How To Choose Teeth Whitening Products [Expert Tips]

Teeth whitening has more than just an esthetic benefit. Teeth whitening can improve the health of your smile and boost your self-confidence. In this article we will discuss the importance of teeth whitening and the best teeth whitening products recommended by dentists.

Why Teeth Whitening?

Teeth Whitening Products

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), teeth whitening treatments can be effective on both internal and external tooth stains. A brighter smile can help improve your confidence and overall well being. This boost of self-confidence can help you excel in both your personal and professional life. In addition, teeth whitening can help improve bad breath and make you look younger, all for a relatively affordable price!

Understanding Teeth Whitening Products

  • Whitening Toothpastes: There are many over-the-counter toothpastes that advertise whitening properties. These products contain mild abrasives and low concentration of bleaching peroxides that can help remove surface stains and brighten your smile over time.
  • Whitening Rinses: You may also find many over-the-counter whitening mouthwashes that help remove surface stains. These products also may contain small amounts of peroxides to help bleach the teeth.
  • Whitening Strips: whitening strips can be found over-the-counter and used to whiten teeth. They are small strips that contain peroxide bleaching agents that you place on your teeth for a specified amount of time. Whitening strips are usually used for up to 30 minutes a day for about two weeks.
  • Teeth Whitening Kits: These products can be provided by your dental professional and will produce more effective whitening results than over-the-counter products. A whitening gel containing high concentrations of bleaching agents (commonly peroxides) are placed into a custom-made teeth whitening tray that is then applied to your teeth.
  • Professional In-Office Whitening: In-office treatment generally produces the best whitening results. It is performed by a dental professional, and usually contains the highest concentrations of bleaching agents. Your dentist will apply a whitening gel to your teeth, which will then be activated by LED light or laser technology. Whitening results are often produced the fastest in comparison to other whitening methods, and the results tend to last the longest. This method tends to be the most expensive whitening method.

Guide to Choose the Right Product

Choosing the best teeth whitening products can be challenging if you don’t know what to look out for. One of the most important things to look for when choosing an over-the-counter whitening product is the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This ensures that the product has been tested for safety and efficacy. You will want to find a product that is also comfortable and reviewed to have minimal side effects. You should also evaluate if the product is cost-effective and easy-to-use. Seeking the guidance of your dental professional is the best way to determine which whitening product is best for your smile.

Top 5 Teeth Whitening Products Reviewed

Opalescence Go Teeth Whitening Trays ($87):

At-home teeth whitening trays are easy-to-use and effective in whitening teeth. This product contains 15% hydrogen peroxide, the active bleaching ingredient. The trays come pre-filled with the whitening gel and are flexible to conform to the shape of your teeth. In comparison to in-office whitening, it contains lower concentrations of bleaching agents and does not have the benefit of supervision by a dental professional.

Colgate Optic White Express Teeth Whitening Pen ($40):

Teeth whitening pens are easy-to-use and effective for whitening teeth. This whitening pen contains a hydrogen peroxide based gel which you brush onto teeth as directed. This treatment comes with enough gel for 35 treatments. It is important to be careful to not apply excess amounts of the whitening gel or to have it contact your oral tissues.

Colgate Optic White ComfortFit LED Whitening Kit ($50):

This whitening kit comes with a built-in LED light, which helps activate the whitening gel. The whitening gel is dispensed in a pen, which you place directly on the teeth. This product is recommended to be used for 10 days.

Crest 3D Whitestrips Classic Vivid ($40):

These ADA-approved whitening strips are coated with a thin layer of hydrogen peroxide. Individuals are instructed to use the whitening strips for multiple days in a row for a specified time. This product has enough strips for 10 treatments.

PHILIPS Zoom NiteWhite Kit ($31):

This product involves custom-made trays from your dental professional and a whitening gel that can be applied at-home. The whitening gel contains amorphous calcium phosphate, fluoride, and potassium nitrate. Most individuals note results in two weeks.

Top 5 Affordable Whitening Products

ACT Whitening + Anticavity Fluoride Mouthrinse ($6):

This product has been recommended by many dentists as one of the best affordable teeth whitening products. It contains hydrogen peroxide as the active whitening ingredient and fluoride to help protect against tooth decay and sensitivity.

Burt’s Bees Whitening Toothpaste ($6):

This whitening toothpaste by Burt’s Bees is budget-friendly and has good customer satisfaction. It contains a hydrated silica to help eliminate surface stains from teeth.

CREST 3D Whitestrips ($45):

This product comes highly rated by customers and dental professionals. These strips contain hydrogen peroxide as the whitening agent to help remove staining and whiten teeth. They also contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The whitening results are marketed to last 6 months or longer. These strips may cause tooth sensitivity for individuals.

Tom's of Maine Simply White Fluoride Toothpaste ($6):

This toothpaste uses silica to remove surface stains from teeth. It is marketed to contain no added chemicals or artificial sweeteners. It also contains fluoride to help prevent tooth decay and teeth sensitivity. It contains the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Colgate Optic White Advanced Toothpaste ($6):

In contrast to many whitening toothpastes, Colgate Optic White Advanced toothpaste is marketed to remove both intrinsic and extrinsic stains. It uses the active whitening ingredient hydrogen peroxide and contains fluoride. Customers note results in approximately two weeks. This product can cause sensitive teeth.

Best Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth

Nu Skin AP 24 Toothpaste ($25):

This toothpaste contains gentle abrasives designed to eliminate surface stains from teeth and whiten the shade. It also contains fluoride.

Crest 3D Whitestrips Dental Whitening Kit, Sensitive ($35):

This product is marketed as one of the best teeth whitening products for sensitive teeth according to reviewers. It contains a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide to limit tooth sensitivity.

Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste ($7):

This brand formulates toothpaste specifically for individuals with sensitive teeth and only removes surface stains. It is also marketed as one of the best teeth whitening products for sensitive teeth. The active ingredients include potassium nitrate, hydrated silica, and sodium fluoride.

Best At-Home Teeth Whitening Products

The Rise of At-Home Whitening

At-home teeth whitening can be beneficial for individuals who are looking for whitening options that are less expensive than professional in-office whitening methods. Although less effective than professional whitening, at-home whitening is becoming increasingly popular because they are convenient and easy-to-use. At-home products tend to contain much lower concentrations of peroxide bleaching agents than professional whitening, yielding slower results that also do not last as long.

Top Picks for At-Home Whitening

Philip Zoom! Whitening Pen ($30):

This whitening pen is reviewed by consumers as one of the best at home teeth whitening products. It is easy to use, and individuals are instructed to use it twice a day for two weeks to see optimal results. This pen can help remove surface stains but may not produce dramatic results due to its low concentration of bleaching agents.

Lumineux Whitening Strips ($40):

This product markets itself as chemical-free whitening strips, containing natural products including lemon peel oil, coconut oil, sage oil, and mineral-rich sea salt to brighten teeth without causing sensitivity.

Snow Advanced Wireless Teeth Whitening Kit ($300):

This product is noted by customers to whiten teeth by one shade in one week without causing irritation. The product is easy-to-use and contains a wireless LED mouthpiece with a hydrogen peroxide gel.

Best OTC Teeth Whitening Products

Choosing the best otc teeth whitening products can be tricky. Below we discuss the pros and cons of different types of otc whitening products. Continue reading to learn more.

Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes: These products are found widely in stores. They usually contain small concentrations of hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth and remove surface stains. Due to their limited contact on teeth and low amounts of bleaching agents, whitening mouthwashes tend to not produce very effective results. In fact, it may take nearly 3 months to begin seeing results. On the bright side, these products are typically great for individuals with sensitive teeth, they are inexpensive, and do not cause harm to your gums or oral soft tissues.

Whitening gels: Teeth whitening gels can also be easily found in stores and are relatively inexpensive. They often contain the same active ingredients of peroxides. Some products come with pre-filled trays or gel pens that can be applied directly to your teeth. Whitening gels are easy to use on-the-go. On the other hand, these products are not as effective as whitening strips, and may cause tooth sensitivity.

Whitening kits: OTC whitening kits can produce good results. They are much less expensive than professional teeth whitening, but can be more expensive than whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes, and strips. Whitening kits typically use moderate concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and an LED light to activate the bleaching process. These products, however, can be damaging to teeth if they are used improperly. Individuals sometimes report tooth and gum sensitivity.

Teeth whitening strips: These products are easily found OTC at many stores and are relatively inexpensive. The strips contain a thin layer of hydrogen peroxide that is applied to the teeth for a set amount of time. If used improperly, they can cause damage to the oral cavity, and have been reported to cause tooth and gum sensitivity.

Top OTC Products Reviewed

Crest Whitening Emulsions Leave-on Teeth Whitening Kit ($30):

This product is inexpensive, easy-to-use, and can show results within one day. It contains a hydrogen peroxide based whitening gel and spatula applicator. Customers note whitening results of teeth being two shades or more brighter.

Crest 3D White Stain Eraser Teeth Whitening Toothpaste ($5):

Customers note that this product makes their teeth feel clean and brighter. The product contains silica and fluoride and is effective in removing surface stains. It also is beneficial in freshening breath.

Go Smile Sonic Pro Professional Blue Light Teeth Whitening System ($90):

This whitening system contains a LED blue light toothbrush and hydrogen peroxide and silica based gel for teeth whitening. Customers note visibly whiter teeth within two days of use. It is marketed to whiten teeth up to seven or more shades.

Comparative Analysis of Teeth Whitening Products

Product CategoryKey FeaturesSuitabilityPrice Range
Best Overall Teeth WhiteningHigher peroxide levelsIndividuals seeking fastest, safest, and most effective results$$$
For Sensitive TeethLower peroxide levels, fluorideIndividuals with chronic teeth sensitivity, gum recession, enamel erosion$
In-Office Teeth WhiteningHigher peroxide levelsIndividuals seeking fastest, safest, and most effective results$$$
Best At-Home Teeth WhiteningModerate peroxide levelsIndividuals seeking more affordable options that are effective, convenient, and comfortable$$
Best OTC Teeth WhiteningLow cost, lower peroxide levelsIndividuals seeking more affordable options that are convenient and comfortable, not as concerned with efficacy$
Best Affordable OptionsLow cost, lower peroxide levelsIndividuals seeking more affordable options that are convenient and comfortable, not as concerned with efficacy$

Why Opt for Professional teeth whitening?

Professional teeth whitening is one of the most effective and safe ways to whiten your teeth. The procedure itself is simple and only takes about one hour. A great advantage of professional teeth whitening is that you are monitored by a dental professional and your risks of experiencing side effects are lower. In addition, it produces faster and longer-lasting results. Consult with our professional team at Gentle Dental, who can help you choose the right whitening treatment that is best for you.


There is an abundance of whitening products available on the market to choose from. When deciding if teeth whitening is right for you, consult with your dental professional for advice. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for teeth whitening and can point you to the best whitening options for your unique smile. When purchasing over-the-counter products, make sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance and follow the instructions to avoid damaging your teeth and gums.