I Love Coffee, But My Teeth Are Spotless Thanks to These Whitening Products

Here’s the thing about my teeth: They shouldn’t be white. I drink at least two cups of coffee every morning, and red wine is one of my favorite treats. Both of these things are known to cause teeth yellowing. 

Photo:

Getty Images

My teeth probably would be yellow without help, but I’ll let you in on my favorite secret: I use teeth-whitening products regularly, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. Before I go into the best whitening products out there, I talked to some of the best dentists in the biz to learn about all things teeth-whitening.

Why do teeth start to get yellow?

Teeth can get yellow for a variety of reasons. Foods, such as red wine, that are filled with tannins can contribute to tooth yellowing, as can smoking. “Aging is associated with darker, yellow teeth,” says Matt Nejad, DDS. “As we age, the outer enamel becomes thinner, revealing more of the underlying yellow dentin color.”

Photo:

Getty Images

We all have dentin in our teeth. “Dentin is what lives under the enamel on our teeth and is a deep, yellow to brown color, which is what starts to show when our teeth are worn down,” says Victoria Veytsman, DDS, a cosmetic dentist and the founder of Cosmetic Dental Studios.

What should you look for when shopping for whitening products?

The two ingredients that work to whiten your teeth are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. “They act to chemically whiten tooth structure without abrasive or acidic ingredients, which wear away and remove tooth structure,” says Nejad.  

Photo:

Getty Images

There’s one thing to look out for when you’re shopping for teeth-whitening products. “When purchasing whitening products at the store, it is important to look for the American Dental Academy seal of approval, which means products are held to a higher standard than required by law and tested to be safe and effective,” says Veytsman.

How often should you whiten your teeth?

How often you whiten your teeth depends on your own preferences and sensitivity to whitening products. You can whiten your teeth once a week, once a month, or a couple of times per year to see and maintain results.

The best whitening products on the market:

The Best Teeth-Whitening Strips

Photo:

Getty Images

These are the classic whitening strips. If you've ever dabbled in teeth-whitening before, chances are you've come across Crest Whitestrips. With regular use, these help give you a dazzling smile.

Perfect for anyone who wants a more natural option for whitening, these whitening strips are nontoxic and use ingredients like coconut oil to help break up stains. These are also a great option if you struggle with hypersensitive teeth. 

If you need whiter teeth stat, these are the strips for you. They'll deliver in just an hour—and you'll never have to think about them again (until next time). 

The Best Teeth-Whitening Pens

Photo:

Getty Images

"These pens are great because you can literally carry them around with you and use them on the go," says Veytsman. With its vanilla mint flavor, this whitening pen also helps freshen breath.

Formulated with 35% carbamide peroxide, these little whitening pens pack a major punch. The clear pen design makes application a breeze.

Think of this as the night cream of whitening pens. Swipe this whitening serum on before you fall asleep, and let it work its magic overnight. 

The Best Teeth-Whitening Devices

Photo:

Getty Images

Nejad recommends this device for at-home maintenance and stain removal. "It uses glycine abrasive tablets to remove extrinsic stains without damaging your enamel," he says. "This is a great way to maintain results and reverse the effects of staining food and beverages consumed on a regular basis."

This whitening device is an overacheiver. Not only does it whiten your teeth up to five shades in one week, but it also kills bacteria and helps strengthen your gums. 

The Best Teeth-Whitening Kits

Photo:

Getty Images

Instead of peroxide, this kit uses PAP, or phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (say that five times fast). Hismile is known for this ingredient, and it helps whiten teeth with zero sensitivity. 

Ever wish you could use a whitening product designed specifically for you? This Laughland kit is personalized to your specific needs, keeping in mind important details like if you're a smoker, if you consume teeth-staining foods often, how sensitive your teeth are, and more. 

This kit comes with an LED mouth tray that activates the whitening serum. If you use it for 10 days, you can whiten your teeth by six shades. 

The best products for teeth-whitening upkeep:

For in-between whitening treatments, this is our favorite toothpaste. It's formulated with 3% hydrogen peroxide, which is high for toothpaste, and keeps your teeth pearly white. 

This mouthwash helps remove surface stains prevent new ones. Use it like you would a normal mouthwash.

For more info, This Is How to Safely Whiten Your Teeth at Home, According to the Experts

Related Stories