The Truth About Teeth Whitening Kits

It is easy to understand why our teeth lose their whiteness as we get older. Very few of us can resist that refreshing cup of tea, that energising cup of coffee or that well-deserved glass of red wine.

We all want to look our best, and so it is no surprise that many of us turn to teeth whitening kits, but with so many on the market, how do you choose the right one for you? With claims that some are ineffective and, conversely, rave reviews for others, it is important to do your research. Read on to find out which teeth whitening kit will work best for you, delivering that perfect smile.

Available options

  • crest-3d-whitestrips-vivid-white-1

    Crest 3D Whitestrips Vivid White Gentle Teeth Whitening Kit, 12 Treatments

    £34.95 £29.95
  • crest-bundle-deal

    Crest Whitestrips 3D 1 Hour Express 4 Treatments + 2 Tubes Crest 3D White Toothpaste – Bundle

    £59.95 £34.95

    Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects No Slip, 40 Strips (20 Treatments)

    £59.95 £49.95
  • crest-3d-no-slip-whitestrips

    Crest 3D Whitestrips Monthly Whitening Boost – 6 Treatments (6 Month Supply)

    £24.95 £19.95
  • crest-3d-advanced-white-toothpaste

    2 Tubes of Crest 3D White Toothpaste (2 x 170g (6oz))

    £24.95 £14.95
  • crest-3d-advanced-white-toothpaste

    1 Tube of Crest 3D White Toothpaste (1 x 170g (6oz))

    £14.95 £9.95
  • crest-whitestrips-supreme- professional-84-strips-total-42 pouches

    Crest Whitestrips Supreme Professional 42 Strips, 21 Pouches (Half Box)

    £54.99 £44.95
  • crest-whitestrips-supreme- professional-84-strips-total-42 pouches

    Crest Whitestrips Supreme Professional, 84 Strips Total, 42 Pouches

    £109.99 £79.95
  • crest-3d-whitestrips-gentle-routine

    Crest 3D Whitestrips Gentle Routine, 28 Strips, 14 Day Supply

    £59.95 £35.95

    TWIN PACK – Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects No Slip, 80 Strips

    £99.95 £59.95
  • crest-whitestrips-3d-luxe-glamorous-white

    Crest Whitestrips 3D Glamorous White, 28 Strips, 14 Day Supply

    £69.99 £39.45
  • crest-3d-vivid-whitestrips

    Crest 3D Vivid Whitestrips, 20 Strips, 10 Day Supply

    £49.99 £29.95

There are seven main teeth whitening options available, ranging in budget, effort and ease of application.

Whitening toothpaste

This is the simplest form of teeth whitening available and requires no extra effort. These toothpastes contain a mild abrasive, such as silica, aluminium oxide, calcium carbonate or baking soda.

Overuse of these toothpastes, however, can cause more stains and can dull the surface of crowns and veneers.

These toothpastes often also contain a bleaching agent but at such a low level that its effect is negligible.

At best, these toothpastes work a little harder than a non-whitening toothpaste. They can be effective in removing surface stains but cannot lighten a stain that goes deeper than the tooth’s surface, and they cannot change the natural colour of the teeth. Whitening toothpaste can of course be used simultaneously with other whitening products.

Home bleaching kit

At first glance, home bleaching kits can seem rather complicated, which can be off-putting. However, they come with full instructions. The kit will contain a mould, which should be submerged in boiling water before being fitted onto your teeth. Whitening gel is then added to the tray mould, which is inserted against your teeth.

The mould needs to be worn for up to an hour, and for up to 20-30 cumulative sessions. Some people may find the mould a bit uncomfortable to wear and so this method is not for everyone.

Custom lightening tray

Custom lightening trays are the method usually recommended by dentists, as they have a degree of involvement in the fitting process.

The dentist will mould the tray to fit your teeth and will instruct you on how to apply the gel for use at home. This is a more expensive option than whitening toothpastes or home bleaching kits as it will involve the cooperation of your dentist, but does give good results.

The trays are worn for a prescribed period (several hours or overnight) for a few weeks. However, as with home bleaching kits, some people may find that this method involves a degree of discomfort.

Pre-made tray

This is a cheaper version of the custom lightening tray as it does not require your dentist’s involvement. Provided that the pre-made tray that you purchase covers the whole surface of the teeth, then this can be a good, cheaper alternative and usually costs around £40.

LED gel kit

The LED light in an LED gel kit accelerates the action of the gel on the mould, making it break down stains more efficiently. This can reduce the time that the gel needs to be on the teeth. The LED light is typically used for 15-30 minutes per session.

Teeth whitening pen

A teeth whitening pen is a pocket-sized tube that contains whitening gel and that can be applied with ease wherever you happen to be.

Whitening strips

These thin, flexible adhesive strips are designed to mould to the contour of the teeth. They contain a whitening gel that sticks to the surface of the teeth. They can be used daily, for around thirty minutes. Results should be seen after a couple of days, with full results in approximately twenty days.

Whitening strips are the easiest and most convenient of all the home teeth whitening kits, with no mixing or moulding required. They are also unobtrusive and so can be worn out of the house and are more comfortable to wear than trays. They are also very affordable, with Crest 3D retailing at around £20.

How to choose

Whitening toothpastes will only have limited effect but if used regularly in place of a non-whitening toothpaste, small stains will be kept at bay. Trays and gels have great reviews in terms of their effectiveness, but are costly and require a degree of effort to mix and apply and can be uncomfortable.

Whitening strips are a very affordable option, can be worn with no discomfort, and can give good results. So, pick the best option for you to ensure that your pearly whites stay just that!