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Teeth whitening often involves bleaching the teeth to remove stains and discoloration. The best teeth whitening products provide noticeable results without damaging the teeth or irritating the gums.

Many people want to whiten their teeth for cosmetic reasons.

However, at-home teeth whitening kits and products may make the teeth sensitive or irritate the gums. Some whitening methods can be abrasive and damage enamel.

This article explores some of the best teeth whitening products, discusses their effectiveness and safety, and answers some frequently asked questions.

Before trying over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products, people should consider the pros and cons.


  • They have the potential to reduce or remove dental stains.
  • Products are readily available.
  • Teeth whitening kits come in many forms.
  • Some daily toothpaste can work as teeth whiteners.
  • Many options are relatively affordable.


  • They can increase the risk of tooth sensitivity.
  • Some products can irritate the gums.
  • People can damage their teeth and gums with these products.
  • There is a risk of user error.
  • Some products are expensive.
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Below are 12 of the best teeth whitening products available to order online.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best whitening tray: Sporting Smiles Teeth Whitening Trays

Sporting Smiles Teeth Whitening Trays
  • Price: $80
  • Type: tray
  • Active ingredients: 22% or 35% carbamide peroxide
  • How long it lasts: 6–8 months, results can vary

This teeth whitening kit uses a custom-made tray and foaming whitening gel. A person must take impressions of their teeth using the dental putty and impression trays included in the kit and send the impressions back to the company.

Sporting Smiles will then make custom whitening trays from the impressions and ship them to the customer. The customer can then use the trays and foaming gel to whiten their teeth.

The gel can remove stains from coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco. Sporting Smiles says a foaming gel will bubble and access typically hard-to-reach areas of the teeth.

While some people found the kit affordable, easy to use, and efficient, other buyers found it hard to make accurate impressions. Many customers report long waiting times for their custom trays to arrive.


  • trays are custom-made
  • trays reportedly protect gums from irritation
  • foaming gel can access small cracks and gaps in teeth
  • may remove common stains from coffee, tea, wine, or tobacco
  • trays can last for years


  • the company does not supply a lot of spare putty
  • there is a relatively high risk of user error
  • can take 2 weeks to produce results
  • some buyers report waiting 5 weeks for their custom trays
  • carbamide peroxide can cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation
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Best bleaching toothpaste: Colgate Optic White Renewal Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

Colgate Optic White Renewal Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
  • Price: around $13.35 for a pack of two
  • Type: toothpaste
  • Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide
  • How long it lasts: provides ongoing whitening

This toothpaste uses a bleaching ingredient instead of abrasion to whiten teeth. The main ingredient in this toothpaste is 3% hydrogen peroxide. The manufacturer states that this dentist-recommended concentration removes stains without damaging enamel.

Colgate claims it can make teeth 10 times whiter than fluoride toothpaste without hydrogen peroxide.

Learn more about the risks of hydrogen peroxide for teeth.

Some buyers found the toothpaste whitened their teeth quickly, but others did not notice improvements.


  • some users said it worked very quickly
  • Colgate claims it does not damage enamel
  • may significantly whiten teeth
  • company claims hydrogen peroxide is dentist-recommended


  • some buyers report it did not whiten teeth
  • no information on how long effects last
  • hydrogen peroxide may irritate gums and increase sensitivity
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Best for sensitive gums: Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips

Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips
  • Price: around $45
  • Type: strips
  • Active ingredients: coconut oil, Dead Sea salts, lemon peel, sage oil
  • How long it lasts: no information available

The manufacturer states that using ingredients such as coconut oil, Dead Sea salts, and lemon peel makes this product safe for tooth enamel and gentle on gums. These ingredients also reportedly help remove stains, supply minerals, and hydrate and replenish the gums.

Each pack contains 42 strips, which is enough for 21 treatments on the top and bottom teeth. People must leave the strips on their teeth for 30 minutes. The company recommends people use strips for 7 days in a row at first. They can then maintain their teeth with treatments 1–2 times a week.

Some users said they noticed whiter teeth right away, while others did not get noticeable effects. Reviewers also noted that the top strip was easier to apply than the bottom.


  • uses natural ingredients
  • may reduce risk of enamel damage and gum irritation
  • some users say the strips work quickly
  • reportedly certified nontoxic


  • some users saw little change
  • may leave residue on teeth
  • can be difficult to stick on
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Best dissolving strips: Elims Magic Melt-Away Whitening Masks

Elims Magic Melt-Away Whitening Masks
  • Price: $55
  • Type: strips
  • Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide
  • How long it lasts: 3–6 months

This product is similar to a whitening strip, but it dissolves in around 15 minutes. The manufacturer recommends using the product once or twice daily for 7–14 days to see results.

Elims writes that dentists designed this product and it can make teeth seven shades whiter. It is designed for sensitive teeth and will not damage enamel.

The strips use 10 food-grade ingredients, including polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), which is a bioadhesive that can increase the effectiveness of active whitening ingredients, hydrogen peroxide, and peppermint for flavor.

Some users said this product did not whiten their teeth as much as they had hoped, while others saw effects quickly and claimed they were easy to use. Reviewers noted that it dissolves into a thick gel.


  • made for sensitive teeth
  • treatment is fast
  • the strips dissolve and are safe to swallow
  • some people saw noticeable results quickly
  • savings available with a subscription


  • includes hydrogen peroxide, which can be an irritant
  • Elims advises people to limit the product’s contact with the gums
  • there is a limited number of reviews online
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Best for significant stains: Crest 3D Whitestrips

Crest 3D Whitestrips
  • Price: around $46
  • Type: strips
  • Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide
  • How long it lasts: around 12 months

The manufacturer states this product can remove 14 years’ worth of stains and claims it is a popular dentist recommendation. It can take 10–20 days to see the final results.

To use this whitening kit, a person places a strip on their teeth for 30 minutes with the company’s Advanced Seal technology holding it in place. Crest writes that this helps the strip mold to the teeth. Users can talk and drink during treatment.

The kit also includes two 1 Hour Express treatments that provide same-day results.

This product is reportedly safe for tooth enamel and sensitive gums.

Crest 3D Whitestrips have over 75,000 reviews on Amazon, many of them positive. Buyers praise its effectiveness and show that the strips can remove significant staining.

However, some people report intense burning and sensitivity, and say the strips do not stick to the teeth effectively.


  • high number of positive reviews online
  • people can talk and drink during treatments
  • users say strips significantly whiten teeth
  • comes with same-day results treatment


  • strips can make the gums very sore
  • many users said they caused sensitive teeth
  • some users did not find them effective
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Best toothbrush kit: Go Smile Sonic Blue Smart Brush Whitening Kit

Go Smile Sonic Blue Smart Brush Whitening Kit
  • Price: $89
  • Type: toothbrush
  • Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide
  • How long it lasts: no information available

Along with a “smart” brush with a blue light in the toothbrush head, this kit consists of hydrogen peroxide whitening gel, mint toothpaste, replacement brush heads, a teeth whitening shade chart, and a USB charging station.

The brush moves with 33,000 strokes per minute, and using equal parts teeth whitening gel and toothpaste may give users whiter teeth. It has a timer that lets users know when they should move on to another part of their mouth.

Go Smile writes that the blue light kills bacteria, and several clinical trials showed that users’ teeth became up to 7.2 shades lighter in up to 30 days. However, the company does not seem to provide access to these trials.

There are very limited reviews online, and they are all positive. People comment that the brush is effective at cleaning and whitening.


  • people can use the brush as part of their daily routine
  • helps clean teeth, kill bacteria, and whiten teeth
  • uses blue light technology
  • clinical trials reportedly show significant whitening


  • expensive
  • the company does not provide access to clinical trials
  • a limited number of reviews
  • hydrogen peroxide can be irritating
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Best for maintenance: Philips Zoom Whitening Pen

Philips Zoom Whitening Pen
  • Price: around $22.99
  • Type: whitening pen
  • Active ingredients: 5.25% hydrogen peroxide gel
  • How long it lasts: no information available

This product is designed to help a person maintain already whitened teeth.

The user clicks the pen to dispense hydrogen peroxide gel onto the brush to dispense it onto the teeth. Philips writes that people should use it twice daily for 2 weeks to touch up already whitened teeth. The company recommends it for yellow stains.

People had mixed results with this product. Some buyers report they saw moderate results and experienced less sensitivity than from whitening strips, while others did not get the results they wanted.


  • convenient and portable
  • affordable
  • higher potency of hydrogen peroxide may have more noticeable effects
  • simple to use


  • people must avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after applying
  • may not stay put on teeth
  • stronger peroxide gel increases risk of irritation
  • may be most effective on yellow stains
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Best LED light treatment: SmileDirectClub Bright on Teeth Whitening Kit

SmileDirectClub Bright on Teeth Whitening Kit
  • Price: $40
  • Type: LED kit
  • Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide
  • How long it lasts: 6 months

This kit comes with four pens, which the company says is enough to whiten teeth for 6 months. The pens come with an LED accelerator light to enhance the gel’s effectiveness. A person uses the pens to apply the hydrogen peroxide gel to their teeth. They must then place the LED light in their mouth, bite down, and keep it in place for 5 minutes.

The LED light works with a smartphone, which may not be convenient for people who do not have one.

Many users say the kit gave them whiter teeth for a more affordable price. Some reviews said the accelerator light broke quickly and needed to be replaced.


  • LED light reportedly enhances the effects of the whitening agent
  • the company claims it does not cause tooth sensitivity
  • effects may last for 6 months


  • LED light must be paired with and plugged into a smartphone or USB port
  • cannot rinse mouth, drink, or eat for 20 minutes after using
  • some reviewers claim the LED light is not easy to clean
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Best overnight treatment: Colgate Optic White Overnight Teeth Whitening Pen

Colgate Optic White Overnight Teeth Whitening Pen
  • Price: around $25
  • Type: pen
  • Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide
  • How long it lasts: 35 days

This teeth whitening pen gets to work overnight. Colgate writes it can remove years’ worth of staining in 1 week.

To use the pen, people click the pen to dispense the hydrogen peroxide gel onto their teeth. People then apply the gel to clean, dry teeth.

The pen contains 35 treatments. It is reportedly safe for tooth enamel and designed to avoid tooth sensitivity.

Online reviews said the product worked well but was not as easy to apply as Colgate advertised. Some also said the product did not last as long as advertised and caused an unpleasant texture on their teeth. However, others said it was easy to use and produced noticeable results.


  • works overnight
  • easy to use and affordable
  • may remove significant staining in a week
  • dispenses a controlled amount of gel to protect gums


  • reviewers write the whitening gel can harden in the pen
  • some reviews said it was not effective
  • does not specify the hydrogen peroxide strength
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Best sustainable kit: Bite Whitening Gel

Bite Whitening Gel
  • Price: $24
  • Type: gel
  • Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide
  • How long it lasts: 2 weeks

The manufacturer states this product contains no plastics, alcohol, parabens, propylene glycol, or phthalates. Its packaging is recyclable and compostable, and the company claims it does not test its products on animals.

To use this product, people apply the gel to their teeth twice daily for 14 days. They must smile for 2 minutes while the product works, which may be uncomfortable to do. If a person wants to apply another treatment, they must wait 2 weeks.

Many online users reported good results. Some users said the leftover product did not last very long in the container. Others said their gums briefly turned white.


  • includes “clean” ingredients
  • fully recyclable and compostable packaging
  • simple to use
  • reportedly gentle on gums


  • people may find smiling for 2 minutes while the product works difficult
  • gel does not last more than 3 weeks
  • people must wait 30 minutes to eat and drink after treatment
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Best for a budget: Burt’s Bees Charcoal and Whitening Mountain Mint Toothpaste

Burt’s Bees Charcoal and Whitening Mountain Mint Toothpaste
  • Price: around $19.99 for a pack of 3
  • Type: toothpaste
  • Active ingredients: charcoal, silica
  • How long it lasts: provides ongoing whitening

This product uses abrasion to whiten teeth. This toothpaste uses charcoal from coconuts, sustainable bamboo, and natural silica with peppermint oils and fluoride. It is Carbon Neutral and Leaping Bunny certified.

Burt’s Bees claims the product protects the enamel and removes surface staining. Each tube costs around $6 in this pack of 3.

Overall, buyers find this product effective as a toothpaste and comment that it provides some whitening benefits. However, some note it has a loose liquid consistency.


  • follows responsible manufacturing practices
  • reasonably priced
  • Carbon Neutral and Leaping Bunny certified
  • may remove surface stains


  • not a strong whitener
  • taste did not appeal to some users
  • abrasion whitening may be unsuitable for some people
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Best for sensitive teeth: Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste

Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste
  • Price: around $6.90
  • Type: toothpaste
  • Active ingredients: potassium nitrate, sodium fluoride
  • How long it lasts: provides ongoing whitening

This manufacturer specializes in making products for people with sensitive teeth. This product is a combination of toothpaste for sensitive teeth and a teeth whitening product. It contains fluoride, protects against cavities and tartar buildup, and freshens breath.

Sensodyne claims the toothpaste builds a supportive layer around the nerves of the teeth, which helps prevent painful sensitivity. A person can use this product twice a day.

Many reviewers found this product helpful for tooth sensitivity. That said, reviewers also reported little noticeable whitening.


  • made for sensitive teeth
  • combines cleaning and whitening
  • designed for daily use
  • affordable


  • not the most effective whitener
  • many customers report receiving tubes without seals
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The table below compares each of the teeth whitening products in this article.

PriceTypeActive ingredientsHow long it lasts
Sporting Smiles$80tray22 or 35% carbamide peroxide6–8 months
Colgate Toothpastearound $13.35toothpastehydrogen peroxideprovides ongoing whitening
Lumineuxaround $45strips• coconut oil
• Dead Sea salt
• lemon peel oil
• sage oil
no information available
Elims$55stripshydrogen peroxide3–6 months
Crestaround $46stripshydrogen peroxidearound 12 months
Go Smile$89toothbrush with lighthydrogen peroxideno information available
Philipsaround $22.99pen5.25% hydrogen peroxidedesigned for maintenance
SmileDirectClub$40LED kithydrogen peroxide6 months
Colgate Teeth Whitening Penaround $25penhydrogen peroxide35 days
Bite$24gelhydrogen peroxide2 weeks
Burt’s Beesaround $19.99toothpaste• charcoal
• silica
provides ongoing whitening
Sensodynearound $6.90toothpaste• potassium nitrate
• sodium fluoride
provides ongoing whitening

Medical News Today’s methodology

Medical News Today chooses teeth whitening products based on the following criteria where possible:

  • Safe ingredients: MNT chooses products containing ingredients that are safe for oral use. The products also contain active ingredients at safe dosages.
  • Quality: MNT chooses products from trusted brands producing reliable products.
  • Effectiveness: MNT selects products that include active ingredients with evidence supporting their effectiveness.
  • Price: MNT chooses products that fit a range of budgets.
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Teeth whitening products generally work by either rubbing or bleaching. Many types of teeth whitening products are available, including:


Teeth whitening mouthwashes are OTC oral hygiene products that contain whitening agents, very often a 3–6% concentration of hydrogen peroxide.

Factors influencing the effectiveness of these teeth whitening products are the type and concentration of the bleaching agent and the amount of time the product is in contact with the teeth.

Scientific data on the effectiveness of these products shows mixed results on their effectiveness and safety. Research has found that whitening mouthwashes only worked when used with conventional treatments.

To avoid damaging the tooth enamel, a person should be cautious when using a whitening mouthwash.

Stain removal toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is the most common kind of teeth whitening product. They are also the most affordable. Some stain removal toothpastes rely on low amounts of bleaching agents and abrasion to whiten teeth.

Although research is limited, some studies have found that whitening toothpaste can be moderately effective.

However, stain-removing toothpaste may only remove surface stains, which are also known as extrinsic stains. Stains inside the tooth, known as intrinsic stains, may be more difficult to remove and require stronger treatments.

It can be easy to overuse whitening toothpaste, which could lead to damaged enamel, gum irritation, or sensitive teeth.

Whitening strips

Whitening strips are adhesive strips containing whitening agents that a person applies to their teeth. Although they are relatively affordable, their effects may not last long. They can also be irritating to the gums.

Learn more about how whitening strips can damage teeth.

According to a 2020 review, whitening strips can improve tooth color. The review notes that a lower hydrogen peroxide concentration left on for a longer period of time was more effective than higher concentrations for shorter periods.


Powders made from herbs may have been one of the earliest types of dental care products. Today, a person may use powders containing abrasive materials, such as charcoal, to whiten their teeth. According to a 2021 in vitro study, both abrasive toothpaste and powders can change the color of the teeth after 2 weeks of use.

However, both products also increased the surface roughness of the teeth, which could promote tooth decay and plaque accumulation.

Learn more about natural ways to whiten teeth.


To use a teeth-whitening gel, a person applies the product to their teeth a specified number of times a day and leaves it on for a specified amount of time. The product contains whitening agents, such as hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, which react with the discolored molecules on the teeth and dissolve them.

There is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of teeth whitening gels, although some studies suggest that applying gel three times a day may be more effective than two times a day.

LED kits

LED kits work similarly to teeth whitening gels. A person applies a whitening agent, typically one containing hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, to their teeth. Next, the person or a dentist shines an LED light on the teeth. The light helps the whitening agent break down and remove stains from the teeth.

Studies are limited, but early results show that using LED light to help bleach teeth can help change the color of teeth without damaging enamel and does not hurt living cells.

After using teeth whitening products, some people may notice that their teeth are more sensitive, or react more to hot, cold, acidic, or sugary beverages or foods.

According to older research, sensitivity develops in 15–78% of people treated with teeth whitening agents.

This sensitivity develops because bleach in the teeth whitening products penetrates the tooth enamel and irritates the nerve in the tooth. Some teeth whitening products can also make tooth enamel thinner or more porous, which reduces protection for the nerve.

The sensitivity usually does not last long, so after taking a break from tooth whitening, a person can try teeth whitening products again.

However, if the sensitivity does not improve, a person should speak with a doctor or dentist.

Many factors can cause teeth to change color, including:

  • Aging: As a person gets older, white tooth enamel gets thinner. It is easier to see the yellow of the dentin underneath.
  • Medications: Chemotherapy, radiation, and some antibiotics, blood pressure medications, and antipsychotics can affect tooth color.
  • Injury: Trauma affecting the mouth and teeth can cause the teeth to darken.
  • Tobacco use: Tar and nicotine can cause significant staining to teeth.
  • Food and drink: Products containing powerful color pigments, such as coffee, tea, or red wine, can stain the teeth.

Research is limited, but studies show that at-home teeth whitening products can be effective.

However, the degree to which they are effective depends on what caused the discoloration of a person’s teeth, the strength of the whitening agent, and how long a person uses it.

According to a 2021 review, teeth stains from tobacco, food, and drink are more responsive to teeth whitening products. Tooth discoloration from age or medication may not respond as well.

When looking for teeth whitening products, consider the following factors:

  • Price: How much a treatment costs will vary on the technology it uses and the brand. People can consider how cost effective a treatment will be based on how long its effects will last and how often a person needs to redo the treatment.
  • Treatment length: Some products require daily or more frequent treatments, which may be inconvenient.
  • How long it lasts: Some treatments whiten the teeth on a gradual, ongoing basis, whereas others whiten the teeth for up to 6 months. People can consider how long the treatment will last, as this may make it more expensive or inconvenient to use.
  • Application method: Using a whitening toothpaste or toothbrush will be easier to implement into a daily routine than gels and strips, which may require a person to set time aside to use. Some may also be less messy than others, such as strips compared to gels, and may pose less risk of accidental gum irritation.
  • Allergens and irritants: Products with high concentrations of whitening agents may irritate the gums. A person can check ingredient lists carefully before purchasing a whitening treatment.

Using teeth whitening products too heavily or frequently can damage tooth enamel and the gums. People should follow product instructions and not use more of a product than a company recommends.

Additionally, products marketed as “natural” or “clean” may not always be safe. For instance, using acidic fruits such as lemon, orange, or apple cider vinegar can damage tooth enamel. Many natural whiteners do not have scientific research backing up their reported effectiveness or safety.

Look for teeth whitening products that carry the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. The seal means the product has met the ADA’s standards for safety and effectiveness.

It is helpful to discuss plans for teeth whitening with a dentist before starting treatment because teeth whitening products may not work on all teeth or all types of stains.

While teeth whitening products may work well on extrinsic, yellow staining, they may be less effective on brown stains or intrinsic staining from injury, medication, or dental work.

Below, we answer some of the most common questions about teeth whitening products.

What is the best tooth whitener on the market?

The best tooth whitener on the market depends on a person’s needs. Higher concentrations of whitening agents, such as hydrogen peroxide, can have more noticeable whitening effects, but they can be more damaging to teeth. As such, people with sensitive teeth should look for a gentler product.

People should consider their budget, typical tooth sensitivity, the type of staining they have, and any allergies they have. They can also discuss tooth whitening with a dentist to find the best and safest option.

What do dentists recommend to whiten teeth?

Most teeth whitening products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Dentists often use both to whiten teeth.

Can yellow teeth become white?

People can whiten yellow teeth in some cases. Teeth whitening products are most successful with extrinsic stains from coffee, wine, or tobacco.

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products may help reduce and remove dental staining. These products typically use abrasion or chemical bleaching to whiten teeth. There is a risk of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation with both types of whitening.

People can speak with a dentist before trying an at-home teeth whitening treatment.