The 10 Teeth Whitening Products of 2022 for Your Brightest Smile

Thanks to brands like Crest and Colgate, it’s not just your dress that will be snow white

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 STOCKSY

You’ve nailed down your makeup look, scheduled facials, and waxes, and have all your hair appointments locked in. But there’s another part of your look that deserves to be a part of your bridal beauty plan—your smile. Since we can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be grinning from ear-to-ear all day (and all night) long, now’s the time to prep and make sure you’ll be flashing only the pearliest of whites.

When it comes to teeth whitening, you have a few options. There is, of course, the professional route; you can see a dentist for an in-office whitening treatment. This will admittedly give you the best, most dramatic results, though can be costly. That’s why we appreciate that there’s a whole host of at-home options out there. These are ideal if you need a brightening boost, want to save some time and cash, or even to use as a touch-up in between professional treatments.

Meet the Expert

  • Dr. Matthew Asaro practices Facial Aesthetic Dentistry which means he designs the teeth to fit the face. He is the owner of Asaro Dental Aesthetics in Los Angeles, California and makes smile makeovers possible for all his clients. 
  •  Dr. Richard Lipari practices exclusively in Chappaqua, NY. He focuses on cosmetic, restorative and implant dentistry. He continues to take advanced training in various aspects of general and cosmetic dentistry including: aesthetics and proportion, implants, laser dentistry and oral medicine. Dr. Lipari has been selected as a Top Westchester Dentist” for the past 18 consecutive years by Westchester Magazine.

To find the best at-home treatments and learn how to use them correctly, we spoke to dentists Dr. Matthew Asaro and  Dr. Richard Lipari. With their advice, we researched treatments that are best for different levels of sensitivities, budgets, and timeframes. We looked for treatments that offer effective results safely, are easy to use, and don't take too much time. Crest 3D Whitestrips are a tried and true option while Popwhite Purple Power Duo is a good alternative if you have sensitive teeth and don't want to use peroxides.

From toothpaste to gels to strips to trays, here are the teeth whitening products worth trying before your big day. 

Best Strips

Crest 3DWhitestrips Professional Effects Teeth Whitening Strips

4.8
Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips

Amazon

The OG version of these cult-classic strips first launched back in 2001, and they’ve remained one of the most popular and most effective at-home whitening products ever since. Using the same whitening ingredient as is used in dentist’s offices—hydrogen peroxide—these strips earn top marks for not only how well they work, but also how easy they are to use.

Pop the adhesive strips onto top and bottom teeth, then chill while they do their thing. No-fuss, no mess, no extra equipment required. (You can also talk and drink water while wearing them, thanks to their no-slip grip.) This particular iteration has 20 treatments, each meant to be worn for 30 minutes per day. 

Best for On-The-Go

Smile Direct Club Bright On Premium Teeth Whitening Kit

SmileDirectClub Bright On Premium Teeth Whitening Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

Affordable, fast-acting, and long-lasting, this is a great all-around pick. Brush on the whitening gel from the pen-like applicator, and pop in the LED light for just five minutes, twice daily. (Don’t freak out when you see the gel start to foam on contact, it’s supposed to do that.) The light is also controlled by your smartphone, making it easy to do this anytime, anywhere. Repeat for a week to end up with a whiter smile that will last up to six months. Try using it before your bridal shower or bachelorette and you’ll rock brighter teeth up until the wedding.

Best Kit

Go Smile Sonic Blue Smart Brush

Go Smile Kit

Go Smile

This one-stop-shop comes with both a whitening toothpaste and whitening gel, as well as a toothbrush, too. And this isn’t any old toothbrush. It’s the only sonic one out there—delivering up to 33,000 strokes per minute—that also uses blue light technology. That blue light both activates the toothpaste and gel and is clinically proven to kill bacteria and germs on contact. Translation: You get not only whiter teeth (in less than 30 days), but healthier teeth, too.

We also like that the brush has an automatic interval timer to tell you when it’s time to move to a different part of your mouth and shuts off after two minutes, the amount of brushing time recommended by the American Dental Association. You get two replacement brush heads as well, with antibacterial bristles that helpfully change color when it’s time to toss ‘em.

Best Pen

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen

4.2
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Pen

Amazon

No matter whether you’re constantly on-the-go or are looking for a product to use as a quick touch-up, this pen fits the bill. The twist-up has a brush applicator that lets you (easily and quickly) paint on the whitening gel onto each tooth, for full-on whitening in less than a minute. Also nice: The active ingredient, carbamide peroxide, tends to be less irritating than hydrogen peroxide, making this an especially great option for those with sensitive teeth.

Use it once or twice per day to whiten your teeth up to eight shades. Each pen offers enough for 15+ treatments, and is also clear, so you can easily see how much product is left. It’s so easy and portable that you could even keep it in your wedding day clutch for a quick brightening boost pre-photos.

Best Toothpaste

Colgate Optic White Advanced Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

Colgate Optic White Advanced Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

Amazon

Using a whitening toothpaste alone may not get you those pearly whites you are hoping for, but it's a good way to maintain your bright smile after an in-office or at home treatment, according to Dr. Lipari. This formula uses hydrogen peroxide to whiten and fluoride to prevent cavities. We suggest packing it with you on your honeymoon to maintain all those pre-wedding whitening results.

Best Gel

LINHART Tooth Whitener Gel

Linhart

Ever wish you could turn your favorite toothpaste into a whitening toothpaste? With this supplement, you can. All you have to do is add a pea-size dot of the gel on top of any other toothpaste every time you brush. The dentist-created brand is all about efficacy, using the same ingredient (hydrogen peroxide) as is used in their in-office treatments. Plus, it’s gentle enough to use daily and regularly, though it delivers noticeable results quickly.

Make it a standard part of your routine, or just incorporate it whenever you notice that your smile is starting to look a little dingy. FYI, the gel may liquefy if exposed to cold temps, but it won’t lose its efficacy and will return to a gel-like state as it warms up.

Best Trays

Opalescence Go - Prefilled Teeth Whitening Trays

4.2
Opalescence Go - Prefilled Teeth Whitening Trays

Amazon

Many whitening trays often don’t fit your teeth properly, and/or require the time-consuming (and messy) step of having to be filled. Not this ready-to-use option. The trays are prefilled with a whitening gel, and are made of a special material that perfectly conforms to anyone’s smile and fit from molar to molar so that every tooth is treated.

"Custom bleach trays are superior, in my opinion, to whitening strips because they allow the whitening gel to more evenly disperse over the facial surface and also prevent saliva and crevicular fluid from contaminating and diluting the bleaching gel," says Dr. Asaro.

Options are also the name of the game; while this version, with a 15 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide, is meant to be used for 15 to 20 minutes for five to 10 days, there’s also a lower, 10 percent concentration available. Go with this one if you have more sensitive teeth or have more time on your hands; these trays need to be worn for 30 to 60 minutes for five to 10 days. Also nice: You can choose between two yummy flavors, melon, and mint.

Best For Sensitive Teeth

Popwhite Purple Power Duo

Popwhite Purple Power Duo

Popwhite

If your teeth are ultra-sensitive, you’ll want to stick with peroxide-free formulas. Enter this unique pick, which relies on, wait for it, color theory. Stay with us here. Remember that color wheel hanging on the wall of your elementary school art class? On that wheel, purple and yellow are opposite one another, meaning they’ll cancel each other out. It’s the same reason why purple shampoos are often used to brighten blonde hair, or purple-based primers and concealers can help counteract the yellowing in a dull or sallow complexion.

Here, the combo of the violet-hued toothpaste and rinse work together to camo the appearance of yellowish stains, leaving teeth looking up to five shades whiter in just two weeks. Both are peroxide- and fluoride-free but do contain antibacterial coconut oil and peppermint oil to leave breath super fresh.

Best Vegan

Cali White White Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light, 2X5mL Syringes Teeth Whitening Gel

Cali White Teeth Whitening Kit

Amazon

The whitening gel in this system is vegan, as well as cruelty-free, gluten-free, and has a super short, clean ingredient list. Use the pre-filled syringes to fill the trays (which are BPA-free and made of medical-grade silicone, we should add), then pop them in along with the cordless light. Wear them for 10 to 30 minutes for 10 days for up to 8 shades of whitening. Also nice: This gel uses carbamide peroxide, minimizing the likelihood of any sensitivity or discomfort.

Best High Tech

GLO Science GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device

4.6
GLO Brilliant Deluxe Teeth Whitening Device Kit

Professional, in-office tooth whitening treatments utilize both heat and LED light in order to boost the bleaching prowess of the hydrogen peroxide. This complete kit offers the same. You get 10 vials of an easy-to-apply whitening gel (40 applications worth), as well as a light-up mouthpiece and a storage case, all of which look as sleek as any Apple product.

Paint on the gel, then pop in the mouthpiece for eight minutes; it comes with a convenient hands-free lanyard so you can multitask while you whiten. For best results, it’s suggested to do four, eight-minute applications daily for five days, or until you reach your desired shade of wait. So yes, you’ll have to carve out those 32 minutes per day, but the impressive whitening results are worth it.

What to Look for in Teeth Whitening Products

Type

There are different types of teeth whitening products including whitening kits, strips, pens, toothpaste, light treatments, and professional teeth whitening. For the best and fastest results, professional treatments are the way to go, but they can be expensive. At home treatments are more affordable, but will take more time to see the same results.

"Strips and gels when used consistently for seven to ten days can result in a notable difference whereas something like a whitening toothpaste helps preserve the results of an at home or in-office whitening," says Dr. Lipari.

Pens, like Auraglow Teeth Whitening Pen, are good for on-the-go use and for touch-ups during your big day. Which one you choose will largely depend on how much time you have, your budget, and your personal preference.

Concentration

Most whiteners use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to whiten the teeth. The higher the concentration, the greater the whitening effect. However, these ingredients can cause irritation, especially if you already have sensitive teeth. If you want to minimize any sensitivity, Dr. Lipari recommends going for a product with lower concentration of peroxide or even a peroxide-free formula like Popwhite Purple Power Duo. He also suggests switching to Sensodyne toothpaste before whitening which helps reduce overall tooth sensitivity.

Time

Pay attention to how long the whitening product takes to show results. Some work in three to five days, but others will take a bit longer to see results. Determine how much time you have before your wedding and then choose a product that will work best with your schedule.

FAQ
  • Is it safe to whiten my teeth at home?

    According to our experts, it's safe to whiten your teeth at home, mainly because these products use lower levels of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide than what you find in the office. That's why it takes longer to see the results and they might not be as drastic as from professional treatment. However, you should avoid whitening products with charcoal, according to Dr. Lipari, since it's too abrasive for tooth enamel and can result in the thinning of enamel with repeated use.

  • When should I start whitening my teeth before a wedding?

    Like the rest of your beauty routine, you want to give yourself the right amount of time to achieve those pearly whites.

    "I would recommend starting about three to four weeks in advance if you’re going to try an at home strip or gel," says Dr. Lipari. "This gives you enough time to see what kind of result you will end up with and still gives you time to seek out an in-office treatment if you feel as though the results are not significant enough."

  • What else can I do to keep my teeth white?

    In addition to whitening your teeth chemically, certain habits can prevent unwanted stains. Before a big event, Dr. Asaro recommends avoiding dark beverages like coffee or red wine. If you can't completely cut those out, you can drink through a straw to prevent the liquid from touching your teeth. He also recommends rinsing your mouth with water after eating.

Why Trust Brides

Melanie Rud has been contributing to Brides since 2021 and has written for Women's Health, Shape, and Real Simple in addition to other magazines. For this article, we spoke to dentists Dr. Matthew Asaro and Dr. Richard Lipari to learn more about how to effectively and safely whiten your teeth at home.

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