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Anton Stepanov
Anton Stepanov

Buy Teeth Whitening [UPDATED]

"Tooth enamel [is] a crystal," Matthew Messina, D.D.S., an Ohio-based dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA), says. "If you were to look at tooth enamel under a really powerful microscope, [the structure] kind of looks like chicken wire" (or wire mesh). He explains that removing stains within the matrix of the tooth enamel is like getting out dirt stuck in chicken wire: "So what happens in whitening is we want to... open the matrix and bubble out that color, the stain, and then close it back up."

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Professionals, on the other hand, "can take all the necessary precautions to make sure the gum tissue is safe and protected and the whitening agent is only getting on the tooth enamel that we want whiter."

Once you have a kit, Dr. Messina says you can use it for seven to 10 days to start, and then once every other week or so for maintenance. Before you do so, though, consider taking a trip to the dentist for your standard teeth cleaning and to consult on your at-home whitening plans.

"Tooth whitening is something that should only be done in a healthy mouth situation," he says. "If somebody has cavities or periodontal disease, or some other reason why their teeth aren't white, whitening is not the right choice for them. That's why it's always good to have a thorough examination done by your dentist before starting on a whitening program."

Not to mention, if you do the whitening right after having your teeth cleaned at the dentist, Dr. Messina says, you'll be whitening your tooth enamel itself rather than the tartar or buildup on top of it. Regardless, he says, involving your dentist in the discussion will help you ensure you're taking the right path.

"Over the counter, I recommend Crest 3D White Whitestrips," Dr. Hadaegh says of the product that took our 2018 Allure Best of Beauty Award for best tooth whitener of the year. "A lot of my patients who naturally have whiter teeth or slightly discolored teeth are happy with the results."

One of the coolest and most chic whitening options we've seen in a while, the CO. by Colgate SuperNova Rechargeable At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit relies on a simple yet effective method of erasing stains: an LED mouthpiece worn for just 10 minutes after applying the easy-to-use whitening wand. That wand contains a mere four ingredients, including hydrogen peroxide, which San Diego-based dentist Sarah Winter, D.M.D., has told Allure has a "well-proven track record as a whitening ingredient, penetrating through the deeper layers of the teeth and breaking up compounds that cause discoloration."

A custom-fit, take-home tray from your dentist is the most ideal scenario, but you can get these "boil-n-bite" trays, which you can (at least somewhat) mold to your teeth, from drugstores. Just be sure to follow all instructions, and let the tray cool enough that you don't burn yourself when putting it in your mouth.

New York City-based cosmetic dentist, Pia Lieb, D.D.S., waxes poetic about the AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit, as it's highly effective and also more affordable than other products on the market. "This whitening solution comes with trays and a LED light to comfortably whiten both your top and bottom teeth," she says. "It also features 35 percent carbamide peroxide (most dental offices use a 40 percent peroxide formula), which is a testament to the great results this product produces."

If the Smile Brilliant Professional Teeth Whitening Kit looks like serious business, that's because it is. It's practically a dentist's office in a box, minus the soft-rock Pandora station playing in the background. "These custom trays properly fit the teeth and allow for better contact of the bleaching material with the tooth," New York City-based dentist Marc Sclafani, D.D.S., has told Allure. You even have the option of a regular or sensitive-teeth version of the carbamide peroxide formula to choose from, the latter of which comes with a special desensitizing gel.

Both Dr. Lieb and Dr. Harris are fans of Colgate's Optic White At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit, which combines LED whitening light with blue light technology to activate the stain-removing hydrogen peroxide gel that's applied to the teeth via its rechargeable tray.

The only drawback is that you need custom whitening trays to use this product. It contains Carbamide Peroxide and is the first ADA accepted, syringe delivered, take-home bleaching gel that gives you dramatic results in as little as 30 minutes of use without requiring many applications.

Research has shown that the formulation of Lumibrite has resulted in little to no sensitivity while producing excellent results due to its high concentration of Carbamide Peroxide. Lumibrite requires custom bleaching trays and many of our patients use it because you get dramatic results in much less time than other whitening products.

The teeth whitening gel used in tandem with the LED mouthpiece is a dental-grade product that lifts the discoloration from your teeth. It effectively does its job thanks to the hydrogen peroxide in its formulation. This perfectly safe and natural bleaching agent works to whiten your teeth in a much shorter amount of time compared to regular toothpaste.

Unlike other instant teeth whitening products, this peroxide-based teeth whitening gel tastes amazing! It comes in three fruity flavors. Apart from the classic mint, you can also buy teeth whitening gel refills in strawberry and watermelon variants. With these flavor options, your teeth whitening routine each night will never get boring!

In actuality, the most effective way to whiten your teeth is at the dentist's office; however, that's expensive and inaccessible for many people. Whitening toothpaste helps with daily maintenance but it won't create that 'wow' factor.

Instead, at-home teeth whitening kits save you both money and time, and allow you to regularly re-whiten as needed. The problem is, a lot of whitening kits are too strong, causing your gums to become sensitive to pressure and your teeth sensitive to cold after just one use.

To find the most effective at-home teeth whitening products, we talked to a handful of dentists about the best options currently available. We took into consideration options for sensitive teeth and gums, as well as folks on a budget.

Below are the six best teeth whitening kits we've tested, picked based on dentist insight and our own experience. We've also included answers to a range of FAQs, and a rundown of other kits we tested and recommend, at the end of this guide.

The Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips kit comes with 40 strips for 20 treatments (each treatment consists of a strip on the upper teeth and one on the lower teeth.) You are supposed to wear the strips for 30 minutes, once per day. Crest claims that after the 20 daily treatments, you can remove 14 years of tooth stains.

Opalescence is known for its whitening products in the dental industry. I've gotten amazing results with the Opalescence 35% formula, which is a syringe you squirt into your own trays and is slightly more intense. Heather Kunen, DDS, orthodontist and co-owner of Beam Street in New York recommended the Opalescence Go to Insider for how easy and mess-free the process is is to use to get that same high-quality whitening Opalescence is known for.

Dr. Hadaegh also likes this product, adding that the trays adapt to your teeth all the way to your molars. "They have 15% hydrogen peroxide, which means you only need to wear them for 15 to 20 minutes a day for five to 10 days. It also contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to help reduce sensitivity while strengthening enamel."

If you're looking for teeth whitening strips but have had issues with teeth sensitivity in the past, Kunen suggested Zimba white strips. It's made with a gentle formula that uses a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide.

One box contains 28 stain-removing strips (14 upper, 14 lower) which cover your front 10 teeth on top and 10 on the bottom. The strips stay on pretty well with anti-slip technology and they're slick, so there's no gel or goop. Moreover, you can choose between two tasty flavors, coconut or mint.

The idea of LED teeth whitening kits has mixed reviews: Brands claim the light helps make teeth whitening more effective than traditional whitening strips or trays, but there aren't any studies to support this claim and many dentists feel like they don't speed up the process. Patrick Campbell, DDS put it succinctly when speaking with Insider: "Frankly, these products are not worth the money."

That being said, LED whitening kits are probably as effective as the other options so they're not a waste of money if you can find a well-priced option. Also, they come with whitening pens that allow you a bit more control in terms of the application so you can avoid your gums and any increased sensitivity, and they usually require you to spend less time per day with the formula on your teeth.

The Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit features two Miswak root sticks with two carrying cases. Each stick will last for three weeks of daily use. Miswak comes from the Arak tree, and this product contains no pesticides or chemicals. Miswak Club offers a 120-day money-back guarantee if you do not have noticeably whiter teeth after using their kit.

"This whitening system was custom designed by high-end cosmetic dentists in New York City and utilizes the same whitening gel they use in their office on their patients," Dr. Kunen, who has no affiliation with Linhart, explained.

The kit contains four syringes of 35% carbamide peroxide whitening gel, an LED whitening light to activate the gel, and a milder whitening gel to help maintain your results. It's a bit pricier than other at-home kits but, as Kunen pointed out, "For those patients looking to replicate a chairside whitening experience, this is closest you will find!"

Glowup LED Kit: This direct-to-consumer LED whitening start up will personalize the whitening formula to your level of tooth/gum sensivity and discoloration. The LED light is powered by your phone and requires 16 minutes of use. It only comes with three gel vials and the syringes aren't the most intuitive to spread on your teeth, so SmileDirectClub is a better choice for most people. But if you have sensitive teeth and want lasting results, Glowup is a great option. (Read our full review here.) 041b061a72


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