6 Best Whitening Strips (2024 Dental Professional Approved)

6 Best Whitening Strips (2024 Dental Professional Approved)

 Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH
Written by Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH🔬 Evidence Based

In this article, we may include products or services we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission to help fund our mission to create more healthy smiles. Here’s our process.

Best Overall
Best Whitening Strip
Crest 3D White Glamorous White Strips
Crest 3D White Glamorous White Strips provide a quick, solution with results in three days.
Best Value Teeth Whitening Strips
Best Value Teeth Whitening Strips
Burst Teeth Whitening Strips
Burst Teeth Whitening Strips are a great economical choice.
Best Sensitive Teeth Whitening Strips
Best Sensitive Teeth Whitening Strips
Lumineux Oral Essentials Whitening Strips
Lumineaux strips are completely free of hydrogen peroxide if you’re looking for a natural option.
Burst Whitening Trays
Burst Whitening Trays
Burst Whitening Trays
Burst has great at-home whitening products backed by thousands of dental professionals.

Did you know teeth whitening strips are one of the most popular over the counter beauty products people buy? I mean, who doesn’t want to have a brighter, whiter smile?! The thing about whitening strips is that they’re convenient, affordable, and effective. But how exactly do whitening strips work? What are the best whitening strips brands on the market? And what should you look for when shopping for an over-the-counter teeth whitening system? Why am I asking so many questions? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.  Below is a review of—in my opinion—the best options on the market, some key features that set certain whitening strips apart from the rest, and how to get your teeth shining as bright as possible from the comfort of your own home.

How Do Whitening Strips Work?

Teeth whitening strips are typically made with ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Typically, concentrations of each one fall between 3-20% versus in office treatments, which tend to be between 20-40% (professional systems are stronger and you can only get them from your dentist.) The strips work by holding over-the-counter bleaching gel directly against your teeth. Since the strips are flexible, you shape and mold them around each tooth for maximum contact. The ingredients then oxidize the stain particles they come into contact with, safely whitening the tooth surfaces in those areas. Make sure you’re wearing the strips as directed if you want to get the best results. 

Do Teeth-Whitening Pens Or Strips Work Better?

While teeth whitening pens are great for a quick touch up after whitening strips are completed, especially if you have a specific tooth that tends to accumulate more stain than other teeth. But they both serve as an effective option for keeping your teeth brighter and whiter between dental checkups. 

While pens are super convenient for maintenance purposes, strips will brighten your teeth a few shades more than a pen alone, mostly because of the contact time involved. Many whitening strips claim that they are more effective than pens alone, as the gel you apply with a pen can wash away much sooner. But you might want to use both of them together, since pens are ideal for on-the-go during the daytime. They both serve two totally different purposes, but if you’re trying to whiten your teeth from the get-go, my pick is whitening strips. 

6 Best Teeth Whitening Strips

Now that you know a little more about how teeth whitening strips actually work, it’s time to pick which brands or types are best to use. If you’ve looked online or at the grocery store, the choices are abundant. But right now isn’t the time to stress; I’ve got you covered. Whether you like to purchase your over-the-counter products quite literally off the shelf from your favorite retailer or prefer the easy click and buy method via online shopping, here are your top six options when you’re looking for convenient at-home whitening products. 

1. Crest 3D White Glamorous White Strips

Best Crest 3d Whitestrips

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Crest is one of the most well-known and respected dental companies today, and for good reason! They have a multitude of oral health products to choose from, one of them including a pretty fantastic whitening strip that’s been on the market for years. Arguably one of the most popular brands of whitening strips among dental professionals, Crest has really made a name for itself in the teeth whitening department. But there’s more than just one type of Crest whitening strip out there. My favorite is the 3D White Glamorous White variety.

Key Features

Crest 3D whitening strips claim to whiten 25 times more than your typical whitening toothpaste. They are also American Dental Association (ADA) approved and proudly display the seal right on the front of the packaging. That’s no easy venture. The ADA seal is to ensure consumers know they are getting a safe and clinically approved, effective product. This whitening strip is probably the first go-to recommendation a dental provider will offer to patients that are looking for something they can use at home on their own.

Number of Treatments:

This teeth whitening kit contains 14 pairs of teeth whitening strips, with each pair consisting of one strip for the top teeth and one for the bottom teeth. For optimal results, use one pair of strips daily for a duration of two weeks. After completing all 14 applications, the whitening effects are expected to last for more than 6 months.

Whitening Formula

The primary active component of these strips is hydrogen peroxide, which is present at a concentration of 10% to effectively enhance the brightness of your smile.

Final Thoughts

Crest 3D whitening strips claims to remove over 15 years of staining on teeth in as little as 30 minutes a day within the 14 applications. That’s some serious whitening power when you’re talking about an over-the-counter system. It’s also important to note that this product is NOT for anyone under the age of 18. You can grab a box of Crest 3D whitening strips for $45 here.

 

2. Burst Teeth Whitening Strips

Best Value Teeth Whitening Strips

50

Burst is another reputable oral product company gaining popularity in the dental community! Their whitening strips are backed by dentists and hygienists alike. Followers of the Burst brand seem to really love this product and their other line of oral hygiene aids, and for good reason. Burst puts thought into its ingredients and designs, which is attractive to both dental practitioners and patients alike. 

Key Features

Burst loves to emphasize their gentler approach to whitening with lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, making it great for patients who experience hypersensitivity with higher concentrations of whitening gel. With its natural ingredients and fresh mint flavor, it’s definitely a popular choice when it comes to whitening strips. Burst strips are clean, enamel-safe, vegan friendly, and effective teeth whitening strips.

Number of Treatments

10 applications (However, Burst claims that you can see results in as little as seven days.) Treatment times are just 15 minutes each, so the strips are a great option for on-the-go busy lifestyles. 

Whitening Formula

Hydrogen peroxide is the main whitening ingredient and is listed at a 6% concentration. This lower concentration, while still effective at brightening your smile, can be best for people who tend to have sensitivity issues with higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. These whitening strips also contain aloe vera, xylitol and coconut oil for an added soothing effect, extra hydration, and little bit of anti-microbial action. 

Final Thoughts

While Burst whitening strips contain a lower concentration than some other whitening strip options, they still provide great brightening results for anyone looking for at home whitening treatments that is both fast and effective. You can grab a pack of Burst whitening strips for $30 for a one-time purchase or $19.99 for a subscription pack every 12 weeks! Check out Burst whitening strips and their other line of oral health products online here.

 

3. Lumineux Oral Essentials Whitening Strips

Best Sensitive Teeth Whitening Strips

51

Lumineux is super popular dental brand that has a fantastic option when it comes to whitening for those with teeth sensitivity issues and a more natural approach.

Key Features

Lumineux is proud to be certified non-toxic, enamel safe, clinically proven and effective…not to mention dentist recommended!

Number of Treatments

14 treatments. 28 strips are included in one box, with one half of them each for your upper and lower teeth, respectively.

No Peroxide Whitening solution

Lumineux whitening strips do not contain any peroxide ingredients. Instead, they use natural based ingredients like coconut oil, dead sea salt, sage oil and lemon peel oil to whiten teeth. Coconut oil known for its hydrating effects is great for those that are looking for a natural hydration or moisture from their whitening strips. The added sea salt helps to provide calcium, magnesium, and potassium!  With mild lemon peel oil, this gentle ingredient helps to remove pesky surface stains without any irritation to your teeth and gums. 

Final Thoughts

With almost 3,000 5 star reviews, Lumineux whitening strips are promising for the ingredient conscious patient who prefers a more natural approach to dental care. Lumineux can be purchased online for $40 as a one-time purchase or you can save 19% through their subscription deals directly through their website. It’s important to note these strips can be a great option for people who tend to have really sensitive teeth, as Lumineux reports NO sensitivity from using their whitening strips.

Related: 5 Best Teeth Whitening Products for Sensitive Teeth

 

4. Burst Whitening Trays

Best Prefilled Whitening Trays

22

These are not strips but better! Their teeth whitening trays are even designed by a team of dentists and hygienists. They’re also made to be gentle enough that they’re less likely to cause any tooth sensitivity. Burst whitening trays are pre-filled with hydrogen peroxide gel so they’re easy to use. The initial kit is $54.99 and you can subscribe for a refill pack every 12 weeks for $49.99 per pack. 

Key Features

  • Wear the custom-fit feel trays for 15 minutes a day
  • 12.5% hydrogen peroxide
  • Whitens 3.5 shades or more in one week
  • 85% of users report zero tooth sensitivity
  • Natural mint flavor
  • Includes enough product for 7 treatments (one week)

Final Thought 

Burst is a reputable, dentist and hygienist-backed whitening kit that’s safe, gentle, and effective. Plus, it includes Xylitol which helps with sensitivity management as well as anti-cavity benefits. Burst has the best teeth whitening kit for first-timer since the moldable trays are pre-filled, there’s zero fuss or mess involved. Just pop them over your teeth and gently mold them right over your smile to make sure the gel comes into contact with all of the most visible tooth surfaces. 

 

5. Crest 3D White Whitestrips Gentle Routine Teeth Whitening Kit

Great for Sensitivity Gums and Teeth 

48

Crest 3d whitestrips has another teeth whitening product on this list, except this time they are whitening strips for people that have very sensitive teeth and may not be able to use Crest’s more popular whitening strips. With a gentler formula, dental patients can expect a brighter smile and whiter teeth with less sensitivity.

Key Features

This light-amplified whitening kit enhances your smile by gently removing surface stain with upper and lower whitening strips that you apply to your teeth. The sensitive whitening ingredients to help oxidize stain particles more quickly. 

Number of Treatments:

14 applications

Whitening Solution

Hydrogen peroxide is the main active ingredient, but it’s at a lower concentration to limit sensitivity. Most people who use Crest 3D White Strips  claim they do not experience hypersensitivity or tooth discomfort afterward.

Final Thoughts

For anyone that is nervous about using whitening strips because of the hypersensitivity some users experience, this product is a safe alternative. 

 

6. Up & Up Timeless White Tooth Whitening System

Best Cheap Whitening Strips 

120

Up & Up is a Target store brand of products, but that doesn’t make them cut rate! They’re actually a pretty effective teeth whitening strip! The Target version of whitening strips is said to be comparable to Crest 3D whitening strips. Basically, they’re the generic store brand of Crest 3D.

Key Features

Considering these strips are fairly equal to Crest 3D whitening strips, they’re almost identical products without the name brand attached to them and few treatments.

Number of Treatments

10. There’s a total of 20 strips provided, allowing for 10 treatments per our upper and lower arch of teeth.

Teeth Whitening Formula

Hydrogen Peroxide is the main active ingredient and it’s designed to be worn for only 30 minutes at a time to resolve teeth stains.

Final Thoughts

Up & Up provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back. It’s a win-win to try these strips. You can grab Up & Up whitening strips at your local Target or online here for around $15. We all love a good Target run though, right? 

 

What Should You Look For In Whitening Strips?

When you’re looking for the best whitening strips, it can be hard to nail down what exactly you should look for. If you’re not going with one of the top six strips listed above, you can still find a great product as long as you know it checks certain boxes. Not just any kit will do, so read the labels carefully before you start throwing money away.

As you’re looking at whitening strips, always check the back of the box for an ingredient list. Companies are required to list their ingredients for consumers to make the best decisions for themselves. For those of us that have certain allergies or sensitivities to specific ingredients, this is a crucial step in choosing any oral hygiene product, especially whitening strips that works well for your smile. Most reputable companies are good with obvious labels regarding what products they are FREE from. Think gluten, dairy, or artificial preservatives. Once you’ve found a product that is safe to use, check to see which type and level of concentration of hydrogen peroxide and/or carbamide peroxide it contains. These are the active ingredients that will be most effective in removing stains and brightening your teeth. While some people do not want peroxide based whitening products, these tend to be the most effective, so they’ll work more quickly than non-peroxide products. For alternatives to peroxide whitening treatments, options such as the Lumineux strips are a great option.

Side Effects Of Whitening

While most over the counter whitening strips are gentle enough on tooth enamel, it’s important to monitor your teeth and gums for potential side effects. Some of the most common side effects from teeth whitening usually include sensitive gums and tooth sensitivity especially with the dissolving whitening strips. Tooth sensitivity may present itself immediately after using a whitening strip or may happen after several uses. It can range from mild to moderate discomfort that can present as a sharp “zinging” sensation, ache or even a dull throb. Gum irritation often includes swelling, burns, or bleach spots from the gel spilling over on them. It’s important to stop using whitening products if you experience any of these symptoms and speak to your dental provider. Your dentist can recommend an over the counter or prescription strength sensitivity toothpaste that will help. In most cases, applying fluoride or using a sensitive toothpaste will help with reducing tooth sensitivity. When in doubt, talk to your dentist to rule out any significant dental health issues.

How Often Should You Use Teeth Whitening Strips?

Always follow the directions. Wearing whitening strips longer or more frequently isn’t going to work out the way you think it will. The way most whitening strips are meant to be used means they should only be worn a set length of time and only every so often. Excessive use can lead to major tooth sensitivity, dental pain, and tissue burns. Follow the directions. If you’re not getting the results you want, talk to your dentist about a professional strength treatment instead. 

Teeth Whitening Alternatives

While whitening strips are certainly a convenient and effective way to “whiten your teeth” at home. But some people need more intense results than what you can get at home teeth whitening or from an over the counter teeth whitening products. This is where in-office whitening treatments come into play. The levels of whitening gel concentrations are much higher when a dental professional is administering them in a controlled environment. Over the counter treatments can only be so high when it comes to ingredient concentration before you need to see your dentist. It’s sort of like getting medication off the shelf vs. one that’s prescribed by a doctor. Here are the best alternatives for whitening your teeth besides using whitening strips:

1. In-Office Teeth Whitening 

This is the crème de la crème of whitening treatments if you want to brighten your teeth quickly and dramatically! In dentist's office treatments (sometimes called “laser whitening” or “chairside whitening”) such as ZOOM! whitening treatments provide immediate results on the same day, leaving your teeth multiple shades brighter after just one dental appointment. This type of whitening process usually includes high concentrations of whitening gel in conjunction with an activation light (it’s not really a laser) that expedites the stain release process. 

2. Custom Teeth Whitening Trays 

Cosmetic dentist offer custom bleaching trays are one of the most popular and effective methods of whitening your teeth. You can also find them online as well! Best of all, they give you independence when it comes to how often you’re applying the whitening agents. That means better control over things like sensitivity, without giving up great results. The trays are custom fitted to your teeth, so they wrap around them like a retainer to hold the whitening gel directly against your tooth enamel. Because of their molded shape, you can use less whitening gel and get maximum contact for even results. What I love best is how you can keep your trays on hand to touch up between dental checkups; just store your gel in the refrigerator to prolong its shelf life. 

3. Prevention is Key 

While whitening products can reverse natural enamel discoloration and stains from 15+ years ago, there is no time like the present to start with a preventative approach to reducing tooth stains. Smoking, tobacco products, coffee, tea, soda, and not-so-great dental hygiene can each contribute to an increase in tooth discoloration over time. By limiting these types of habits, planning regular dental checkups, and brushing and flossing daily, you can prevent new, heavy stains from accumulating on your teeth. Drinking through a straw and rinsing your mouth out with water after you eat or drink anything dark (think tea or tomato paste) can also help.

Best Teeth Whitening Strips

When it comes to sharing your smile with the people around you, you want it to look its best. Your brighter teeth is one of the first things people notice! Whitening your teeth can take several shades off your smile, making it look younger and healthier than it has in ages. You might want to whiten your teeth for personal reasons or even because of an upcoming event. Whatever your reasons are, you want to make a smart investment when it comes to where you spend your money. These best whitening strips will give you the most bang for your buck.

Bottom line: always use the product as directed. If you wear whitening strips too long or too often, it can cause painful side effects. But when in doubt, talk to your dental provider about which options will work best for your own unique smile. 

 Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH
Written by Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH"Teeth Talk Girl," is a registered dental hygienist. She started her dental health journey on YouTube, educating the public through videos.
Last updated onFebruary 14, 2024Here is our process