Teeth inevitably become discolored over time, which is a natural part of aging.
However, consuming staining foods and drinks can accelerate the process. Coffee, tea, red wine, artificially colored foods, and even dark berries can stain your teeth. Certain medications, tooth trauma, and genetics can also play a role in discoloration.
Fortunately, there are many ways to whiten your teeth without having to give up your favorite foods. Depending on your needs, budget, and level of discoloration, common at-home teeth whitening options include:
Whether you prefer all-natural or professional-grade whitening products, there is an at-home whitening solution available for every need.
Professional-grade at-home whitening products contain either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. Peroxide is the main active ingredient in professional-grade whitening products that dentists use in their offices. The main difference is that at-home whitening products contain less peroxide than dentist-level whitening products. This ensures customer safety.
Carbamide peroxide penetrates your enamel and reaches the discolored molecules inside your teeth. The whitening agent's oxygen molecules interact with the discolored teeth molecules, gently lifting stains. Carbamide peroxide breaks down slower than hydrogen peroxide, so it is safer to use and produces less post-whitening sensitivity.
The downside of peroxide is that it can cause sensitive teeth and gum irritation. These side effects are typically mild and do not increase your risk of oral health issues.
If you prefer a more natural whitening experience, there are also peroxide-free whitening treatments available. Most natural whitening strips, toothpastes, and mouthwashes on the market use essential oils and botanicals to whiten teeth. These products typically take longer to see results but do not cause sensitivity or pain.
Although sensitivity is a common side effect of hydrogen peroxide, this whitening method is safe and effective when used as directed. Hydrogen peroxide gels whiten your teeth through oxidation, and most whitening treatments do not cause significant changes in tooth enamel.
Best Overall Whitening Kit — Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening All-in-One Kit
Fastest Results — Glo Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device
Best for Sensitive Teeth — Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening All-in-One Kit
Best on a Budget — AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit
Best for Travel — AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen
Best Whitening Strips — Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White
Best Whitening Strips for Sensitive Teeth — Crest 3D Whitestrips Sensitive Teeth
Best Whitening Toothpaste — Colgate Optic White Advanced Whitening Toothpaste
Best Whitening Mouthwash — Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash
Best All-in-One Whitening Brand — Colgate LED Whitening Kit
Best Non-Peroxide Treatment — Lumineux Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Kit
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Many of the products we recommend have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. These products are proven to be effective in preventing gum disease, cavities, and other oral health conditions.
When we recommend products that do not include this seal of acceptance, we conduct further research to ensure reputability. This may include speaking with company leaders, reading hundreds of customer reviews, and ensuring they provide quality customer service.
The NewMouth team put together a list of the 10 best at-home teeth whiteners available in 2021. These products include a mixture of professional-grade and all-natural solutions.
A Snow® teeth whitening product is sold every 47 seconds, and this kit is their #1 bestseller.
The Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit offers quick whitening results guaranteed with 99.3 percent ratings across 500,000+ customers.
This teeth whitening system delivers professional-grade whitening. The serum is also enamel-safe for those with sensitive gums and teeth. Snow claims that you will notice dramatically whiter teeth after just 21 days of use (9-minute application).
GLO Brilliant is an innovative and clinically proven whitening device. It combines blue LED light, a special bleaching gel, and professional heat. This combination provides fast, visible results without pain or sensitivity.
GLO’s bleaching gel is alcohol and carbamide peroxide-free (two common causes of sensitivity).
The LED mouthpiece is made with G.L.O. (Guided Light Optics) Technology, which gently warms up the whitening gel on your teeth. This speeds up the whitening process and gives you noticeably brighter teeth after just five uses.
AuraGlow is an easy to use home tooth whitening system that uses an advanced 35% carbamide peroxide whitening solution and led lights to give you whiter teeth. There are approximately 20 treatments included. Use daily for 30 minutes to remove discoloration and gain optimal brightening results.
The Crest 3DWhite Glamorous White Whitestrips Kit contains 16 full whitening treatments. This includes 14 regular whitening treatments (one upper and one lower strip) and two one-hour express treatments. The one-hour express strips reveal same-day results for a visibly whiter smile.
Crest 3D White Whitestrips have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, which means they are safe and effective when used correctly.
The AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen will deliver results when you’re traveling or on the go. You can coat your teeth quickly and easily with the ergonomic design. However, we suggest using the AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit to increase the whitening effects of this treatment.
These Whitestrips were developed to provide a comfortable at-home whitening experience for people who have tooth sensitivity but still want to brighten their pearly whites. These enamel-safe strips get applied for 30 minutes daily.
Lumineux Oral Essentials were developed utilizing coconut oil, lemon peel oil, sage oil, and dead sea salt to remove stains from your teeth instead of bleach (hydrogen peroxide). They were developed with dental professionals and are non-toxic, SLS-free, preservative-free, sugar-free, and vegan. Apply the strips for 30 minutes every day and see results in 7+ days.
Lumineux’s Teeth Whitening Kit includes:
The product contains 2 percent hydrogen peroxide, which dentists recommend for whitening. It also contains fluoride to protect against cavities.
Whitening toothpaste is not as effective at whitening your teeth as LED kits or Whitestrips. But it can help remove and prevent surface stains. Therefore it should be used in addition to one of these other methods.
Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash contains 2 percent Hydrogen Peroxide. This can slightly help remove surface stains. However, whitening results from mouth rinse alone will not be as effective as an LED whitening kit or Whitestrips.
Because it does help prevent new stains, whitening mouthwash is best used in addition to another whitening product.
This LED whitening kit was designed to reduce sensitivity and uses enamel-safe ingredients. If you're a fan of using the same brand for every step of your oral health routine, you can use Colgate whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, and LED kit.
This kit can be used hands-free and doesn’t require a smartphone to use it, making it easy to apply.
Colgate Optic White Advanced LED Whitening only takes 10 minutes a day for 10 days to see results. It is clinically proven to deliver brighter teeth up to 6 shades whiter.
“ADA Seal of Acceptance: Bleaching Products.” Mouth Healthy TM, www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products/category-display?category=Bleaching+Products.
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Bortolatto, Janaina F, et al. “Effects of LED–Laser Hybrid Light on Bleaching Effectiveness and Tooth Sensitivity: a Randomized Clinical Study.” Laser Physics Letters, vol. 10, no. 8, 2013, p. 085601, https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1612-2011/10/8/085601.
Carey, Clifton M. “Tooth whitening: what we now know.” The journal of evidence-based dental practice vol. 14 Suppl (2014): 70-6. doi:10.1016/j.jebdp.2014.02.006 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4058574/.
CP;, Hara AT;Turssi. “Baking Soda as an Abrasive in Toothpastes: Mechanism of Action and Safety and Effectiveness Considerations.” Journal of the American Dental Association (1939), U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29056187/.
“Shop GLO Science Teeth Whitening, Accessories and More.” GLO Science, gloscience.com/pages/glo-buy.
“SNOW® AT-HOME TEETH WHITENING ALL-IN-ONE KIT.” TrySnow.com, Snow Cosmetics LLC, www.trysnow.com/pages/snow-teeth-whitening-kit-special-offer.
“Teeth Whitening Kit.” AuraGlow, AuraGlow, https://auraglow.com/products/teeth-whitening-kit.
“Tooth Discoloration: Causes, Treatment & Prevention.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10958-tooth-discoloration.