ISO Whiter Teeth
December 7, 2007 10:05 AM   Subscribe

What are the best home teeth whitening products out there?

I know this question has been asked before, but I don't think for a few years, and there are always new (and hopefully better) products coming on the market.

I have tried various whitening products without too much result, and I don't want to keep throwing away money. So, I'm looking for personal recommendations on the very best home teeth whitening kits out there. I'm willing to pay a decent amount for a home kit if it's good, but I can't justify spending hundreds of dollars at the dentist for something that's cosmetic and unnecessary.
posted by amro to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Hydrogen Peroxide. It's the active ingridient in most teeth-whitening products anyway. Don't swallow any.
posted by phrontist at 10:20 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have heard good things about the upper tiers of Crest Whitestrips - the Premium, Professional, and the strongest of the lot - Supreme. They're only available online, though.

Makeup Alley has user reviews of the various Whitestrips and other home whitening products and might be a good resource for this.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:21 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Slate also gives the whitestrips a thumbs up.
posted by phrontist at 10:24 AM on December 7, 2007

Response by poster: I saw that Slate article, but it's over 5 years old... Tons of new products have come on the market since 2002.
posted by amro at 10:26 AM on December 7, 2007

I use a sonicare toothbrush daily.

I've tried Crest white strips but found it hard to stick to the routine and never seemed to notice any change.

I like this home kit:

Tres-white trays

My teeth seem super clean after using them.

I use them for a couple of days before a date or other social event where vanity comes into play.

The only "proof" I have of their effectiveness is that one date told me I had great teeth.

Be aware that the peroxide solution in the Tres-white kits seems to be much stronger than Crest white strips. Occasionally when I use them I get a couple zings of intense tooth sensitivity/discomfort but it quickly passes. They also should be refrigerated for long term storage.
posted by de void at 10:29 AM on December 7, 2007

I love Listerine Whitening Strips. The flavor is pretty nice, and they dissolve in your mouth. They also feel way more comfortable than other whitening strips, like Crest -- you actually could go outdoors and talk to people while you're wearing them, if you're so inclined. Also, they seem to work just as well as your standard whitening strips.
posted by designmartini at 10:32 AM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

The active ingredients, as already mentioned, are all the same. The only difference lies in the concentration of H2O2 in the gels/strips.

But what is "best" depends on your reaction. High concentrations will leave your teeth feeling a bit achey - if that irritates you, it might be better to go with a lower concentration over a longer period of time.

Regardless, if your teeth are quite stained, you'll have to use any product for a fair amount of time before you notice a significant change.

I'm mildly embarrassed that I know so much about teeth whitening . . . I drink a lot of coffee.
posted by aladfar at 11:20 AM on December 7, 2007

phrontist: the other ingredient I've seen in whitening toothpastes, etc., besides H2O2 bleach, is a fine abrasive such as silica.
posted by hattifattener at 11:22 AM on December 7, 2007

Vademecum toothpaste--imported from Sweden, available almost everywhere.
posted by Carol Anne at 11:46 AM on December 7, 2007

I liked GoSmile both for their effectiveness and the fact that I can't stand having those strip things in my mouth. I couldn't keep up with it because of the expense though. I used the product called " ADVANCED formula B1 - tooth whitening on-the-go."
posted by wuzandfuzz at 11:55 AM on December 7, 2007

I used grocery store-brand whitening strips after asking my dentist about white strips in general. His reply was that they all work and don't harm your teeth.

The typical timing was decent enough to put them in in the morning, hop in the shower, get dried off and dressed before pulling them out. They made it impossible to communicate with other people and made my mouth feel like it was building up a big ectoplasm supply.

They worked and the next time I'm feeling vain, I will indulge myself.
posted by plinth at 12:23 PM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've had good luck with the Crest premium whitestripes. You can usually dig out a coupon now and again for $5 off, or get some from eBay (just make sure you'll use them before the expiration date). My front teeth are a little worn down from grinding--I found that those areas were the most sensitive when using the strips. Otherwise it was fine, I do them about once a year if I think I need it. I can't tell you they're the best, because I haven't really tried much else, but they were noticeably whiter after the treatment.
posted by almostmanda at 12:33 PM on December 7, 2007

I've heard that oil pulling with sesame oil helps whiten teeth, however, I've never tried it myself. There's a whole host of testimonials along with the method on the linked page.
posted by zippity at 1:15 PM on December 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

When using most brands of whitening strips, do you have to contantly spit out saliva? If you aren't supposed to swallow, and essentially can't speak/eat/drink while they are in your mouth, is it possible to function, work, etc. or should you just plan to use them while you are sure you'll be able to always spit and won't have to interact with others?

I want to try these too, but don't want to find out after the fact (and after paying $$) that I need to set aside an overly big chunk of time each day to use them as they are intended to get the best results.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 8:33 AM on December 9, 2007

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