This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Teeth whitening

Virtually all people believe a smile is an important asset. Many yearn for a brighter smile, especially those of us who love coffee, chocolate, and wine. If you’re unsatisfied with your current shade, you can spend hundreds of dollars at the dentist on professional whitening treatments, or you can select an at-home kit to take teeth whitening into your own hands. 

There’s a variety of options for at-home teeth whitening on the market, and not all are equal. Read on to learn more about our top pick for teeth whitening, the Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening All-in-One Kit, and to learn more about how to select the best kit for you. 

Teeth whitening at home

How teeth whitening kits work 

Teeth whitening kits are trays filled with a mild bleach solution that fix discoloration of teeth by removing stains on your enamel. 

Applying teeth whitening kits is straightforward. Users simply use the whitener for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer or your dentist. This is typically between 20-30 minutes in one session.

Many people achieve success using teeth whitening kits and can remove stains and whiten their teeth two to five shades. If you have superficial staining on your teeth, you’re likely to see stunning results using teeth whitening kits consistently. 

The color of your teeth today matters

Teeth whitening kits work well on superficially stained teeth, but they don’t work well on discoloration due to dentin. As we age, our enamel thins naturally, which allows the layer of dentin surrounding the pulp of our teeth to begin to show through. Dentin is typically grayish or brown and cannot be lightened but can be covered by veneers. 

If you aren’t sure whether your discoloration can be appropriately tackled with a teeth whitening kit, visit your dentist to learn more about your options. 

Quality teeth whitening kits

Check the bleach concentration

Hydrogen peroxide is the whitening agent used in teeth whitening kits. Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits should contain no higher than 7%-10% concentration of peroxide. In contrast, whitening kits prescribed by a dentist may contain up to 40% peroxide. 

Clinically Proven Results

Look for a teeth whitening kit which cites clinically proven whitening results and that is recommended by dentists. 

Speed of results 

Smile Direct Club Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light

To achieve rapid whitening, look for a kit that indicates fast results. LED teeth whitening kits are perfect for accelerated results because the LED increases penetration of the bleach solution in the pores of your teeth. 

DIY teeth whitening

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your teeth whitening kit. 
  • To achieve the results you want, it’s essential to use your teeth whitening kit consistently, often once a day for multiple weeks. Follow the instructions for frequency of use on your kit. 
  • Brush your teeth with a wet toothbrush before placing whitening strips on your teeth. Brushing before using your teeth whitening kit allows the whitening agent of your kit to permeate the pores of your teeth, which is essential for whitening to occur. 
  • For the best results, don’t consume dark foods and beverages after whitening your teeth. Give the pores at least 2 hours to close before consuming anything with a dark hue, like coffee, chocolate, berries and wine.

Teeth whitening cost

At-home teeth whitening kits come in a wide range of prices and various features dependent on price. At the low end, expect to pay $10-$20 for a basic gel solution or a set of whitening strips. Most full at-home tooth whitening kits cost between $20-$50, which is significantly cheaper than the cost of having your teeth whitened at the dentist. 

Teeth whitening kit FAQ

Q. How often can I whiten my teeth? 

A. Excessive whitening can cause your teeth to take on a chalky look or a bluish tint. Follow the whitening schedule recommended by the manufacturer of your teeth whitening kit. 

Q. Are teeth whitening kits safe? 

A. Teeth whitening kits are safe if used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, minor side effects like tooth sensitivity and gum irritation are common and will go away within a few days of ending treatment. You should consult your dentist if you experience persistent discomfort.

Q. Are teeth whitening kits right for me? 

A. While teeth whitening kits are a good choice for most people, if you have thinning enamel, untreated cavities, gum disease or exposed dental roots, teeth whitening kits can cause further damage to your teeth and aren’t advisable. Consult your dentist if you’re not sure.  

Teeth whitening kits are not safe for use by children or by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Best teeth whitening products

Top tooth whitening kit 

Snow Teeth Whitening Kit

Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening All-in-One Kit 

What you need to know: This innovative whitening kit has highly positive reviews and an easy-to-use design that rapidly whitens and is safe for sensitive teeth. 

What you’ll love: It’s designed not to lead to tooth sensitivity and uses LED light to accelerate results. It can be used in sessions as short as 9 minutes, making it fast, reliable and effortless. 

What you should consider: This option is a bit on the pricey side, but the results make the cost well worth it. The device comes with a 5-year warranty and guaranteed results. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Snow 

Top tooth whitening kit for the money

Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrip Teeth Whitening Kit 

Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrip Teeth Whitening Kit 

What you need to know: This is a classic choice for teeth whitening that is known for its accessibility and affordability with proven results. 

What you’ll love: This option is easy and convenient to use. Many users report noticeable results after only one week of use, and it can be worn while drinking water. 

What you should consider: It’s known to cause sensitivity in some users, and some users report the bottom strip is a bit on the small side. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

AuraGlow Deluxe Home Teeth Whitening System 

AuraGlow Deluxe Home Teeth Whitening System 

What you need to know: An easy-to-use LED teeth whitening kit with a built-in timer and tray designed with comfort in mind. 

What you’ll love: This model is safe for enamel. It’s designed for 30-minute sessions, but the timer beeps in 10-minute intervals for your convenience. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

What you should consider: Some users report gum sensitivity after use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Evelyn Waugh is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.