products culled from beauty magazine “best of” lists, recommendations from dentists, and Amazon ratings of 4 stars or higher. What we didn’t include: whitening toothpastes, gums, or lipsticks that claimed to create the illusion of whiter teeth. And, all of our products had to be available without a visit to — or prescription from — a dentist, which eliminated popular whitening systems Opalescence and Philips Zoom right off the bat.
What Teeth Whitening Procedure Is Best
This is where we leave you, Aquafresh White Trays. Despite earning a spot on a list of best teeth whiteners from Consumer Reports and Men’s Health magazine online, Aquafresh has 11 percent hydrogen peroxide, which is just over our limit. Is it safe to use? Probably. Still, we’re standing by ADA guidelines.
What Teeth Whitening Is Best
There are plenty of websites devoted to teeth whitening that claim to know the exact breakdown, but, since there's no way to verify their information, we did not accept those as reliable. However, experts generally agree that home teeth whitening products have up to 10 percent hydrogen peroxide, while professionally applied tooth whitening treatments can contain from 25 to 40 percent. As a result, we would suggest being skeptical if you read anything not directly attributable to the manufacturer that claims that an over-the-counter whitening product contains more than 10 percent whitening agent.
Teeth Whitening Without Insurance
In-office bleaching provides the quickest way to whiten teeth. With in-office bleaching, the whitening product is applied directly to the teeth. These products can be used in combination with heat, a special light, or a laser. Results are seen in only one, 30- to 60-minute treatment. But to achieve dramatic results, several appointments are usually needed. However, with in-office bleaching, dramatic results can be seen after the first treatment. This type of whitening is also the most expensive approach.
Are Teeth Whitening Pens Permanent
Think teeth whitening is simply an exercise in vanity? There may be more to it than that — at least in the United States. According to a 2007 study, people were more likely to be hired and received higher salary offerings after their teeth had been whitened, and, according to Charles Guthrie, a senior research analyst at Penn State University, whiter teeth are associated with a healthier mouth, something that plays a role in mate selection. “A less attractive smile would be an implied negative nonverbal communication,” he told us. “Is this person going to be a good mate? Or, is this person going to bring about harm in one way or another?”
Crest delivered well enough. Our testers were all pleased with the look of their teeth after 20 days, but their teeth only whitened an average of 1.5 shades. Could it be because their teeth were already pretty white to begin with? Sure. An avid fan base, plus more than 800 4.5-star reviews on Crest.com and nearly 5,000 4.3-star reviews on Amazon, helps prove that more impressive results are common.
Darkly stained teeth. Yellowish teeth respond well to bleaching, brownish-colored teeth respond less well and grayish-hue or purple-stained teeth may not respond to bleaching at all. Blue-gray staining caused by the antibiotic tetracycline is more difficult to lighten and may require up to six months of home treatments or several in-office appointments to successfully lighten.
Some professionally applied products (and some OTC products) include a hand-held LED light or laser that claims to accelerate the teeth whitening process. In most cases, this is bunk. The ADA says that, “Most studies have reported no additional long-term benefit with light-activated systems.” It won’t harm your teeth to use an LED light, but it’s probably a waste of time and money. Skip it.
How Much Teeth Whitening Cost At The Dentist
There are two types of discoloration: intrinsic, the one that develops with time and is the natural color. Then there’s extrinsic color due to deposits on the teeth from smoking or coffee or other materials or due to medication taken by the patient—or by the mother when the patient was in utero. We also have patients who just don’t take good care of their teeth.
Granted teeth whitening may seem like a feat that should be left to movie star dentists, oral hygiene products have ramped up their game and treatments these days are easy and quick to use. Most importantly, they’re affordable. We’ve dug up the cream of the at-home-teeth-whitening crop and, lucky for us, the results won't take long to spot.