We Tried It: 3 Teeth-Whitening Products That Actually Work



Remember that episode of Friends when Ross be-bops his way around a black-lit dance club with his glowing smile as the center of attention (and the butt of all the jokes)? That slightly irrational fear has kept me from whitening my own teeth, but beauty experts all stress how a bright smile contributes to maintaining your youthful looks.

So, as I approach 30, I'm finally succumbing to the idea of brightening up my chompers. True to Jessie form, I've researched and experimented with a handful of different ways to de-stain and whiten teeth in order to find the best options. And naturally, I just had to share my findings with you here. Ahead, my three picks on how to whiten your teeth before it's time for dentures.

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I always like to try natural versions of a treatment before relying on something chemical-based, and one of the first things I tried was the long-standing remedy of brushing with baking soda.

At first, I assumed that it was an old wives' tale, but after hearing so many positive accounts, I decided to give it a go for one week. I mixed a teaspoon of baking soda with water and brushed with the paste twice a day, and noticed a subtle brightening. The best part? I already had a box of soda in the fridge, so it cost me literally nothing. 



Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, $6.60, available at Soap.com.
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I tried these back during my college days, and while I remembered them working quite well, I hated how look it took and the sensitivity they left behind.

But once I saw what a difference baking soda made in my overall look, I thought whitening strips might be worth another stab. So, I tried Rembrandt Intense Stain Dissolving Strips. While I whiled away the short 10 minutes, I tried to not annoy my husband by lisping through my sentences. When I went back into the bathroom to do a quick rinse and check out the results, I was totally blown away at the difference after only one strip. Bonus: They dissolve during use and taste quite nice!

I used it three more times that week, every other day, and experienced zero sensitivity. I actually had to stop myself from continuing in fear that I really would overdo it like Ross.

Rembrandt Intense Stain Dissolving Strips, $22.99, available at Rembrandt.
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Thankfully, I never needed to move on to this step, but if your stains are more than surface-level-deep, you may want to explore having the procedure done at your dentist's office. My editor tried this route using Zoom, the latest in LED technology by Philips at NY Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. And, while it will cost you, she was beyond ecstatic with the results. Her enamel hue brightened by three shades. Plus, it only took 45 minutes.

Alright, now it's your turn to dish: Have you whitened your teeth before? You've got to share what did or didn't work here in the comments, and I'd love to know what other methods I might've missed!


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Photo: Via Royal Dental Spa.