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After six years of drinking coffee every single day, I noticed that my teeth were starting to look stained. It’s definitely not cute. Despite investing in a hardcore electric toothbrush, the stains were stubbornly staying put, so I decided to try teeth whitening at home.
Stained teeth can be frustrating, especially in the age of Instagram where everyone has brilliantly white teeth. I mean, how do those influencers still have enamel on their teeth? I’d love to know.
I didn’t want to throw down a ton of cash on an expensive treatment at the dentist. Luckily, DIY teeth whitening kits are having a moment—especially since brands are coming up with some seriously innovative products that work just as well as professional treatments. Now that so many of us have a hybrid work schedule, there’s more time to do a 30-minute LED whitening kit while watching TV. Or, if you’re a little lazy like me, you can do some quick swipes with a whitening pen before bed and let the gel work its magic while you sleep. Plus, many of the best-rated teeth whitening kits are under $50 .
In the quest for whiter teeth, I did some research and rounded up the best at-home teeth whitening kits, including whitening strips, LED whitening systems, whitening gels and whitening pens. Some are intense and time-consuming—they’ll remind you of a trip to the dentist. Then, there are other treatments that are super gentle on your teeth and perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. There’s something for everyone—even us lazy folks.
I’m getting my teeth whitening routine down now because I don’t want to bring my coffee-stained teeth into post-quarantine life. If your plan is the same as mine, browse these 10 kits below.
Zimba Vegan Teeth Whitening Strips
Not only do these vegan whitening strips produce dramatic results in minutes, but they also come in so many delicious flavor varieties so that you aren’t uncomfortable during the process. Choose from the likes of blue raspberry, peach, watermelon and coconut for a divine experience. Shoppers swear these strips are effective at whitening without causing sensitivity, which is a hard find!
“Decided to give these a try and the FIRST USE I saw a difference!” wrote one reviewer. “The other thing I absolutely love about these is the adhesion is amazing. Most white strips slide around a little and towards the end the gel starts seeping into your mouth a bit. Not with these! There’re not going anywhere! They also taste great.”
Colgate Whitening Pen
This overnight whitening pen is super easy to use. After brushing your teeth, you press the button on the bottom to activate the serum and then gentle brush it over each tooth with the pen. When you wake up in the morning, you brush the serum off your teeth. It boasts results in one week. You can pop this pen in your purse or carry-on for travel without a second thought.
More than 20,000 shoppers have given this pen a perfect five-star rating thanks to its ability to erase away stains and bring out a glowing smile.
“I drink a lot of coffee and am not always in a place that I can brush my teeth so I bought this to give it a try,” explained one five-star reviewer. “First week I went crazy and used every night. By the end of the week my teeth were incredibly whiter and coffee stains gone! Seriously, my teeth look like I have them professionally cleaned and bleached all the time now. Love this product!”
Get one for just $23 or shop two for $45.
Curate an expert-level whitening experience specific to your teeth with Smile Brilliant. They offer custom whitening trays and a variety of whitening products that work with sensitive teeth. Using Smile Brilliant allows you to get a professional lab service in the comfort of your own home.
smileactives ProLite LED Teeth Whitening
Whiten your teeth by up to seven shades in just one week using this LED whitening system. It uses the same blue LED light technology that dentists do to lift stains and brighten teeth as fast as possible.
These low-maintenance strips from Crest are super popular for a reason. You just place the strips over your teeth, sit and let them work their magic for 30 minutes. You can talk and drink water while lounging with these, and they won’t slip.
AuraGlow Whitening System
You’ll feel like your own dentist after using this comprehensive kit . You use the whitening gel in the tray, pop it in your mouth, turn on the LED light and wait for 30 minutes. The LED light speeds up the whitening process. Just make sure you don’t eat or drink an hour after using. AuraGlow claims that you’ll see some results after one use.
Crest Whitening Emulsions
This kit is great for people with sensitive teeth . You just squeeze the whitening emulsions onto the wand and apply. It’s that easy. Plus, this formula contains hydrogen peroxide droplets, which are hydrating. If you want some extra power, you can opt for a set that comes with an LED light .
Jenner-Approved Whitening Pen
If you’ve wanted pearly whites like Kendall Jenner, check out this whitening pen. Where most whitening pens smell like a dentist’s office, this one contains lavender oil, strawberry fruit extract and honeysuckle flower extract. It’ll certainly be more pleasant to apply.
Tarte Vegan Pen
You just apply the whitening brush to each tooth and let it do the hard work. The whitening gel won’t harm your enamel, and it works instantly. This pen is perfect for on-to-go. You can touch up your teeth before happy hour. Plus, it’s vegan.
GO Smile Whitening Gel
This highly-rated whitening gel can make a noticeable difference in just two days, according to GO Smile. Unlike other whitening gels, you brush this gel directly onto your teeth like you would toothpaste. If you’ve got stubborn stains along your gum lines, you’ll want to try this one.