Strips have come a long way over the past few years, and while they’re not necessarily the best whitening method for those with weak or sensitive teeth (Some people report temporary pain or gum sensitivity afterwards.), they work very well for most, says Williams.
Her favorite: Crest 3D Whitestrips Intensive Professional Effects (starting at $43.30; Yahoo! Shopping). “It’s got the strongest formula, and with these, I notice a visible change after just one use, even though you need to do this for two hours daily, one week straight, for the full effect.”
No time to sit around with your strips on? Always on the go? “Try Rembrandt’s dissolvable strips,” ($20; Yahoo! Shopping) says Williams. “They take two weeks to work but we noticed that with these, the last place they dissolve in in between the teeth and that’s where you want extra whitening power.”
Rembrandt also has one that comes with a mouth guard that molds to your teeth. It’s Williams’ top pick in what she calls the “reality tv” category, where you can “sit in front of your favorite show with this mouth guard on and it works while you relax.” The Rembrandt 2-Hour Whitening Kit is $20; amazon.com.
“While you’re not going to get the immediate, intense results that you would with strips or kits, if you’re a coffee or wine drinker, using a whitening toothpaste is good for maintenance and keeping your teeth from getting stained from everyday abuses,” says Williams. Her suggestion: Rembrandt Intense Stain toothpaste (starting at $6.60; Yahoo! Shopping) “It polishes away tough stains. Coupled with a sonic electronic toothbrush (like the Oral-B Pulsonic), it really works,” says Williams. “Just make sure you go for the red package; the green package works, but I think it tastes terrible!”
All Natural Toothpastes
“There are lots of all natural toothpastes on the market, but none actually whiten,” says Williams. New to the market, and great for those with sensitivities: “Hello” toothpaste “It’s 99% natural, and uses a special type of silica, which gently polishes stains without any chemicals or grit.”
What about just using good ‘ole fashioned Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and water? ($1.00; walgreens.com) “Some people don’t like the taste, but if you’re on a budget, and are looking for something gentle that will polish your teeth naturally, it does work.”
UV Light Whitening Systems
For the “Dentist Chair Teeth Whitening Experience” that you can do in the comforts of your own home, Williams suggests the GLO Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device ($199; sephora.com), which is an award-winning device that promises your smile will be, on average, five times whiter in just 5 days; and Luster One Hour White ($40; drugstore.com) “It’s a more involved process that requires you to hold a light up to your teeth for an hour -- but it’s a fraction of the price and does the exact same thing.” says Williams.
What teeth whitening products work for you? Connect with me on Twitter @veragibbons and use the #FinFit.