5 Ways to Get Whiter Teeth (from a Girl Who's Tried Everything)

Megan P on 24 Jan 2012 at 9:00pm


Tip-sy Tuesday

You’ve got a big event coming up, and you want your teeth whiter. You know Patty Picture Taker will be snapping plenty of shots to embarrass you with on Facebook the next day. Of course, the best way to address this issue would be to bail on the event all together - but you promised your best friend you’d go. So here are some whitening tips from a girl who’s tried almost everything:

teeth whitening

1. Whitening toothpaste

I’ve never heard anyone rave over the effects. However, if surface stains are the culprits that are keeping you from a bright smile the slightly harsher abrasives in whitening toothpastes may do the trick.
Average cost $5


white strips tips

2. Whitening Strips

These work well for light to moderate staining. I have used these in the past, before I had custom trays made, and was very pleased with the results - plus the cost is low compared to other forms of whitening.
Average cost $30


teeth whitening tips

3. Over the counter bleach kits

Usually you will get about the same result as with the strips, but double the mess & hassle if you don’t have your own custom trays. If you do have custom trays several of our community members have said Dr. Georges Dental White works well, but it does take 2 weeks. Rembrandt has a 2 hour product. I tried it and didn’t notice a difference in color.
Average cost $10


teeth whitening dentist

4. At home kits from your dentist

The comfort of the custom made trays is worth the extra cost and you can re-use the trays for years. Since they are custom fit not as much of the whitening gel leaks into your mouth and the gel is held evenly against your teeth. The down side is you have to make a trip to the dentist. The whitening products dispensed by dentists are usually more potent than over the counter ones, so you should see better results too.
Average cost $300.00


Zoom teeth whitening

5. In office treatments

There are different in office whitening treatments, the most popular being Zoom. Most people report significant whitening and it is completed in one day. The down side is what many call “zingers”, sharp shooting pain that can last 24-48 hours after the procedure. Not everyone experiences zingers though, and you can reduce the sensitivity you have by using a fluoride rinse and a toothpaste like Sensodyne for a week before your appointment.
Average cost $400.00

Megan P. loves all things dental. Currently the Dental Community Manager for RealSelf, she previously worked for over five years in an orthodontic office doing all chairside procedures. She then opened and operated an orthodontic lab, and later went to work for one of the largest providers of continuing education for dentists. 

Comments (9)

I'm a registered dental hygienist and have had much exposure to every whitening product out there. Every whitening gel out there (including crest strips) are all carbamide peroxide. You can get a higher strength carbamide peroxide from your dentist under the name opalescence. Higher strengths will work quicker but if you have sensitivity aka "zingers" you'll want to start with a lower strength (10%) and work your way up. We do not recommend whitening toothpastes as most are highly gritty and abrasive and as a result detrimental to enamel. Good luck all, happy whitening!!
I too used to use Crest white strips but they made my teeth unbearably sensitive. My daughter complained about this as well. I found an amazing product but it is a little pricey. Its called Glo! I bought the Glo Brilliant Device kit & i noticed a difference that very day! It does take 32min (8min x4) for 3-5 days in a row (can do 10 days if needed) then just once a week to maintain them. Its so easy though. I did pay $300 for this kit but i figure im saving money in the long run & also i have never found a product that can do what Glo does. People constantly comment on how pretty white my teeth are! :)

Yeah, the strips can make your teeth tender for sure. I just skip an application if my teeth are starting to feel too sensitive, then they are ok for the next application. Thanks for the heads up on the Glo Brilliant kit. I haven't heard much about it yet. I would love it if you would write a review about it!

One of my friends is facing the problem of yellow teeth since a long time...and definitely your 5 ways will be very helpful for him to make teeth more white..
This is good stuff Megan!!
It is one of the best and most conventional ways to get your teeth whiteness back. . I used teeth whitening kit and stunted with it amazing results. I highly recommend teeth whitening kits for all who wants their teeth whitening back.
Thanks to share this information here


I've been on a teeth whitening rampage lately. I have crest white strips which I've only done two days worth so far. I have the Brite Smile touch up pens even though I didn't have the in-office Brite Smile treatment and I have teeth whitening crest tooth paste.

I need a little teeth self-esteem booster and after reading this blog post, what did you think were the most effective at home treatments?

I'm desperate, much like you I've been an avid coffee drinker since 14 years old. Working for Starbucks for 9 years did not help either...


I'm a huge believer in the Crest White Strips. I have had good success with them & have heard others report the same thing. However, I should note that I used the strips before they changed to the new material. Its now a thicker material. I bought some not realizing they were different, put a set on, then freaked out because I was afraid the material was only sitting on the front surface of my teeth and I would get uneven bleaching. The new material was too thick to form around the teeth like the old (flimsier) material did. I haven't heard of any cases of uneven bleaching due to the thicker material, so its probably fine...and just me being paranoid. ;)

I really like the feel of the custom trays. I hate the taste of whitening gel, so the other over the counter systems aren't appealing to me because the trays won't fit that well & the gel will get in your mouth. Some people aren't bothered by that though. If you fall into that category try Dr. George's Dental White (you can buy it really cheap on Amazon).

If I were you, I'd do a full round with your strips. If your teeth get sensitive cut back how often you apply them and just use them for a longer span of time. Do try to avoid staining foods while you are using them (coffee, red wine, curry, etc). I know that can be tough to stick to though! If you still aren't happy with the results talk to your dentist about what they offer for at home bleaching.