While there’s a big difference between in-office and over-the-counter whiteners, that doesn’t mean you should forgo at-home whitening all together. “The ingredients in whiteners at the dentist’s office are of the highest concentration and are more efficient in changing the color of the teeth,” says Houston cosmetic dentist Guy M. Lewis, DDS. “But while they give you a better result, over-the-counter whitening products work too—they just take longer.” So whether you’re in between whitening treatments or just looking for a quick and convenient fix, we’ve got five store-bought whiteners that will help you preserve that pearly white smile.
The Megawatt Whitener
Worn in trays for 30 minutes to one hour, Rockstar White ($48) contains a higher concentration of carbamide peroxide to whiten teeth faster. It also has desensitizing potassium and soothing aloe vera to protect the gums from irritation. The stay-put tray easily molds to teeth and you can see serious whitening results in just one session.
The Plaque Eliminator
Named for the diamond-shaped brush head, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush ($220) removes more plaque than a manual one, and has five different brushing modes: clean, white, polish, gum care and sensitive. It deeply cleans teeth without tearing up the gums. It’s quiet and gentle but powerful at the same time.
The Instant Brightener
Safe to use after every meal, this peroxide-free IntelliWhite Pearl Stain Eraser ($40) contains pearlized micropigments to reflect light for an instantly illuminated smile. It’s great for whitening on the go and it can be used multiple times throughout the day without drying out the mouth.
The Stain Remover
Fight cavities and stains with Tru Smile Care Whitening Toothpaste ($15). Accelerated fluoride release and lower abrasive levels help prevent decay and remove stains to maintain a healthy, white smile. This serious stain-fighting toothpaste has enough scrubbing power so teeth look brighter and feel fresh and clean.
When brushing and rinsing aren’t options, Supersmile Icy Mint Quikee ($18) can help. This whitening tooth polish removes tough stains and instantly brightens teeth, all while freshening breath. Just put a little Quikee gel on your tongue, rub it over your teeth and you’ll be all set, no matter how far away you are from your toothbrush.
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