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Even if you brush your teeth every morning and evening, there is still a chance that your smile will not look pearly white. And, believe it or not, it’s not your habits’ fault. According to renowned cosmetic dentist Dr. Daniel Rubinstein, the natural color of your teeth is actually not pure white at all. “They are usually yellow or gray in color, and the color of the teeth varies from person to person,” he said. However, while teeth cannot be naturally whiter, an obsession with aesthetics has developed in society that leaves those seeking a snow-white smile with a choice between three options: expensive veneers, costly in-office whitening, or convenient at-home whitening strips. While all of these things can change the look of a smile, today we’ll focus on the latter.
Whitening patches are a popular over-the-counter oral care product because many formulas take less than an hour to work, and most do the job even faster. Although the results are not permanent, the fast processing time and many months of whitening results make it a worthy choice for people all over the world. However, the more demand, the more brands, which is why the market is now flooded with teeth whitening products.
To help those who hope for success, we decided to find the best teeth whitening strips of 2023. Over the course of 336 hours, we rigorously tested 16 of our most popular products, focusing on everything from comfort and ease of use to efficiency and value, and reduced the oversaturated market to just eight products. Read on for the best teeth whitening strips of 2023.
Why we love it: These strips are easy to apply, stay in place after application, and make teeth brighter and whiter in as little as a week.
We found the Crest 3DWhitestrips 1-Hour Rapid Teeth Whitening Kit to be a top contender for a number of reasons. First, they are easy to use. The kit says not to brush your teeth before use (as that should help prevent sensitivities), so we just dry the teeth and attach the strips so they stick well. The side used to wrap around the teeth is slightly textured and tacky, which we found makes it easier to stick.
In a comfortable position, these dental strips are easy to put on the teeth and stay in place after wearing. While there is clearly a film on your teeth, we found the strips to be smooth and comfortable to wear.
Best of all, they are highly effective and have unbeatable value. The kit includes 7 to 10 treatments, depending on which version you purchase. When we used the whole set, our teeth were six shades whiter – a pleasant surprise in just one week. Best of all, the effect lasts for more than six months.
Word to the Wise: Although these patches should be worn an hour a day for seven to ten days, we have found that spacing between them (i.e. wearing them every two to three days) reduces post-treatment sensitivity without compromising whitening results.
Duration: 60 minutes︱Number of strips per set: Top 7-10 strips and Bottom 7-10 strips (depending on the kit purchased)︱Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide︱How to use: daily use for 7 days, results for the last 6+ months
Why we love it: Made from natural oils, it helps soften your skin while still providing great whitening benefits.
Worth noting: there are more test strips in the box than needed for treatment, which can confuse some people.
One of the biggest complaints about teeth whitening strips is that they cause sensitivity. iSmile Teeth Whitening Strips are designed with this in mind. These patches based on peppermint and coconut oils are not only more comfortable to use, but also softer.
To see how well these whitening strips work, we tested them on people who have avoided whitening strips for a long time due to tooth sensitivity. After wearing the strips for 30 minutes a day for 7 days, we found that the strips were enough to whiten all 8 shades of teeth without causing any pain.
However, two things should be kept in mind. First, these plastic strips (folded over each row of teeth) are filled with gel so they can be felt on the teeth. But don’t worry. The product does not flow on the gums. Secondly, the duration of treatment is 7 days, and in a set of whitening patches it lasts 11 days. When we contacted the brand to ask about it, they confirmed that the extra four sets of strips are for touch-ups between full treatments.
Duration: 30 minutes︱Number of articles included: top 22, bottom 22︱Active ingredient: hydrogen peroxide︱How to use: once a day for 7 consecutive days; no advertising of durability
Worth noting: The bottom strip does not fit well, which can irritate the gums.
If you’re looking for fast, dentist-approved results, we’ve found the Crest 3DWhitestrips Glamorous White Teeth Whitening Kit to work great. (It also happens to be approved by the American Dental Association, which means the product is safe to use, of high quality, and has been proven to work.) The kit includes strips specially designed for the upper and lower rows of teeth to securely hold each set of teeth. While we didn’t find the strips the most comfortable to wear – simply because they cause excess salivation and can slip off if you don’t clench your jaw – we’re certainly impressed with the whitening results of these strips.
For best results, the kit says to use the strips once or twice a day for seven days. In doing so, we found that the strips brightened our teeth by two full shades. Although it may not seem like much, it is enough to grab the attention of those around you. However, it is also gradual without causing excessive sensitivity.
Duration: 30 minutes︱Number of articles included: 14 above, 14 below︱Active Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide︱Usage: Once a day for 7 consecutive days, results for the last 6 months
Why we love it: They process and dissolve in just 15 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about taking them off.
Worth noting: They are very gradual, so you may not notice significant results in one complete treatment.
If you’re looking for a teeth whitening product that works well on the go, check out Moon Oral Care Dissolving Whitening Strips. These fan-favorite teeth whitening strips have a slim, rectangular shape that fits comfortably over the top and bottom rows of teeth. The best part about these strips is that they work and begin to dissolve as soon as you use them, so there is no need to clean them at the end of the treatment. The only downside is that the strips can become a little slimy as they dissolve, which can be uncomfortable for some (but not painful or sensitive).
While these teeth whitening strips are particularly easy to apply, it’s worth noting that the results are short-lived. While our teeth looked noticeably whiter after each use, we found that they re-accumulated the yellowing throughout the day so that at the end of the 14 day treatment, our teeth were the same color as they were at the beginning. So you can save these dissolving whitening patches for special occasions like dates, parties, weddings and other important events when you want to look radiant for hours on end.
Duration: 15 minutes︱Number of strips per set: 56 universal strips︱Active ingredient: hydrogen peroxide︱Use: once a day for two weeks Results Longevity not advertised
If the thought of wearing teeth whitening strips for an hour seems like a prison sentence, let us turn your attention to the Crest 3DWhitestrips Bright Teeth Whitening Kit, which only takes 30 minutes to treat. The kit contains enough whitening patches for 11 days.
When we tested these strips, we found them to be easy to apply, but it’s important to take your time. These strips are designed to be pressed into the teeth and fold over the edges. If done carefully, thin strips will stay in place, but if you press too hard, they will slip and not be as effective.
Knowing this, we gave each application a few extra seconds to make sure they fit snugly against our teeth. As a result, after 7 days of continuous use, we found that our teeth had whitened by as much as four shades. Considering we tested these strips on a self-proclaimed coffee addict, that’s saying something!
Duration: 30 minutes︱Number of Articles Included: Top 11, Next 11︱Active Ingredients: Hydrogen Peroxide and Sodium Hydroxide︱Use: Once a day for 11 days, last 6 months results
Not all teeth whitening strips cost $30 or more. PERSMAX Teeth Whitening Strips are a bestseller on Amazon, and with good reason. Textured rectangular bar fits easily over upper and lower teeth. Claimed to be safe for tooth enamel and non-allergic, we were eager to try it out. When we did this, we found that the strips grip the teeth well without slipping or digging into the gum line. What’s more, they provide instant results. After 30 minutes of treatment, our teeth were two shades whiter when we removed the strips.
Duration: 30 minutes︱Number of Articles Included: Top 14, Next 14︱Active Ingredient: Hydrogen Peroxide︱Use: Once a day for two weeks, results can last three to six months
The Rembrandt Deep Whitening + Peroxide 1 Week Teeth Whitening Kit promises to whiten your teeth by 90% in just 7 days. We thought it was too good to be true, so we tested the top rated games. By doing this – wearing them 30 minutes a day on both upper and lower teeth for 7 days – we found that our teeth were 14 shades whiter. As if the stunning results weren’t enough to make us fans for life, the simple application process certainly made it. These strips are slightly larger than others we have tried, but we found that they fit snugly on the teeth, providing excellent whitening results without causing any discomfort in the process.
Duration: 30 minutes︱Number of articles included: top 14, bottom 14︱Active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide︱How to use: twice a day for 7 consecutive days; Durability not advertised
Containing coconut oil, aloe vera and hydrogen peroxide, Burst Oral Care Teeth Whitening Strips are considered to be some of the gentlest on the market. During our testing, we found the textured tape to be easy to apply and stay in place once applied. While they lived up to their delicate claims and even brightened our teeth by two shades, we found that the strips didn’t deliver the most impressive results. However, if your goal is to gradually change your teeth, these soft tooth strips may be just what you need.
Duration: 15 minutes︱Number of articles included: top 10, bottom 10︱Active ingredient: hydrogen peroxide︱How to use: 7 days a day, results and longevity without ads
Last but not least, we have Snow The Magic Strips. This set of teeth whitening strips has been praised for their fast acting whitening abilities and we are happy to see that they actually work. While these strips are easy to use and whiten our teeth by as much as six levels, we found them to be too small for our liking. Even for people with smaller teeth, these strips may have a hard time covering every edge, which means they may not provide the most even results on larger teeth.
Duration: 15 minutes︱Number of strips per set: 28 universal strips︱Active ingredient: hydrogen peroxide︱Usage: 1 time per day for 7 days Results Longevity not advertised
To determine the best teeth whitening strips for 2023, together with Dr. Lena Varone of DMD, FIADFE, we researched the market and found 16 best selling sets. We spent 336 hours evaluating the performance of each kit in five key areas: convenience, ease of use, convenience, efficiency and value. We started testing by noting our official tooth colors before using the strips. Then a few weeks later, after daily use, we re-evaluated our shades to see how well the strips actually performed. By doing this, we were able to weed out the less-than-great sets, leaving us with a selection of sets to showcase today.
Generally, the best teeth whitening strips are those specifically designed to fit snugly around your teeth, Rubinstein says. “The bands that perform best have the least amount of extra space,” he says. “Avoid strips that don’t fit the contours of your teeth, they won’t do their job properly.”
The effectiveness of teeth whitening strips depends on their ingredients. According to Dr. Marina Gonchar, owner of DMD and Skin to Smile, the best teeth whitening strips are those that contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. “These ingredients help break down stains and discoloration on the outer surface of your teeth,” she says. “Hydrogen peroxide breaks chemical bonds on the surface of teeth to remove stains and is available in different concentrations in various products; carbamide peroxide has a similar mechanism of action – it breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and another by-product called urea. Because of this additional chemical reaction step, carbamide peroxide is often present in higher concentrations in bleaching products, resulting in less tooth sensitivity and longer whitening results.”
How you use it depends on which whitening patches you buy, but Rubinstein says that for best results, it’s best to store them a few days before an important event. “For best results, use the strips twice a day a few days before your big event,” he says. “If you want a longer and brighter smile, it’s best to go to a dentist and get professional in-office whitening. They’re safer, more effective, and can be tailored to your specific needs, condition, and lifestyle—it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach like over-the-counter pharmacy products like test strips.”
If you plan on using the strips for the entire recommended lifespan listed on the package (usually seven to 14 days), Potter advises not repeating the entire process for at least six months to prevent tooth sensitivity. “Typically, whitening patches can be used once or twice a year to achieve and maintain desired whitening results,” she says. “In order to maintain the whitening effect year-round, it is important to brush your teeth twice a year, minimize your consumption of stain-causing foods such as red wine and tea, and maximize your consumption of naturally whitening foods such as fresh green apples, bananas and carrots.”
While you might be tempted to whiten every six months, Dr. Kevin Sands, a board-certified cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills, California, urges us not to. “We do not recommend whitening more frequently than four to six months, as this can lead to certain oral health issues such as enamel wear,” he warns. “Teeth will also appear more translucent and eventually the whitening effect will not be as effective over time, especially as we age.”
While some teeth whitening strips are more effective than others, none provide permanent results. “We all restain teeth, and depending on the type of treatment and degree of staining, whitening results can last for months or even years,” explains Sands. “But eventually it needs to be upgraded to keep the desired white tone.” He also notes that not all teeth are equally susceptible to staining. “Some of them are porous in nature and prone to staining,” he says. “The buildup of plaque can lead to stains. Weakness, loss or cracking of enamel, which can break down over time due to general health, lifestyle, diet, hygiene and genetics, is also a major cause.”
Usually not. Many whitening strips are made in collaboration with or recommended by dentists, so you can be sure of them as long as you use them as intended.
“When using whitening strips, make sure that the strip does not extend beyond the teeth and does not reach the gums, as the whitening gel can irritate the gums,” says Dr. Krystle Koo, DDS and co-founder of Cocofloss. In addition, she says the strips should only be worn for as long as the manufacturer recommends. “And importantly, pay attention to how your teeth will feel afterwards,” she adds, noting that teeth can become sensitive. “I recommend waiting until tooth sensitivity is completely gone before whitening again with another set of strips. This can take from one day to several weeks, depending on the product and the patient.”
“Today, some brands are releasing sensitive formulas, and some are focusing on dental health in addition to whitening,” says Sands. “We see brands adding sea salt, minerals, essential oils, coconut oil and aloe vera, and various fragrances to reduce the discomfort of general whitening.”
It is best to strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions. However, if you don’t have one, brush your teeth ahead of time, Potter says. “Brushing your teeth before applying whitening strips removes any surface plaque, food debris, and surface stains from your teeth and allows the whitening solution to penetrate deeper—this also prevents surface plaque from interfering with the whitening process,” she says. “In addition, most toothpastes contain fluoride, which can help prevent tooth sensitivity caused by the use of whitening strips.”
As for what follows, proceed with caution. Most whitening strips recommend not eating or drinking anything other than water for 30 minutes after your treatment to allow the whitening formula to penetrate your teeth. However, you may not brush your teeth before bed.
Rebecca Norris is a freelance writer who has covered the beauty world for the past 10 years. For this story, she read reviews and appreciated internal testing ideas. She then discussed the pros and cons of teeth whitening strips and the most effective treatments with four dentists. She presents the best teeth whitening stickers of 2023.
Post time: Jul-25-2023