The Consumer’s Guide to At Home Teeth Whitening

The Consumer’s Guide to At Home Teeth Whitening

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Tired of stained, yellow teeth? Want to give yourself a whiter smile without having to spend hundreds of dollars? Then maybe you should think about using at home teeth whitening products.

Does it Really Work?

In their January 2004 issue, Consumer Reports wrote “home kits work and do whiten teeth for far less than you’d pay for a professional treatment.” But Consumer Reports was less enthuiastic about the level of whitening. While most products did whiten teeth a considerable number of shades, none of the whitening products produced “bombshell white” in any of the testers. For those results, Consumer Reports recommended having professional treatments administered by a dentist. However, it warned that such treatments could cost hundreds of dollars, as well as a lot of time in the form of repeat visits to the dentist’s office.

So, should you still try at home teeth whitening? Of course! At only fifteen to thirty dollars per whitening kit, Consumer Reports suggested giving Crest Whitestrips and Colgate Simply White Night Gel a try. Both were ranked highy, (Colgate Simply White Night was ranked higher with a rating of “very good”) and in both products, tester’s found that applicable was easy, taking less than a minute. Consumer Reports did warn against certain products, these include, Rembrandt’s 2-hour white because of the irritation it caused to some of the tester’s gums, as well as regular Colgate Simply White (since the White Night Gel was found to be more less of a hassle to apply and even more effective, though they both cost the same price.)

Crest Whitestrips Vs. Gels (ex. Colgate Simply White Night Gel)

The difference between Crest Whitestrips and Colgate Simply White Night is that one is that one is worn during the day and the other is worn during the night. Crest Whitestrips are almost invisible sticky strips of peroxide (the active ingredient dentist’s use teeth). They are applied by peeling the strip from a sticky tape like peeling a band aid and applying the strip to your teeth. They are surprisingly sticky and do not fall off your teeth unless you peel them off. Crest Whitestrips are usually worn twice a day for thirty minutes, or can be worn back to back for a one hour application a day.

On the other hand, Colgate Simply White Night is a gel based solution that is applied to the teeth when you sleep. It also contains peroxide, but is applied in a different manner. Instead of wearing strips, you “paint” your teeth by using a small brush that resembles whiteout. The solution is then left on over night. In the morning, you simply brush your teeth as normal. There is enough solution in the bottle to last two weeks (the recommeneded time).

Consumer Reports said that neither are flavored, and that after a few days, most testers got accustomed to either method. The difference in the tester’s level of whitening was affected not so much by the product, but by the length of time which the testers used the product. Crest Whitestrips and Colgate Simply White Night had a suggested usage of 14 days. But when a tester prematurely stopped usage of the product, their level of whiteness was not as good as a tester who had completely used the product. So in determining whether to buy Crest Whitestrips or Colgate Simply White Night, the number one factor to consider is what you think would be easier to apply. Ask yourself, would you still be able to sleep soundly if you had a gel in your mouth, or would it be easier for you if you applied two sticky strips to your teeth during the day.

Final Remarks

One last note is that both Crest and Colgate recommend continued usage of their products. Both Crest Whitestrips and Colgate Simply White Night say that their effects last twelve months. Also, if you use their products for four weeks instead of two, the total level your teeth will whiten will increase. Crest is even starting to produce a twin pack, and in most internet stores, some form of discounted shipping is offered if you buy more than a certain amount However, if you’re still skeptical about at home teeth whitening kits, it might be a good idea to just buy one package for now. After all, most at home teeth whitening kits (including Crest Whitestrips and Colgate Simply White Night) offer a sixty-day money back policy if you’re not satisfied.