All dentists know that the best at-home teeth whitening products are going to be ADA-approved.
The ADA is the American Dental Association. Any over-the-counter teeth whiteners that are not ADA-approved are going to leave your dentist a bit skeptical.
Believe it or not, there are drugstore products available that can effectively remove the most challenging surface stains caused by foods, beverages, and even tobacco.
Unfortunately, there are some scenarios where at-home teeth whitening simply won’t work. In short, either your teeth are too far discolored for these products to have any effect, or the product you picked isn’t all that great.
Most of us will brush these concerns off our shoulders and just go with the most popular whitening product.
Until they don’t work.
That’s why today, we’re going to give you 8 products that are ADA-approved, dentist-approved, and customer-recommended. We’ll break down why they’re so great and let you know what your fellow oral hygiene enthusiasts have to say about these products.
What’s the big deal with the ADA?
The best at-home teeth whitening products will have an ADA Seal of Acceptance right on the packaging.
But what does the ADA do, exactly?
Essentially, the organization analyzes over-the-counter dental products to prove their efficiency and safety. The products that meet their criteria — whether it’s toothpaste, mouthwash, or teeth whitening strips — get the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
They have to pass the following inspection before they can get that coveted label:
- Provide product ingredient lists for review and approval.
- Supply clinical or laboratory data on the product’s safety, effectiveness, and promotional claims.
- Conduct clinical trials
- Prove that all parts of the supply chain and manufacturing process assure purity and uniformity of the product, and
- Submit all packaging and labeling for review and approval
“The Seal of Acceptance is designed to help dental professionals make informed recommendations concerning safety and efficacy of consumer products. Market research has shown that the ADA Seal on a product directly affects the purchase decisions of consumers.”
Remember that it takes time, patience, and determination for your DIY teeth whitening to work. You definitely won’t see a difference overnight like you will with professional teeth whitening services.
The best thing you can do when choosing at-home teeth whitening products is to pick ADA-approved brands! Below is a list of the best at-home teeth whitening products that they highlight on their website.
1. Crest 3D Whitestrips
This one is a given, which is why we put it first. Crest is continuously applauded for producing one of the best (if not the best) at-home teeth whitening products. Dentists and consumers universally trust the Crest brand to provide the best in-home oral care products.
In fact, they deliver three of the best at-home bleaching products approved by the American Dental Association (ADA):
- Glamorous White, Vivid White, Brilliance White Crest 3D Whitestrips
- Crest 3D Whitestrips Classic Vivid
- Sensitive White, Vivid White Gentle, Sensitive Crest 3D Whitestrips Gentle
The active ingredient which whitens teeth in Crest 3D Whitestrips is hydrogen peroxide. Then they use Carbomer (a gel whitening agent) on the back of their strips to help the material stick to the tooth surface. This is what you need for maximum whitening.
According to Crest, extensive testing has shown that Crest 3D Whitestrips are a safe way to whiten your teeth at home. They make sure to use a low percentage of bleaching agents in their Whitestrips to avoid consumers damaging their enamel.
It’s less than a dentist uses for professional in-office teeth whitening, so again, it’ll take some time to notice a difference in your tooth shade. However, it is essential only to use them as directed.
Crest 3D Whitestrips are easy to use if you follow these steps:
- Do not brush your teeth immediately before using the strips.
- Peel the liner from the whitening strips.
- Place the gel side against your teeth.
- Avoid placing the strips against your gums.
- Press the strips firmly against your teeth.
- Leave the strips on for the directed length of time.
- Rinse your mouth with water and gently brush your teeth.
2. Aura Glow (Pen or Kit)
Aura Glow’s Teeth Whitening Kit is another one of the best at-home teeth whitening products. This brand adds an LED light that helps oral hygiene enthusiasts to obtain whiter teeth in less time than just a gel.
All the ingredients in Aura Glow are FDA-approved, making this product a safe method to whiten teeth at home. The whitening agent is carbamide peroxide which is the same ingredient used by dentists to whiten teeth. Aura Glow Teeth Whitening Kit also uses a mouth tray the same way that dentists do in-office whitening!
To use the Whitening Kit:
- Add a small amount of the whitening gel to the upper and lower parts of the tray.
- Attach the LED light to the tray and press the power button to turn on the light.
- After whitening your teeth for 30 minutes, remove the tray and rinse your mouth.
RELATED: WHAT TO DO ABOUT CHIPPED TEETH
Did you know that your teeth can look darker because acidic foods weaken enamel? Crest Pro-Health Advanced Deep Clean Mint Toothpaste is the only toothpaste that protects against this acid erosion with the ADA seal of acceptance. That means that it is safe and effective (when you use it as directed).
The ingredients that make this toothpaste effective are:
- Stannous fluoride to fight cavities.
- An antimicrobial agent to fight bacteria that cause gingivitis.
- Sodium hexametaphosphate to fight tartar and remove stains.
With regular use, you also get the benefits of fresher breath, less plaque, and less sensitive teeth.
To use this toothpaste:
- Apply about one inch of toothpaste onto a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Brush all surfaces of all teeth for approximately two minutes (without swallowing toothpaste).
- Brush at least twice each day to maintain optimal oral hygiene.
RELATED: FOOD THAT IS BAD FOR YOUR TEETH
4. Colgate Optic White Teeth Advanced LED Whitening
Colgate is another leader in home oral care products and makes one of the most popular at-home teeth whitening products. Their Optic White Advanced LED Whitening system promises to make your teeth six shades whiter using blue LED technology.
Here’s how it works:
- You apply the 9% hydrogen peroxide gel to the provided tray.
- Turn on the LED light.
- Leave the tray in for 10 minutes.
The kit comes with a charging case and enough gel for 20 applications. Colgate recommends that you use the whitening kit for ten days for optimal results!
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5. Colgate Optic White Toothpaste (Sparkling White)
You don’t really need all these facing gels and lights to get whiter teeth. A strict oral hygiene routine and the right toothpaste will work just fine!
This specific Colgate toothpaste has about 2% hydrogen peroxide to help whiten your teeth. They say you’ll notice a difference if you brush twice a day for 6 weeks.
One Amazon reviewer noted that it worked well, but not as quickly as the tips,
“I have used a number of teeth whitening systems, and I see a big difference with them when I use them. But those whitening strips are not that good for your gums. The Colgate Optic White toothpaste does whiten my teeth like the systems, I noticed a difference within a week. My teeth are probably two shades lighter, and less yellow. Not quite as much as a strip system, but better for your teeth, and whitens all your teeth, not just the ones in front that the strips cover. The toothpaste also cleans really well, my teeth squeak when I rub my tongue over them!”
Another Colgate product applauded for its teeth whitening and is ADA-approved is Colgate Total SF (Whitening, Fresh Mint Stripe, Clean Mint, Deep Clean, Advanced Whitening).
6. Tom’s of Maine Simply White Clean Mint Toothpaste
Why is it that some drugstore toothpastes get the ADA Seal while others don’t?
The ingredients play a big part!
Tom’s of Maine Simply White toothpaste uses “naturally sourced silica to whiten teeth by removing surface stains.” Silicia is a gel that isn’t quite as harsh as bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide. It works wonders for removing surface stains from food, drinks, and tobacco.
Tom’s brand strives to be all-natural. They don’t add any artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors, flavors, or animal ingredients to their products.
7. Teeth Whitening with Hydrogen Peroxide
You may have heard from Tik Tok that hydrogen peroxide is the best at-home teeth whitening product. But is it safe?
To put it simply, hydrogen peroxide is the ingredient that brightens teeth. Yep, that’s right; this bleaching agent is exactly what we use for our professional teeth whitening services.
The hydrogen peroxide concentration used by dentists can be as high as 40%. We take precautions to make sure this doesn’t damage your teeth, which is why we leave it to the professionals to handle this high concentrated ingredient.
The pro? The results are instant.
Drugstore teeth whiteners use hydrogen peroxide gels with a concentration of around 10-15%. Because of the lower concentration, it will take a few days or weeks to see the whitening results.
The $2 hydrogen peroxide you can buy at your local store has a concentration of about 3%. This makes the results of whitening your teeth take longer than teeth whiteners using hydrogen peroxide with 10-25% concentrate. However, the whitening effects are the same— you just have to use the 3% hydrogen peroxide 12 times to their one.
Here’s how to use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth:
- Mic equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water
- Swish for about 30-60 seconds
- Spit (do not swallow hydrogen peroxide)
- Repeat every day or once a week*
* Hydrogen peroxide can work to whiten your teeth, but the time and results vary. It depends on how often you use it and how stained your teeth are. Using hydrogen peroxide too often can leave your gums feeling sensitive. If you experience this, cut back on how often you use it.
8. Teeth Whitening with Baking Soda
Looking for something a little more organic? This DIY paste is perfect for those who don’t want to purchase products made specifically for at-home teeth whitening.
Baking soda on its own isn’t going to do the trick. As we said, hydrogen peroxide is the basis of teeth whitening. So you’ll need to add that into the mix.
Keep in mind, there are some risks to this method. Baking soda is abrasive and can erode enamel which makes teeth appear darker. Hydrogen peroxide, although effective at whitening, is also toxic if ingested in large quantities. It can also damage teeth and gums when used in a high concentration.
Here’s the safe way to DIY your teeth whitening routine with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide:
- Add a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide to baking soda to make a thick paste.
- Brush your teeth with the paste and leave it on your teeth for 1-2 minutes without swallowing the paste.
- Thoroughly rinse the paste with water.
How Often Should You Use At-Home Teeth Whitening Products?
Although you want your teeth as white as possible, it’s important to note there are limitations of at-home teeth whitening products. Generally, you can use drugstore teeth whiteners for 14 consecutive days, but it will depend on your individual sensitivities.
For example, if you notice that your gums hurt or bleed after a few uses, you should quit using that product immediately, as this can lead to long-lasting issues.
Failing to use products according to the manufacturer’s directions or overusing the product can result in side effects, such as:
- Sensitive teeth
- Damage to tooth roots
- Enamel erosion
- Uneven bleaching
- Gum damage
- Tooth nerve damage
If you encounter this problem, see your dentist and ask which ADA-approved products they recommend for you. Dentists even prescribe you a custom mouthguard and at-home teeth whitening gel!
You can get professional teeth whitening services 1-2 times per year.
Tips For Best At-Home Teeth Whitening Practices
One way to help prevent overusing whitening products is to keep your teeth as white as possible after professional bleaching. Here are some tips to keep your teeth their whitest:
- Brush your teeth at least twice each day for two minutes.
- Floss at least once daily.
- Rinse with water or brush after consuming staining foods and beverages like coffee, tea, fruits, and berries.
- Avoid tobacco products.
- Visit your dentist for a professional cleaning every six months.
If you choose to whiten your teeth at home, it is best to consult with your dentist before beginning and closely follow the instructions that come with the at-home bleaching product you choose.
Ready for a professional teeth whitening?? Book your appointment with us! Lasry Dental Clinic is located in South Beverly and Wilshire in between Beverly Hills and Beverlywood.