Best Products for Whiter Teeth and a Brighter Smile
A year ago, my best friend’s toddler niece pointed out that my teeth were a bit yellow — it was one of those remarks that children make, with their unguarded sense of honesty, without the desire to offend or to insult. She was simply making an observation — and, while it made me incredibly self-conscious, I knew it was the truth. So, of course, I decided to do something to combat all the damage done by years of coffee and cigarettes. I tried every teeth whitening device I could think of and, soon enough, I had near-pearly whites again.
Here are some of the best, over-the-counter products to get the kind of smile that lights up a room.
Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal, $45. Available at most drugstores and mass retailers. Visit Whitestrips.com for more info or to locate a store near you.
This has quickly become my go-to alternative for brighter, whiter teeth. Why, you ask? Well, it’s incredibly easy to use. Each pair of adhesive strips is packed inside its very own foil, so that they don’t bulk up your bathroom cabinet (plus, if you’re always on the go, you can toss one or two packs in your purse and apply when the right moment emerges). The thin, clear strips are designed so that, once you peel them from the backing liner, you can simply line them up with your teeth and gently press on.
The strips are flexible and comfortable, so you won’t feel too constricted while wearing them (you can even drink water, without fear of the strips coming loose or of ending up with whitening gel on your gums and inside your cheeks). The inner mesh layer keeps the strips affixed to your teeth, and the whitening gel delivers professional-grade results. All you have to do is wear for 30 minutes a day, and you should see results within two weeks.
LUSTER Weekend Tooth Whitening System, $19.99. Available at major drugstores nationwide. Visit LusterOralCare.com for more info.
If you want quick results, LUSTER offers a Weekend Tooth Whitening System with just two easy steps. First, you rinse with the Accelerator Mouth Rinse, which is a bit yucky, but not unbearable (though I would not recommend swallowing this — ever). Once you’re done rinsing, reach for the Super Whitening Gel and brush on directly to your teeth. Be careful not to get any of the whitening gel on you gums or tongue because they will go numb, which is an eerie, unsavory sensation.
All that being said, if you’re careful when applying the gel and you allow it to work for at least 45 minutes, you’ll start seeing results. If you use LUSTER twice a day for three days, you’ll notice a vast improvement. LUSTER promises your teeth will be up to shades lighter, which I personally think is a bit of an overstatement, but I’d say a good 2-3 shades lighter is more of a reasonabe claim (and still fantastic!).
Supersmile Gum, $4 for 12-piece box and $24 for 100-piece jar. Available at Dillards, CO Bigelow, Blue Mercury, Ulta, and supersmile.com
Featuring Calprox, an encapsulated form of calcium peroxide that attacks plaque ad stains, and sweetened with Xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that prevents tooth decay and guards against cavities, Supersmile’s All Natural Professional Whitening Gum is as tasty and minty as a piece of Eclipse gum. The texture is also very similar to that of a piece of Eclipse gum, with a crunchy outer shell.
Does it really whiten teeth? Well, I wouldn’t suggest relying solely on this gum, but every bit does help. So, after you sip that afternoon coffee, why not take some preventative action and pop a piece of Supersmile gum inside your mouth?
Rembrandt Plus Peroxide Whitening Mouth Wash, $7.99. Available at food, drug, mass-market chain stores and beauty retailers. Visit Rembrandt.com for more information.
This isn’t a product for those yearning for a quick fix. It’s the type of product you should integrate into your long-term, oral hygiene routine as it delivers results over longer periods of time (noticeable results can take up to 3-4 months).The bio-available peroxide in the formula works upon contact to whiten teeth, while also strengthening and restoring your teeth’s enamel. The minty flavor, meanwhile, will keep your breath deliciously fresh.
Infused with hundreds of Mini Bright Strips that dissolve in your mouth, Colgate’s new MaxWhite toothpaste is minty fresh and contains the highest amount of silica in any Colgate Max product, which translates into greater whitening power. Available in Crystal Mint or Minty Sparkle, it’s the perfect way to save time by combining two steps: brushing your teeth and whitening them.
Supersmile Quikee, $6 for 0.21 oz. tube and $16 for 0.35 oz. Available at
Dillards, CO Bigelow, Ulta and Supersmile.com
This pocket-sized product —which contains whitening Carbamide peroxide, Calprox, and Phosphates that remineralize and restore the enamel’s integrity — is ideal for jet-setting, on-the-go gals. All you have to do is squeeze a tiny drop on your tongue and swirl onto your teeth (you’ll basically be using the tongue as a toothbrush of sorts) — no need to rinse. It’s a quick fix for bad breath and fuzzy, filmy teeth, and a way to remove food- or coffee-induced stains.