Pearly white teeth are something that many of us desire, but making this a reality can be a difficult task.
While for some of us the choice is an easy one and we simply go to the dentist to get our teeth whitened, others have chosen to use the in-home method of whitening teeth via the use of the teeth whitening kits which have become a very popular alternative to the traditional office visit.
But deciding which kit to use for your teeth whitening needs can be a nightmare. Because of the many advantages of using one of these kits at home, the consumer market has been flooded with more teeth whitening products then you can count. Without some research and feedback, making the right decision has become nearly impossible.
Luckily for you, we’ve all the research and can give you some valuable feedback on the best kits out there, the advantages of using in-home kits, and a few other things to consider when choosing which product to use.
Let’s get started and get you on the best path to whiter teeth as soon as possible.
Why not just leave it to the professionals?
Why should you choose to use an in-home whitening kit and not let the pros at the dentist office handle it for you? After all, isn’t the dentist office best suited for this type of work?
Don’t they have the best equipment when it comes to handling anything that has to do with teeth? While this is mostly true, there are still some pretty good reasons to choose the alternative rather than going to the dentist’s office.
This seems like a no-brainer right?
Instead of being forced to make an appointment after appointment with no room for emergencies and life events, you can get your teeth whitened at your leisure whenever it’s most convenient for you. Best of all, you don’t even have to get out of your pajamas.
Seriously, you can be sitting at home in your La-Z-Boy® watching Game of Thrones and getting your teeth whitened with the product you choose and be confident that it is the best solution for you. You don’t have to get in a car and drive anywhere.
There’s no need to hire a babysitter for the little ones. You can do it on any day, at any time, as late as you want to without anyone to tell you otherwise. Try doing that when making an appointment at the dentist’s office.
This is a pretty obvious reason. It is very expensive to get your teeth whitened at the office when compared to home treatments.
Furthermore, some insurance companies don’t cover the cost and you might have to pay out of pocket.
This makes the cost so ridiculous that you could probably afford a year’s worth of whitening kits compared to a single office visit. So, if you are looking to save that extra penny and put it to good use, then in-home treatment is the best way to do that.
Here is the deal, your dentist will most likely give you a million different reasons why your teeth become discolored followed by a list of a million different foods you should avoid to keep them white throughout the year in between your teeth whitening appointments.
But let’s face it…you can’t cut out everything you normally eat just to keep your teeth whiter. More importantly, you don’t have to. With the in-home teeth whitening products, you can use them as often as you need to.
And because of how convenient it is, you can do it more frequently without it affecting your lifestyle at all. So, you get to keep your perfectly whitened choppers and enjoy delicious food without having to have to change your diet.
While there are many different at-home teeth whitening solutions that might work, it has been stated by many doctors and dentists that ultimately many DIY whitening solutions will harm your teeth in the long run.
With a teeth whitening kit, you have a clinical guarantee that this will not happen to your teeth and they will not be harmed. Furthermore, when you purchase a whitening kit you also get a guarantee that it will work.
About whitening kits
With so many different kits out there on the market, there are a few things you should be looking at when deciding which product you want to purchase for personal use. We mainly focus on four different areas.
The chemical which best whitens your teeth is hydrogen peroxide. This same chemical is used by your dentist and nearly all other professional teeth whitening kits.
So when shopping for a kit which you can use at home, make sure that it contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which is a chemical that breaks into hydrogen peroxide.
The reason why hydrogen peroxide is a great ingredient to have in whitening gels is because its effectiveness is increased with time, meaning the longer you use it the better results you will get.
This is why it works great when used with a whitening gel rather than toothpaste. When brushing your teeth you only get contact for a few minutes but when using whitening gel you can create contact from 30 minutes to 2 hours. This will have a much better whitening effect on your teeth.
Unfortunately, hydrogen peroxide doesn’t taste so great. So while the results of using whitening gels with hydrogen peroxide in them are pretty fantastic, getting to that point without any type of flavoring will not be as awesome.
This is where gel flavoring comes into play. Honestly, no flavoring in the world will make the hydrogen peroxide gel taste like a Starbucks Frappuccino but a little bit of cinnamon or strawberry flavoring will certainly make it a lot easier to get through the process.
Syringes and Trays
Some whitening kits will come with trays already included, which is awesome because you don’t have to spend extra time finding out where to get extra trays.
Others will not, which can be a pain but isn’t that big of a deal because you can order them online pretty easily. Still, it would be nice if everything you needed was in one package with no extra hassle.
When it comes to syringes, it’s the same story. Some kits will have them included and some will not.
Again, while this isn’t a big deal and you can certainly eventually accomplish the nearly impossible task of getting the gel out of a tube into the trays without a syringe, we strongly suggest you do yourself a favor and choose a kit that already has syringes in it. Trust us on this one, if you want your sanity intact you are best off with using the syringe.
Also keep in mind that nearly all trays will have to be molded to your teeth shape. You will have instructions on how to get this done, but we also suggest you have a nice pair of scissors to cut off some of the excess plastic from the trays after you mold them.
Make sure they are the industrial sized ones so that you can cut through the plastic with ease.
The ADA Seal
ADA stands for American Dental Association and they are the big dogs of the American dental organizations.
This means that any product with their seal will be safe to use and it will also be pretty effective.
Now keep in mind, this seal offers reassurance and a boost in confidence, by no means does not having the seal on a product mean that it will be ineffective or dangerous. It’s just something to keep your mind at ease.
Most of the whitening products out there don’t have the seal and are just as effective and safe as others.
Teeth Whitening Kit Suggestions
We have looked through some of the kits out there and chose the 3 best that we think you should consider using if you are in the market for a whitening kit.
Keep in mind that these are purely opinion based, so if there is something you don’t like about any of these then move on to the next one. Chose the one which is best suited for your needs.
Opalescence Teeth Whitening Gel
This is the product at the top of our list. It also happens to be the only product on our list that has the ADA seal of approval.
The kit comes with 3 bleach trays and 8 or 12 syringes with gel depending on the type that you choose. It’s nice to see t hat there are 3 trays, as these things are not easy to use and having an extra 1 or 2 on hand is great in case you mess up when molding your first one.
The other option is that you might want to share the kit with someone else, which is totally doable since you have two extra trays.
It is estimated that the kit will store up to 18 months in normal conditions at room temperature, but if you store it in cold conditions in the side panel of your refrigerator, then it will last even longer.
Good news for you if you are planning to do consistent whitening sessions with a long amount of time in between each session.
On average you should get about 20 treatments out of the 8 syringe set and about 30 out of the 12 syringe set.
Because the kit comes with both the syringes and the tray it is super easy to use. You even get the option of choosing 4 different versions of this kit with different concentrations of carbamide peroxide, which is great in case you want to use the kit overnight or if you are a busy person and never seem to have enough time to do everything.
Just keep in mind that if you decide with using the lower concentration version of the gel overnight, then chances are you will drool all over your pillow. So don’t be surprised when you wake up in the morning.
As we said earlier, there are four different carbamide peroxide concentrations to choose from: 10%, 15%, 20% and 35%.
This gives you absolute control over how you chose to whiten your teeth. You can, for example, chose the higher concentration and use the kit less frequently, or vice versa.
For first time users, it might be a good idea to start with the lower concentration mix to ensure that you don’t overdo it.
Besides the carbamide peroxide, the other two interesting and helpful ingredients used in this kit are potassium nitrate and fluoride. Both of these are an excellent choice to use in a gel mix.
The fluoride will help strengthen your teeth’s enamel, which is a very nice addition to the gel.
Furthermore, the potassium nitrate will greatly help with potential teeth sensitivity issues which might arise with using any teeth whitening kit. In fact, it will most likely eliminate this issue completely.
Finally, the gel also consists of 20% water, which is absolutely wonderful since most kits will cause your gums to dehydrate during the process.
If you are planning to use this kit for long sessions, then the addition of water in the gel will certainly help you get through each session with the least amount of dehydration.
Overall, this kit is fantastic. You get plenty of different options regarding how many sessions you are planning on going through and specifically what type of a concentration of carbamide peroxide you will need.
The ingredients in the kit are also very useful. You can easily tell that the people who created this product not only care about how white your teeth will become, but also about how comfortable you will feel getting there.
The only thing we can complain about is the price, which is a bit on the higher end compared to the other kits out there.
Philips Zoom Whitening
This is another great whitening kit that we found on the market. This kit comes with one concentration level of the carbamide peroxide gel which is 22%.
It might seem that this is an inconvenience because you don’t get much of a choice as to which level to use, but this is a good concentration level to use because it is right in the middle of the highest and lowest levels that should be considered for use.
This concentration level is just low enough so that your teeth don’t become too sensitive and at the same time high enough that you see actual results without having to keep the gel in contact for a long amount of time.
Here is the issue we had with this kit: it only comes with the gel. You can technically use the gel without the trays but we don’t recommend that.
It is best to pick up a set somewhere else to get the best results and be more or less comfortable throughout the process.
The kit comes with three syringes which are pretty large in size, so we estimate each syringe will last you about a week or so of treatment.
Because of this, we suggest you keep them in a plastic bag stored somewhere safe and preferably cooled.
The consistency of the gel is very nice. It’s just thick enough for the tray to stick to your teeth, but at the same time, it’s still thin enough that you can fill the trays really easily without any hassle.
The taste of the gel is probably one of the best out there, although it’s still far from perfect since these whitening kits all have hydrogen peroxide in them.
You get a pretty good level of mint with this gel, which works well to hide the taste of the peroxide while giving you that fresh sensation.
Just like the previous product on our list, this kit has potassium nitrate and fluoride in it, which is an excellent choice to keep the enamel nice and shiny while reducing your teeth sensitivity just enough to make the whitening process less irritable.
There is on thing that Philips Zoom Whitening has in it as an ingredient which makes it stand out from other products. Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP) will strengthen your enamel a significant amount.
It will also decrease your teeth sensitivity by up to 30%, making it super useful as an ingredient in a whitening gel. While ACP isn’t a must, it is always nice to have that little extra boost to keep your teeth stronger.
You do have some missing elements with this whitening kit, and will have to get your trays separately. However, this kit has one of the best formulas out there to give you the most benefit it can possibly give while getting your teeth as white as possible.
Shine Whitening At Home Kit
If you are looking for a kit that literally has everything it, this is the choice for you. This kit has whitening gel (clear), sensitive gel (blue), a bleaching tray, a bleaching tray case, and whitening LED light. This is truly the Swiss Army Knife of whitening kits.
While this kit does come with everything you could possibly ask for, all of these items do come with a slight set back. The formula of the gel isn’t as advanced as the other two products we have talked about.
The kit is super easy to use because it literally comes with everything you might need. Furthermore, you get the extra stuff that makes everything a little bit better. For example, the sensitivity and revitalizing gel will help you with teeth sensitivity.
Even if your teeth aren’t sensitive, we still suggest that you use the secondary blue gel to keep them that way and keep them from becoming overly sensitive throughout future whitening sessions.
The addition of the bleach tray case is wonderful. We can’t tell you how easy it is to misplace these bleach trays or accidentally drop them where they don’t belong.
Having a case for your bleach tray will keep it nice and safe away from damaging sunlight, dust, and other things that might come in contact with it.
The concentration of carbamide peroxide in this gel is very strong at 35%. This means that your sessions will last a short amount of time, between 5 to 15 minutes.
This can be a blessing for those of us who are always on the run. You can even whiten your teeth in the morning if you set the alarm a few minutes earlier.
The LED light is pretty simple to use, as well. Just turn it on and shine it on your choppers while you use the whitening gel.
In case you were wondering, the LED light helps with the whitening process and increases its effectiveness.
The one drawback with this kit is that the gel itself isn’t that special. In fact, it is pretty generic. The strength is nice, but there are no added bonuses.
While this certainly can be a disappointment, there is a good side to it. The kit originally comes with two syringes, but you can buy additional syringes at the fraction of the cost.
This means that you buy the kit once and keep getting the new replacement syringes as you run out of the gel in the future. This will save quite a bit of money.
While this kit does fall short in the formula department, all the extra accessories and the fact that you can just buy extra gel at a lower rate is definitely and upside to the whole situation. You can even purchase different gels in the future with a better formula.
The 3 Best Teeth Whitening Kits for Home Use Review Summary
These are the 3 best whitening kits we have found. Keep in mind that each kit will have specific instructions on how to use it.
It is absolutely vital that you read all the instructions in order to get the most out of your whitening kit.
Choose the one you think is the best for you depending on the time you are willing to dedicate to your teeth whitening endeavors and what factors are important to you.