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Coffee and wine lovers are all too familiar with the unfortunate effects that their favorite beverages can have on their teeth.
Thankfully, you don't have to say goodbye to these simple pleasures altogether if you want a brighter smile — there are a few easy ways to take care of pesky stains. The most effective solutions can be found at your dentist's office, Dr. Lawrence Fung of Silicon Beach Dental told Shop TODAY. There, they can give you a prescription-strength whitening treatment or fit you with a custom tray.
However, if you want to save yourself a trip (and some money), there are also a handful of good whitening options that can be done from the comfort of your own home. Below, we asked four dentists to share the most effective and easy-to-use at-home teeth whitening products that will give you a brighter smile in no time.
Expert-approved teeth whitening products
These whitening strips came as a top recommendation from Fung, Dr. Pia Lieb of Cosmetic Dentistry Center NYC and Dr. Irina Sinensky, dentist and co-founder of Dental House. When used properly, Sinensky said they can be very effective, though you should be mindful to only apply to the teeth, as it can cause the gums discomfort.
Most teeth whitening products on the market work chemically, using a variant of hydrogen peroxide to break apart stain particles, said Fung.
Strips, trays, pens and gels all have differing levels of peroxide, added Sonya Krasilnikov, dentist and co-founder of Dental House, but those with more concentrated forms tend to have better and faster results. Opalescence Go's pre-filled trays, which contain 15% peroxide, can be a good option, she said. The pack comes with 10 trays, which only need to be worn for 15 to 20 minutes thanks to their high concentration of peroxide.
Pens typically aren't the most effective tool, Fung said, because the formula doesn't stay on your teeth long enough for significant whitening to occur. However, he said, this option can be great for removing surface stains, like those left over from a recent glass of red wine or coffee, in a pinch. According to the brand, it's enamel-safe and won't cause sensitivity.
For those looking for a casual teeth whitening strategy, mouthwashes are a quick option that, like pens, can help to remove recent, surface-level stains. Fung recommended this option from Listerine, which uses hydrogen peroxide to gently whiten teeth. The fluoride is great for cavity protection, and the clean mint flavor will leave your mouth feeling fresh.
Toothpaste is a great way to maintain your sparkling teeth, but should be paired with other whitening tools for the best results. Lieb likes this one, which uses hydrogen peroxide to whiten. According to the brand, if used regularly over the course of six weeks, it can whiten teeth up to four shades.
Vegan and free of peroxides, dyes, parabens and preservatives, this toothpaste naturally whitens your teeth to give you a brighter smile. Fung recommended this option not only for its whitening capabilities but also because it contains fluoride to protect against cavities and coconut oil for a soothing effect.
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