A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear. — Anonymous
Most tooth whitening products are made for purpose of profit, not for use. The beta-testers went through all the options below and rated them out of five stars for ease of use, effectiveness, and cost.
As a word of caution, don't rush to buy every tooth whitening option below. Stick with the ones that are rated highly (more stars is better) for a few weeks to see the final results. Only if more stain removal is needed should you try out other options!
Like the previously linked products, these are all Amazon associate links. Clicking them keeps these guides afloat, so be nice. Some of the beta-testers had to oil-pull their teeth for weeks just to confirm that it doesn't really work—sorry John.
Top Tier (★★★★)
These are placed on top of someone's teeth in order to whiten them. The main two ingredients that they use are hydrogen and carbamide peroxide.
A 2014 meta-analysis of teeth whitening strips concluded that "When manufacturer’s instructions are followed... tooth whitening [strips are] safe and effective" , illustrating no long or short-term negative effects.
Recommendation: These strips
These systems uses a combination of gels and an LED light to whiten teeth by removing stains.
Several studies have shown that they are somewhat effective in brightening teeth [1, 2], but not as much as teeth-whitening strips.
With that said, they are a viable option if tooth discoloration is a concern.
Recommendation: This light system
Second Tier (★★★)
The science behind how toothpaste works was discussed on the
The difference between this toothpaste and the previous recommendation was that this one contains both baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
The science behind both of these chemicals is discussed underneath the next toggles.
Recommendation: This toothpaste
As covered on the brushing page, baking soda has natural whitening properties and is a mild abrasive.
It's suggested that you don't try to directly use baking soda on your teeth as doing it wrong could damage your teeth. If you want baking soda's benefits, get a toothpaste that has it!
Also covered in the brushing page, hydrogen peroxide (HP) kills many of the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Third Tier (★★)
While not the most scientifically backed practice, oil pulling is the practice of swishing oil around in your mouth to remove harmful bacteria .
But if you'd like to try it yourself follow the steps below:
- Put 1 table of coconut oil in your mouth
- Push and pull the oil through your teeth for 15-20 minutes
- Spit out the oil
Dental product criteria:
Preventing stains before they happen
More important than correcting past teeth stains is preventing them from happening in the first place. Here are a few methods—backed by science—that help keeps teeth from forming stains:
1. Get plenty of calcium
Intaking an ample amount of calcium in your diet can reduce the tooth discoloration caused by a lack of calcium. Therefore, make sure that you consume plenty of calcium-rich foods like cheese, broccoli, and milk in order to protect your teeth from enamel erosion [1, 2].
2. Remember to brush
While tooth discoloration comes with age, it's largely caused by plaque buildup.
Brushing your teeth regularly will prevent plaque buildup. If you need a reminder on the correct brushing technique, head over to the
Additionally, using the recommended products above will provide an additional layer of defense against plaque and any potential dental problems.
3. Avoid staining food and beverages
Many common foods beverages contain chemicals or have properties that stain teeth.
For a full list of these foods, head over to the
4. Limit your sugar intake
A diet high in sugar supports the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the primary type of bacteria that causes plaque and gingivitis [1, 2]. But, this does not mean that you need to remove sugar from your diet entirely.
If you eat sugary foods or beverages, try to brush your teeth soon afterward. If you can't, swish water around in your mouth and spit it out to remove the sticky residue.
The end. Really.
If you've gotten this far, you've completed the guide and are well on your way to make your teeth cleaner, healthier, and whiter than at any point in your life! A few final reminders:
If you'd like additional tips, there are tons of great, crowd-sourced information inside of the "Extra Pages" to check out. You can get to the extra pages by clicking on the "breadcrumbs" that are at the top of your screen.