There’s a saying that a great smile is the best accessory, and I have to agree. (Well okay, it might be a close tie with a great pair of shoes, but I digress). There’s no doubt a smile makes anyone look better—and get this, it can make you feel better, too! That's right, smiling may actually relieve stress by increasing blood flow to our brains. Clearly, turning that frown upside down is a good thing, but if you’re feeling self-conscious about your teeth, you may not want to show them off. Maybe they’ve just never been as white as you would like, or it could be your love of coffee and red wine that have turned them a bit dull (I’ll raise a hand to that!). Have no fear—there are now many D.I.Y. solutions to turn your pearly whites their pearliest and whitest.
Years ago, the only option to improve the look of your teeth was a costly and time-consuming visit to your dentist. Then at-home products came to market, but they were limited, cumbersome, often ineffective and still pricey. Fast forward to today, and it feels like there are almost too many solutions out there!
We're here to help navigating the whitening waters. First, you need to consider a few key issues—how much time do you have to spend on whitening, how much money do you have to spend on whitening, and how much whitening do you need. If you want a low-effort solution that gives a gentle brightening, consider one of the toothpaste products. If you need more help and can stick to a prescribed schedule, try a system with gel or strips. Some home kits now also include a blue light device, similar to what dentists use. The light and heat are said to react with the chemicals in the whitening gels to speed up and deepen their effectiveness. We tested out many, many options and found the below seven to deliver the best results of the bunch. The best part? You can order them today to be on your way to a whiter, brighter, more beautiful smile just in time for summer!
APA Beauty White Duo
First, let's discuss the packaging—a beautiful white box with gold trim definitely convey the fact that this is a luxury product. This one uses a whitening strips and a brush-tipped pen to apply the 18 percent carbamide peroxide gel to each tooth, using light pressure for a few seconds to activate the gel and make sure the front of the tooth is covered. Then open one of the individual film trays and apply the strip, which has 20 percent carbamide peroxide on it, over your gel-covered teeth. You need to hold your mouth open and get the strip on fairly quickly so your lips don’t come in contact with the gel. (My advice? Open the tray before you use the pen!) Then repeat the process for your bottom teeth. The strips needs to stay in place for 90 minutes. They are somewhat thick, which may make talking difficult, so keep that in mind when figuring out when to do your treatment. In addition to the whitening ingredients, the product has peppermint oil to sooth sensitive teeth and prevent infection, and potassium nitrate to reduce sensitivity.