If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, The Hollywood Reporter may receive an affiliate commission.
Meeting new people can be one of the most anxiety-inducing social occasions. The added insecurity of a dull smile, combined with the effects of daily coffees or a love for red wine, can turn a megawatt smile into a closed-lip smize. Lucky for you, the best teeth whitening products can help you flash brighter pearly whites when you return to the office or school.
The teeth whitening industry has moved mountains in recent years with new brightening technology that safely lightens your chompers. Before taking matters into your own hands, though, consult with your dentist to ensure safe practices and longevity for your teeth. In the meantime, when strolling through the oral-care aisle, remember these tips from Dr. Brian Harris, DDS/DMD, lead medical adviser for oral care brands Snow and Frost.
First, home in on your specific oral-care issues, whether that’s accounting for sensitivity, heavy-duty stains or preventive care. Harris stresses the importance of “understanding which products are going to be best for your specific situation.”
Second, look for hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide on the ingredients list. “Hydrogen peroxide releases most of its whitening power within 60 minutes,” explains Harris, “while carbamide peroxide releases about 50 percent of its whitening power in the first two hours and can remain active for up to six additional hours.”
With those pro tips in mind, keep reading below for some of the best teeth whitening products — from toothpastes and kits to plastic-free options — that’ll have you singing Chip Skylark’s catchy 2002 hit, “My Shiny Teeth and Me.”
1. Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Trays
BEST CUSTOM WHITENERS FOR SENSITIVE TEETH
SmileBrilliant’s teeth whitening trays are available in options for sensitive teeth, so you don’t need to worry about pain if you want to erase heavy stains. Each kit includes a set of custom trays for upper and lower teeth, and desensitizing and whitening applications for your top and bottom pearly whites. You can choose the amount of whitening gel (depending on the stain level) and sensitivity level, and prices range from $159 to $189 per kit.
2. Snow At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit
BEST LED TEETH WHITENING KIT
Nine minutes a day is all you need for white, shiny teeth with Snow’s At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit. The two-step product comes in a five-piece set that includes the LED whitening accelerating technology mouthpiece, three tubes of the teeth whitening serum and an additional extra-strength serum. Reviewers see teeth lighten one to three shades after consistent use.
3. SmileDirectClub Pro Teeth Whitening Kit
BEST AFFORDABLE LED TEETH WHITENING SYSTEM
Star-loved Smile Direct Club’s lineup of whiteners includes the Pro Teeth Whitening Gel System (also available on Amazon), which features the same enamel-safe whitening agents used by dentists and helps to reduce plaque buildup. The brand says that the LED kit leaves teeth two times brighter in one week and results can last for up to six months.
The two-step system uses the stain-resistant ProActivate whitening accelerator paste to prep your pearly whites, followed by the ProBrighten gel and LED light that makes teeth up to nine shades brighter. (Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness, Peloton teacher Tunde Oyeneyin and Love Island host Arielle Vandenberg are among the brand’s Confidence Council celebrity ambassadors.)
SmileDirectClub Pro Teeth Whitening Gel System with LED Light
4. Moon Stain Removal Whitening Toothpaste
BEST STAIN REMOVAL TOOTHPASTE
Backed by celebrity investors Kendall Jenner and Odell Beckham Jr., cool oral care brand Moon boasts rave reviews online and from friends of mine IRL. The company’s fluoride-free stain removal whitening toothpaste is infused with its proprietary Elixir R stain-removal blend (which features ethically sourced mica for polishing and whitening) and has a refreshing lunar peppermint flavor for fresh breath all day.
Moon Stain Removal Whitening Toothpaste
5. Co. by Colgate’s Later, Stains Foaming Anti-Stain Mouth Rinse
BEST TEETH WHITENING FOAM RINSE
Arguably the most unique of the teeth-whitening products, Co. by Colgate’s Later, Stains is a foaming rinse that protects your teeth from day-to-day stains like coffee, wine and food. Used after brushing but before eating, the vegan, gluten-free formula functions as a shield to combat long-lasting damage while focusing on preventive care.
Co. by Colgate’s Later, Stains Foaming Rinse
6. Colgate Optic White Overnight Pen
BEST TEETH WHITENING PEN
It can’t get any easier than this. Colgate’s Optic White Overnight Pen is as simple as it sounds. (You’ll also get $5 off at checkout for a limited time on Amazon.) After brushing before bed, paint an even coating across each tooth and hit the hay — Colgate will do the rest. One full use of the pen claims to remove 15 years of set-in stains.
Colgate Optic White Overnight Pen
7. Rembrandt 1 Week Whitening Kit
BEST TEETH WHITENING STRIPS
If teeth whitening strips are your bread and butter, the speed and affordability of Rembrandt’s 1 Week Whitening Kit is a must-have. (It’s also 15 percent off for a limited time.) Part of Rembrandt’s multi-step approach, the whitening kit removes up to 90 percent of stains in just seven days. Rembrandt uses StayPut technology to solve the age-old problem of loose strips that slide off the teeth. Pair the kit with Rembrandt’s preventative toothpaste for long-term care.
Rembrandt 1 Week Whitening Kit
8. Bite Teeth Whitening Gel Kit
BEST PLASTIC-FREE TEETH WHITENER
Bite’s Teeth Whitening Kit is the only plastic-free teeth whitening system on the market. Falling in line with the brand’s zero waste premise, this vegan, gel-based formula features a compostable applicator to brush the serum on each tooth. For $24 (or $20 when you sign up for a subscription), the kit is affordable, sustainable and effective, with reviewers seeing results within just 14 days.
This story was originally published June 29, 2022.