The aftermath of all those coffee runs might include a happy palette and the often appreciated buzz of caffeine, but if you’re prone to teeth staining, they also come along with a dulling, less-than shiny smile. There’s a whole slew of other things that can contribute to teeth not being sparkly white, including genetics (which you can’t control), and it’s an annoying problem to deal with when all we want to do is have our choppers shine bright like a diamond. As you probably know, in-office teeth whitening processes can cost some major $$$ and there’s even food you can snack on that are said to help brighten ’em up. Outside of what you can find in the grocery aisle, there’s another alternative approach to teeth-whitening that’s significantly cheaper and worth exploring if you’ve OK’d it with your dentist.
From strips to pens to even floss, cosmetic and beauty brands have formulated tons of different types of products that are said to reduce staining on your teeth. However, between sensitive teeth and gums and other conditions, at-home teeth whitening (and even the larger, in-office procedure) isn’t always for everyone. Before you jump into an at-home regimen, discuss it with your doc. To give you an idea of what’s on the market, we rounded up a series of products that are said to help you in your journey to whiter teeth when you’re on-the-go. A big plus? Most of these things are products you use (or should, anyway) on a daily basis.
MORE: 10 Things No One Ever Tells You About At-Home Teeth Whitening
Supersmile, a brand you might know for their teeth-whitening gum (yes, like chewing gum) formulated a gel that you can apply to your teeth that is said to help remove stains when you’re not able to get to a sink with a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush—i.e. on the way to dinner, drinks, date, you get the picture. It’s formulated with a brand specific form of calcium peroxide, which is the main ingredient that breaks down stains. The way you use the product is by squeezing a bit on your tongue (recommended to be a pearl-sized amount) and rub it over your teeth until it’s dissolved in.
(Supersmile Quikee, $18, birchbox.com)
You’ve heard of Crest Whitestrips, are we right? In fact, it’s probably the product that introduced you to the entire concept. The tooth health brand has expanded it’s at-home teeth whitening system with a series of strips that are meant to help whiten teeth in an about an hour. The box contains 8 strips, which is about 4 treatments when you’re placing them on the top and bottom teeth—which is something you might want to do if you can to reduce whitening some teeth and not the others. (3D Crest Whitestrips 1-Hr Express, $45, walgreens.com)
Luster Premium White’s latest whitening kit includes your every day staples, like a toothpaste and mouthwash (which you should wait 30 minutes after using to snack or drink), but it also comes with a whitening pen that’s the final step in the process, further dissolving surface stains. However, this specific product is recommended to be used on it’s own when you’re out and about and need a touch-up (i.e that soda you had at lunch). It’s directed to apply to your teeth (not your gums!), waiting about 20 seconds before you close your mouth and let your tongue or lips touch your teeth.
(Luster Premium White Smile Illuminator, $18, lusterpremiumwhite.com)
So wondering what makes this toothbrush extra special? It comes with a storage space for a whitening pen. Essentially, after you’ve brushed your teeth with the toothbrush, you run the whitening pen to each individual tooth, which distributes a clear dissolving gel and then helps dissolve stains. Obviously, this isn’t toothpaste, but an extra preventative measure from teeth staining.
(Colgate Optic White Toothbrush, Built-In Whitening Pen, $16, drugstore.com)