The best teeth whitening products for a brighter smile

Smile brighter with our pick of the best teeth whitening products on the market.

teeth-whitening

by Lorna White |
Updated on

If you’re in search of a brighter, whiter smile, but don’t want to fork out on professional teeth whitening, then you’re in luck, as we’ve found the best teeth whitening products that you can use at home.

Yellowing teeth is a natural part of ageing and over periods of time, certain foods and drinks can cause teeth staining, which can dampen our confidence. Nowadays, there are so many at-home teeth whitening products — from strips to gels and even teeth whitening pens — it's why we’ve taken the time to find the best over-the-counter teeth whitening products, so you don't have to.

Best teeth whitening products at a glance:

Best whitening kit: HiSmile VIO405 Teeth Whitening Kit
Best whitening strips: Spotlight Oral Care Teeth Whitening Strips
Best whitening gel: Smile Science Harley Street Professional Teeth Whitening Refill Kit
Best whitening pen: Spotlight Oral Care Teeth Whitening Pen
Best whitening toothpaste: Pearl Drops Pro White 4D

The most popular type is at-home teeth whitening strips. These make direct contact with your teeth and are very easy to apply. Teeth whitening gels are also very popular as they’re very similar to an at-home whitening kit that a dentist would send you home with. While teeth whitening kits that use a mouthguard also boomed in popularity a few years back.

However, it is worth noting that while you can try to remove teeth stains at home, the only way you can really achieve a dramatically whiter smile is by visiting your dentist. The least effective of the bunch are toothpaste and whitening pens, although the ones we have featured have been highly acclaimed by reviewers.

The best teeth whitening products to buy now

Best whitening kit

We've tested out plenty of products in our HiSmile reviews, but this is definitely our favourite teeth whitening kit. Formulated by the Hismile Research Centre it's been clinically trialled and tested by dentists. The worry-free 10-minute formula is peroxide-free, using phtalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP) instead for no sensitivity and irritation, and contains ingredients to help strengthen, whiten, and protect your teeth by oxidising tooth stains without releasing free radicals. 

Designed to show results in as little as one treatment, 100 per cent of participants in the PAP+ clinical trial achieved instant results whilst 62 per cent said their teeth improved by three shades over the course of the trial. 

Customer review: "Delivery and packaging was A+. I've only use the kit twice so far and already seeing amazing results! I've always been sceptical about teeth whitening kits because of sensitivity, but this has changed my mind. Can't wait to keep using this and tracking the changes in my smile! Big bonus being able to find an Aussie brand in the UK too. Will be purchasing again."

Want to know what we thought about some of HiSmile's most popular products? Check out our HiSmile reviews.

Pros

  • Uses the same violet light used by dentists
  • Promises no sensitivity or irritation
  • Includes bonus PAP+ Primer to boost whitening results

Cons

  • Not designed to be used if you have veneers, caps, implants, bonding or bridges

Best whitening strips

Spotlight oral care
Price: £19.97 (was £39.95)

uk.spotlightoralcare.com

Spotlight Oral Care was created by dentist duo, Dr Lisa and Dr Vanessa — so you know they're products that you can trust. This kit includes a combination of whitening toothpaste and teeth whitening strips, so you can get the best results possible. They contain 0.01% hydrogen peroxide, are vegan, cruelty-free and don't create sensitivity. The only slight downfall is that you do have to wear them for an hour a day, however, this also gives us more hope that they work, as cheaper ones usually just require a few minutes.

Customer review: "Only on day 4 and my teeth are already looking white. I drink a lot of coffee which stains my teeth I’ve tried so many different brands and usually have to have a scale and polish at the dentist.. this has lifted all the stains I’m so pleased with the results so far."

Pros

  • Great value and also comes with whitening toothpaste
  • Doesn't lead to sensitivity
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Have to wear for an hour a day for two weeks

Best whitening gel

Whiten your teeth quickly in the comfort of your own home with the dentist-approved Smile Science Harley Street Professional Teeth Whitening Refill Kit. You just pop the gel in your mouth trays and you can sit back and relax or carry on with housework for 20 minutes while it works its magic. In addition to two teeth whitening gels, it also comes with a pre-stain remover to use first, which targets deep-set and surface stains while preparing your teeth for the next step. 

Customer review: "Just amazing and really made a considerable difference in a really short space of time."

Pros

  • Perfect for whitening on the go
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Removes daily tea and coffee stains

Cons

  • Smaller tubes doesn't provide a lot of product

Best whitening pen

Spotlight oral pen
Price: £7.49 (was £14.99)

uk.spotlightoralcare.com

Another product from Spotlight Oral Care that we love is their whitening pen, which is designed to work in as little as 20 minutes. Formulated with the ingredient hydrogen peroxide, the easy-apply formula actively dissolves stains for long-lasting results without causing sensitivity or harm to tooth health. Use daily, on the go, or as a top-up after other whitening treatments.

Customer review: "Just amazing and really made a considerable difference in a really short space of time."

Pros

  • Perfect for whitening on the go
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Removes daily tea and coffee stains

Cons

  • Small product for the money

Best whitening toothpaste

pearl drops

Rrp: $9.99

Price: $7.74

Whitening toothpastes are the easiest and cheapest teeth whitening methods to use at home and there's no doubt you've probably already heard about Pearl Drops. The brand has a number of different whitening toothpastes on the market, but this one promises to make teeth up to four shades whiter in just three weeks using a buffing technique. It contains perlite, used by dentists, and is very affordable, so it's a great investment if you're on a bit of a tighter budget.

Customer review: "It's a shame that this is getting harder to find. I've tried all kinds of 'whitening' toothpaste, and have found that none of them work except Pearl Drops. After experimenting with different brands over about six months, it took a couple of months using this stuff for my teeth to be brought back to their original whiteness. I have always had white teeth, but now that I'm in my sixties, I'm having to fight the 'old age dingy' look. This is the only product that works. I use it along with Pearl Drops whitening toothpaste, and together, they keep my smile as bright as it was when I was 20. Just give it time, and use it twice daily. In a few weeks, you'll start seeing a real difference."

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Contains perlite, as used by dentists
  • Quick and easy to use

Cons

  • Do have to use it consistently for a few months before you start seeing results

Best alternative white strips

Crest Professional Effects 3D LUXE Whitening Strips
Price: £12.95 — £59.95

thewhitesmiles.co.uk

Another cult product in the world of teeth whitening strips are these ones from Crest. They are very similar to the Oral-B strips and claim to deliver brighter teeth in as little as three days, and a whiter smile in 20 days. The strips have FlexFit technology so that they can adapt to fit your teeth correctly. There are a variety of options to choose from when purchasing to allow you to try a few strips out before you buy in bulk.

Customer review: "Love these very easy to use and they work , delivery was great came the next day, brilliant customer service."

Pros

  • Thin, flexible strips with FlexFit technology to stretch to your teeth
  • Easy to use
  • Claims that results last 12 months and beyond

Cons

  • This product may increase teeth sensitivity

Best teeth whitening kit for sensitive teeth

Smile time teeth whitening kit
Price: £23.99 (was £39.99)

www.smiletimeteeth.com

If you're keen for a teeth whitening kit, but have sensitive teeth, then Smile Time could be ideal for you. With over 3000 five star reviews, the brand claims it can turn your whiter teeth up to eight shades whiter in just six

15 minute treatments per day. Like other teeth whitening kits, it's very easy to use and you get six gel treatments in the box. Refill kits afterwards cost £19.99.

Customer review: "It’s a very easy product to use and also good value for money. It has a fresh aftertaste after rinsing it. Doesn’t affect teeth sensitivity. My teeth improved by three shades whiter in four days of use daily and 4 shades after a week. The trick is to use it daily to see the full result. You won't notice much of a difference after the first use, however, after a few days you have a whiter smile. I 100% recommend it."

Pros

  • Affordable
  • No sensitivity
  • Vegan friendly

Cons

  • Only get six gel treatments in the box

FAQs

Do at-home teeth whitening products really work?

According to Dr Safa Al-Naher, Director and Principle dentist at Serene, it isn’t safe to whiten your teeth at home without seeking professional advice first.

“I would always advise going to a professional for a number of reasons,” she says. “A dental professional will carry out a full examination before whitening your teeth to ensure you don’t have any wider issues, like gum disease. This is probably the most important reason — we need to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy to be able to receive the whitening before you embark on treatment. The only person who will know if you are ready for a tooth whitening treatment is a dental professional.

“Secondly, you don't know where the products that you're using are from as it is actually illegal for anyone other than a dental professional to prescribe tooth whitening products. You can't really be sure of what ingredients are in there and whether they're safe to use on your gums. Additionally, in the very small chance that you have an allergic reaction, dentists will know how to deal with any issues you might have. Once this has been verified, the dentist will provide you with tailor-made trays which fit your mouth perfectly ensuring no teeth whitening gel leaks out and damages your gums.”

Dr Ahmed Hussain is also of the same opinion and also adds that over-the-counter treatments will only contain a small amount of bleach, which isn’t effective for whitening teeth.

“Professional tooth whitening products contain six percent hydrogen peroxide to give us the whiter teeth we desire, but over the counter treatments only have 0.1 percent bleach, which is not effective,” he says.

“Peroxide products can burn the gums, make your teeth sensitive to hot and cold, leave them patchy in colour, or even damage the protective enamel permanently if they’re not administered properly.”

Can you whiten your teeth naturally?

There are a few natural teeth whitening methods you can try at home. However, there isn’t much scientific evidence surrounding whether these methods are effective. While they may work well for some people, they may not for others. If you particularly suffer from teeth sensitivity though, these could be a good alternative to try.

Lorna White is a digital writer at Yours.co.uk and MotherandBaby.co.uk. She was previously a writer at Yours Magazine writing features and news stories before joining the digital team.

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