Something To Smile About: 7 New Ways To Brighten Up Your Pearly Whites

How much does it suck that some of our favorite things — coffee, red wine, even berries — are most responsible for staining and dulling our pearly whites? We're not much for moderation — you can pry our iced coffees and after-dinner wine from our cold, dead hands, thankyouverymuch — so needless to say, we're big fans of at-home teeth whitening.
Hold up, we know what you're thinking: You've tried those ill-fitting trays and cumbersome strips and all they left you with was a (literal) bad taste in your mouth and overly-sensitive teeth. But there have been some serious advances in the whitening category, of late, including some new high-tech devices, better-quality strips, and natural options that are actually effective. These new methods have made it easier than ever to whiten your teeth at home, provided you are committed to the cause.
" At-home teeth whitening requires a commitment to follow a strict daily regimen for a few consecutive days, to get the realistic result one is looking for, so you have to have the time and discipline — you can't do it haphazardly or inconsistently," says Dr. Pankaj Singh, clinical director at Arch Dental Associates in NYC. "Expect to really devote an hour a day, every day, for a few consecutive days to really do it correctly, to be able to see a difference."
If you've never whitened your teeth at home, Dr. Singh has a few words of wisdom for you. "Unrealistic expectations might set you up for disappointment," he says. "Expect teeth to be whiter than they were before the whitening, but don't expect them to be whiter than the 'whites of your eyes.'" He also adds that teeth whitening is something that needs to be done periodically to maintain the shade initially achieved — food stains will accumulate over time, which will lead to yellowing and dulling if you don't keep up the maintenance.
Here, we've rounded up some of the best new strips, gadgets, gums, and pastes that promise to make your teeth look dazzling. From ion trays to clay-based cleaners, check out the newest, most convenient ways to add some sparkle to your smile.
1 of 7
This innovative new treatment uses ionic technology to deliver whitening gel deeper into the enamel to break up tough stains. The tray is double-sided, so you can do both your upper and lower teeth all at once. Each treatment lasts for five minutes; you should be doing two treatments a day over a total of 5 days, or 10 back-to-back treatments for a total of 50 minutes.

Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening System, $195, available at Neiman Marcus.

Photo: Courtesy of Tanda
2 of 7
Free of toxic and harmful ingredients, this whitening gum is packed with calcium and vitamins A, C, D, and E to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. The flavors are also some of the yummiest and most inventive we've tried: Mint & Pomegrante, Mint & Açai, and Mint & Key Lime.

Vitacare Whitening Gum, $1.99, available at Vitacare.

Photo: Courtesy of Vitacare
3 of 7
Made with kaolin clay — the stuff you're most used to seeing in your pore-declogging skin-care masks — this luxe toothpaste actually polishes your teeth. The clay has flat-surfaced microscopic ridges that buff away surface stains to make your pearly whites look that much pearlier.

Dentisse Natural Reflection Toothpaste, $16.99, available at Dentisse.

Photo: Courtesy of Dentisse
4 of 7
As much as we love the convenience of whitening strips, we hate wrestling them off of our teeth after our session is done. We invariably get some on our tongue and then we're tasting that whitening tang for the rest of the day. Yummy. These new strips are ingenious because they actually dissolve once your treatment is through, so you'll never have to try and detach those sticky little buggers from your teeth again.

Rembrandt Stain Dissolving Strips, $22.99, available at Rembrandt.

Photo: Via Rembrandt
5 of 7
These little babies pack a powerful one-two whitening punch. Squeeze the tube to break the inner chambers, combining the stain-removing oxygen ions with the desensitizing and accelerating formula. Wipe your teeth with the built-in applicator to apply the gel, then let it sit on your teeth and avoid eating or drinking for at least 20 minutes. After six days, the brand claims you'll go an average of six shades whiter with minimal sensitivity.

Go Smile Double Action 6 Day Whitening System, $89, available at Go Smile.

Photo: Courtesy of Go Smile
6 of 7
This device is about as high-tech as at-home whitening gets. Apply the gel to the mouthpiece, turn it on, and place it in your mouth. The tray lights up with a bright blue light that warms the gel. The combination of heat and light allows the gel to work faster and provide you with more visible results. The treatment is meant to be used for four consecutive eight-minute sessions, done daily for three to five days.

Glo Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device, $275, available at Sephora.

Photo: Via Glo
7 of 7
Perfect for those with sensitive teeth, this whitening toothpaste promises to gently remove 90% of surface stains in 14 days, strengthening your enamel in the process.

Crest 3D White Enamel Renewal Fluoride Anticavity Toothpaste, $4.49, available at

Photo: Crest