White teeth are an essential part of a person’s image. Aesthetically they’re pleasing. They also convey healthiness and the fact that you maintain yourself. The problem is the cost. Professional whitening treatment can cost upwards of $300. So the natural move is to DIY—do it yourself. Before you travel down this path, however, you should at least have an idea of the products and their effectiveness. We don’t want to just throw you into the deep end and yell “swim!” So let us begin our teeth whitening reviews.
Crest 3D Whitestrips ($40)
This brand consistently receives top reviews, more than almost any other home kit. Users report great results and a lot of bang for their buck. They’re easy to use—worn for 30 minutes for 20 days—and produce noticeable improvement: on average, they found it lightened their teeth by 3 shades. The only complaints are mild sensitivity issues and that their grip is so good, the strips can be difficult to remove. Rating: GOOD
Aquafresh White Trays ($36.99)
These are fairly effective, yet don’t get as good of reviews as Crest’s product. Instead of strips, you wear a pre-filled disposable tray. Instead of 20 minutes, you keep it in for 40. That said, many report results in as little as 3 days. Their price and quick action are the main pros. The major con that most users cite is the whitening gel: it tends to ooze out of the tray and down their throats. Also, the trays are a set size so there’s a tendency for ill-fitting or uncomfortable trays. Rating: GOOD
Opalescence Treswhite Supreme ($75 to $100)
These are a little pricier, but you get some added benefits. One big one: choice of flavors, including mint, melon, and peach. Now that’s a major plus because whitening gel has a tendency of tasting a little unpleasant. The time for wearing the trays is a little longer—60 minutes. There are fewer complaints about the trays fitting poorly. Some users wish the trays were actually bigger because their back teeth are missing out on the whitening action. Effectiveness though isn’t much higher than the previous two, so why spend double? Rating: FAIR
Listerine Whitening Pen ($12.99)
Now if we’re talking about portability, then look no further. The Listerine Whitening Pen has a reputation of becoming inseparable from the user. It’s carried around and whipped out like lipstick. The good thing is that it’s cheap, mobile, and easy to use. Drawbacks: at best, it usually only improves teeth brightness by one shade. It also has a lifespan of about 2 weeks. So it’s good in the short term for touch-ups and what not. Rating: GOOD, but limited
This product is a bit more complex. It has supplies for you to make fitted teeth trays and the gel to fill the trays. Seems like a good idea considering the most frequent complaint about trays is discomfort. You wear the tray for 45 minutes for as how many days as required. On the plus side: generally nothing. Scathing reviews mention how complicated it was to use, to mold, to wear, to take out. It creates a lot of drool and caused more sensitivity issues than the other products. Also, to make the molded trays, you had to boil in water then apply directly after. It is “not fun” to say the least. RATING: BAD
Dr. Sam Sadati is the owner and practitioner of The Sadati Center of Aesthetic Dentistry in West Palm Beach and a leader in the world of cosmetic dentistry and smile design. He is the only accredited cosmetic dentist in all of South Florida and is one of only forty dentists in the world to receive an Accredited Fellow honor from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Apart from creating beautiful smiles, Dr. Sadati enjoys photography, travel, and the opportunity to tell a good joke. If you have a question or comment, dental-related or otherwise, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. We always reply to our fans and followers!