Teeth whitening kits vs. strips: Which should I get?

Oral Care

For best results, brush your teeth right before applying whitening strips so plaque and other bacteria won’t be trapped between the strip and your teeth. However, don’t brush your teeth right before you apply whitening strips because they can sometimes irritate your gums.

Comparing teeth whitening kits and teeth whitening strips

There’s no doubt that having pearly white teeth is attractive. Eyes, teeth and noses are facial usually the first features about a person others notice. Unlike dental appliances costing a small fortune, getting whiter teeth doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many teeth whitening kits and strips available for purchase, but it can be hard to know which is the best.

Teeth whitening strips safely remove years of stains and are easy to use. They use chemicals to break down stains instead of requiring consumers to scrub abrasive ingredients like a paste or gel or charcoal. Whereas teeth whitening kits can sometimes be expensive and may require additional steps. However, it’s still a great way to get those pearly whites and a fraction of the cost of braces or Invisalign. When deciding between the two, there are important factors you should consider. 

Teeth whitening strips

Teeth whitening strips work similarly to how bleach is with clothes. Made of peroxide or bleach, they work to remove the color from teeth enamel and restore their natural white color. The strip itself is made of polyethylene, a thin elastic plastic. Some whitening strips need to be kept on for 30 minutes while others require one hour or overnight. 

These small strips come in individual wrapping so they’re easy to transport. For those with sensitive teeth or gum recession, whitening strips are a great option because of their chemical composition. Some strips are even specifically made for sensitive teeth and gum recession. 

What you’ll love about teeth whitening strips

Teeth-whitening strips are a great way to achieve pearly whites without spending a fortune to get them professionally whitened. With a multitude of whitening strip brands, you are sure to find a brand that fits your requirements. They are also easy to use! Most kits come with 2 sets of strips: top and bottom. For those with sensitive teeth, this is a great option compared to whitening kits because it doesn’t require consumers to scrub harsh ingredients. 

What you should consider about teeth whitening strips

Some whitening strips may contain chlorine dioxide, a chemical ingredient that whitens teeth faster than hydrogen peroxide. It’s also the same acid used to disinfect swimming pools. This ingredient eats away at your teeth’s enamel, increasing your chances of getting tooth decay. It is extremely important you do not keep whitening strips on for longer than the required time or use them too frequently, especially if it contains chlorine dioxide. It can harm gum tissue and disintegrate enamel.

Best teeth whitening strips

Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips

Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips 

Results from these white strips last up to 12 months. Application is easy, too. Apply once a day for 30 minutes to remove 14 years of teeth stains. Its Advanced Seal Technology and no-slip grip allow for you to easily talk and drink water while you wait for whiter results. 

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Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips by Oral Essentials

Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips by Oral Essentials

Lumineux Whitening Strips are enamel safe, certified non-toxic and are perfect for those with sensitive teeth. Using a formula of lemon peel oil, sage oil and coconut oil instead of chemicals, these white strips are great for those who prefer all-natural products. Use once daily for best results. 

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BURST Teeth Whitening Strips with Coconut Oil

BURST Teeth Whitening Strips with Coconut Oil

For those who are looking to whiten their teeth at the last minute, these whitening strips are perfect. Sold at a reasonable price, BURST strips use coconut oil and are enamel safe, making it easy to eliminate coffee, wine and tea stains. Application takes as little as 10 minutes. However, if you want longer-lasting results, floss beforehand, don’t brush or wet your teeth and once once applied, leave on for 15 minutes. 

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Teeth whitening kits

If teeth whitening strips aren’t for you, teeth whitening kits provide the same great results. They come in different varieties and are mainly composed of trays and tubes of whitening gel or syringes. Kits that are pre-filled are perfect for on-the-go and are already filled with whitening gel. Moldable trays consist of trays that when heated, mold to teeth and once fitted, you can take them on and off with whitening gel that’s included in syringes. Whitening kits that have become popular are ones with LED light. They act like a mouth guard and come with pre-filled trays or moldable trays with whitening gel. They are also proven to have better results but may not be inclined for someone who has sensitive teeth or gums.

What you’ll love about teeth whitening kits

Teeth whitening kits come in different varieties, so you can test each one and see which works best. They’re convenient and easy to use and are sold at an exceptional cost. Because these kits are stronger than whitening strips, they don’t need to be used as much.  

What you should consider about teeth whitening kits

Teeth whitening kits do not give you the same results as dentists, but they do remove surface stains. Unlike dentists who use a formula with 40% hydrogen peroxide when whitening teeth, whitening teeth kits only use 10%.

Best teeth whitening kits

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit

AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit

Using carbamide peroxide, this teeth whitening kit falls on the more luxurious scale because of its professional ingredients. It includes a five-bulb LED light, giving it more power and has a built-in timer that beeps when complete. Application is 30 minutes and while this is longer compared to other brands, results were proven in as little as one day. 

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SmileDirectClub Teeth Whitening Gel Kit with LED Light

SmileDirectClub Teeth Whitening Gel Kit with LED Light

This whitening kit is hands-free so customers use their smartphone to power the LED lights. A little on the expensive side, results were shown in as little as five minutes, whitening teeth up to nine shades. It’s enamel-safe so those with sensitive teeth and gums, this is a great option. Additionally, it’s whitening gel is lactose-free, soy-free, gluten-free and vegan.

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Cali White Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light

Cali White Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light

At a reasonable price, this whitening kit is vegan, fluoride-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free and SLS-free. Its LED light removes stains from coffee, tea, smoking and wine, showing results in as little as one day. Simply put the low sensitivity serum on the plastic tray and place it in your mouth. Hit the button to activate the LED light and wait for 10-30 minutes depending on what shade of white you’re trying to achieve. 

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Should I get teeth whitening strips or a teeth whitening kit?

Teeth whitening strips and teeth whitening kits are both great ways to attain pearly whites. For those with sensitive teeth and gums, strips may be a better solution. If you’re looking for fast results in a short time, teeth whitening kits are perfect. Unlike whitening strips, many kits are vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free and cruelty free.


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Tessa Schaal writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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