The best things in life stain your teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine, berries, juice — they all leave their mark. But indulging doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your bright smile!
Just a couple of decades ago, teeth whitening options were limited to expensive in-office sessions or prescription-only at-home kits. Now, there are plenty of affordable and effective at-home teeth whitening products — including those with LED lights that take the in-office experience and make it pocket-sized.
We dove in to find out which LED-enhanced whitening systems are worth your time and money. We combed through reviews, got feedback from actual customers, spoke to the companies, and selected the top-four best LED whitening kits.
Table of Contents
#1: Best Overall Kit: GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device
Out of all the teeth whitening systems on our list, GLO Brilliant is the priciest at $199. Even so, we feel it is the best value and best overall option.
GLO Brilliant was developed by leading cosmetic dentists in New York City. Its patented Guided Light Optics (GLO) device combines LED light and heat to speed up and enhance the whitening process. The system has FDA approval for use in teeth whitening — something few other at-home products can claim. And it’s received two Edison Awards for excellence in product development.
Their system is known for causing less sensitivity than most, thanks to the GLO Lip Care treatment included in the kit, which you apply to the lips and gums to stop irritation. However, it takes 40 teeth whitening sessions spread out over 10 days to see maximum results — more of a time investment than most of their competitors.
GLO Brilliant Advantages
- You can purchase additional whitening solutions separately.
- The use of heat speeds up the whitening process.
- FDA approval means it has gone through more testing and documentation than most competitors.
GLO Brilliant Disadvantages
- You must apply the gel four times a day, taking a total of 32 minutes per day.
- The battery runs down quickly, so you may need to charge it daily.
Is GLO Brilliant Right for You?
Bottom Line: GLO Brilliant offers effective teeth whitening backed by advanced technology and safety standards.
#2: Best for On the Go: SNOW Teeth Whitening
All of the teeth whitening systems on this list are small and can easily travel with you wherever you go, but they aren’t designed for use anywhere, any time. SNOW Teeth Whitening is.
You apply the whitening solution using pens, ensuring accurate application while decreasing the chance of spills. The LED device is powered by a cable that connects to your phone, so you don’t need to search for a power source. Additionally, each whitening session takes as little as nine minutes, so you can even brighten your smile in short breaks between meetings.
It also represents an incredible value. The $149 price tag includes a whopping 75 or more applications. You can also buy additional pens if you want to whiten your teeth again later on and save money by reusing the light.
- The system is easy to transport and use on the go.
- The gel is highly effective, even in short sessions.
- You don’t need extra batteries or a plug-in power source.
- Some customers do not like the pen applicator.
- You are tied to your phone for the full treatment time.
Is SNOW Right for You?
Bottom Line: If you want to whiten your teeth while traveling or working, SNOW is the most portable option available.
#3: Most Inclusive: Cali White Vegan Teeth Whitening Kit
Many teeth-whitening kits aren’t conducive for people with particular diets or allergies. That’s why we love Cali White’s Vegan Teeth Whitening Kit — pretty much everyone can use it! The system is vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and organic. It doesn’t include parabens, fluoride, triclosan, or sulfates; it’s also BPA-free and designed to ensure adequate ventilation.
Now, it isn’t “all-natural,” but it is as close as it gets on this list.
Cali White does all this without cutting any corners on quality. Its carbamide peroxide formula is comparable to lower dental-grade solutions and delivers results within 7 days. Plus, its customizable trays mold to your teeth for the best possible results.
Cali White Advantages
- Their system is backed by a 100-day refund policy.
- A built-in timer makes it easy to know when to stop the treatment.
- Nearly anyone can safely and happily use this system.
Cali White Disadvantages
- Some users report gum sensitivity due to the strength of the whitening solution.
- The whitening results aren’t as consistent as some other kits.
Is Cali White Right for You?
Bottom Line: If you are unable to use other whitening kits due to allergies, sensitivities, or veganism, Cali White can help you brighten your smile.
#4 Most Well-Known: Crest 3D White Whitestrips With Light
Crest is quite possibly the nation’s most well-known name in over-the-counter dental products. When they released their signature Whitestrips in 2001, they revolutionized the teeth-whitening process, taking it from an in-office procedure to a quick and easy DIY treatment.
Yet on their own, Whitestrips can only change your smile so much. This kit adds a blue light device to help the whitening agents penetrate deeper into your enamel. You wear the strip for 30 minutes, then use the blue light for an additional 10 minutes.
The kit is good for 16 treatments, intended for use on consecutive days. Once finished, the kit cannot be reused — not even the blue light device — while most other kits on this list are reusable after purchasing extra solution.
Crest 3D Whitestrips With Light Advantages
- The strips are very easy to apply.
- Results should last 6 months.
- The cost is lower than many other kits with LED lights.
Crest 3D Whitestrips With Light Disadvantages
- Some people find the strips cause sensitivity in the teeth and gums.
- The disposable light cannot be reused.
Are Crest 3D Whitestrips With Light Right for You?
Bottom Line: Crest 3D Whitestrips With Light offers fast and affordable treatment from a name you can trust.
These are all great options, so choosing just one might be difficult. No matter which you choose, you will receive a high-quality product that will enhance your smile. However, two stand out above the rest: GLO Brilliant and Cali White.
Choose the Brilliant Teeth Whitening Kitif…
You want a product that has gone through rigorous testing to prove it is both safe and effective.
Choose theSNOW Teeth Whitening Kitif…
You want a convenient, high-quality treatment that you can use almost anywhere.
How Does LED Whitening Work?
LED stands for light-emitting diode. Bulbs using LED technology put off more blue wavelengths than most other types of lightbulbs, making them effective at amplifying whitening agents.
This blue light activates peroxide, breaking apart the gel faster, allowing it to start working on the teeth directly after application. It can also help to open the pores of the teeth quicker, letting the peroxide get inside and attack set-in stains.
There is a lot of skepticism around the use of blue light therapy for teeth whitening, and this is understandable. First of all, the lights used in dental offices are often halogen or UV — not LED. Second, they combine light with heat, which changes the results. Additionally, there have been studies that indicated LED lights don’t enhance whitening at all.
However, there have also been studies that show LED lights to be effective at whitening teeth. Why are there conflicting results? It’s hard to say without more in-depth peer review and analysis. It could be due to the whitening agents used, the genetics of the patients, and even errors in application. However, it does appear that even with at-home teeth whitening peroxide concentration, LED lights improve results.
Qualities We Looked For
What makes a teeth whitening system the “best?” In truth, everyone has their own standards for what is or isn’t essential for a product to be considered better than the competition. Our goal was to focus on the qualities we felt would matter most to the majority of our readers. So, how did we evaluate each product?
Full disclosure: we did not try all of these kits ourselves, so what we know about their results isn’t first-hand knowledge. However, we did look at customer testimonials and before and after photos to get a good feel for the results each system can achieve. If we weren’t impressed, the system didn’t make our list.
The whole point of opting for at-home teeth whitening is to pay less than you would if you worked with a dentist. And honestly, pretty much all at-home systems will cost less than even the cheapest in-office option. However, we looked for true value — systems that deliver a lot for their given price point, no matter how that compares to in-office treatments.
Quality of Ingredients
Whenever something comes into direct contact with your teeth, you want it to have high-quality ingredients. We looked for systems that utilize safe ingredients that are common to dental products and deliver excellent results.
Ease of Use
Cosmetic teeth whitening shouldn’t be overly complicated. Since most systems need to be used once a day for a set period of time, the last thing you want is for the process to be so complex that it becomes a hassle. We looked for systems that take just a few steps from start to finish.
While teeth whitening always has some degree of discomfort, you shouldn’t be itching for the moment your whitening session is over. We looked for systems that are less obtrusive, better tasting, and overall more enjoyable to use.
Finally, we looked for features that set each system apart from the others. We didn’t want a list of four teeth whitening systems that ultimately all offer the exact same things. To make our list, the product needed to offer something that stood out.
At-home teeth whitening kits can deliver stunning cosmetic smile enhancements. While there are numerous at-home options, we feel those with LED/blue-light-assisted technology most closely mimic the in-office experience. All four systems on our list are excellent products that we are confident in sharing with you. Choose any of them and you’ll be smiling bright in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to whiten your teeth with LED lights?
Yes. Many people confuse LED light with ultraviolet light, which can harm cells. LED whitening is a safe alternative to UV light systems, which are often used in dental offices.
Do blue lights actually whiten teeth?
If you use the blue light on its own, no. The same is true for the UV lights your dentist uses. These lights speed up the effects of the whitening agent you are using.
Is it OK to use whitening toothpaste while using one of these systems?
Yes, the chemicals in whitening toothpaste should not interact with these kits — though you should consult your dentist before combining them. You might consider switching to one that helps reduce tooth sensitivity instead since whitening products can make the teeth more sensitive.
How do tooth-whitening agents work?
It depends on the product. In most cases, they open the pores of the teeth while using their own chemicals combined with oxygen in the air and carbon in your dentin to break apart the molecules that make up teeth stains.
Should I get a professional dental cleaning before whitening my teeth?
Yes! We suggest you see your general dentist to get your teeth professionally cleaned and consult them about your candidacy for DIY teeth whitening. Whitening products work best when your teeth are free of plaque and tartar, and your standard toothbrush cannot get them as clean as the polisher at your dentist’s office.
How long will my teeth stay white?
There is no universal answer. Some products will be more effective on your teeth than others, and the habits that yellowed your teeth in the first place also come into play. Continuing to drink coffee and wine, or smoke, will shorten the lifespan of your teeth whitening results.
What can I do to extend the lifespan of my results?
Skip highly pigmented foods and drinks. Think wine, coffee, berries, and beets. When you do consume these items, brush your teeth about thirty minutes after you are done (brushing too soon can push acids into the enamel and weaken it). Also, brush and floss twice a day and get professional cleanings twice a year.
Is the tooth sensitivity from teeth whitening permanent?
No. Usually, tooth sensitivity goes away within a few days of completing the whitening treatment. However, if your teeth were sensitive prior to whitening, you can expect to return to the same level of sensitivity.
Will my teeth whitening kit help lighten my veneers, fillings, or crowns?
Not beyond surface stains. Teeth whitening penetrates the enamel to lift deep stains, and it does this by opening the pores. Your cosmetic or restorative dental materials do not have pores like your natural teeth, so you won’t notice any difference.
- Best Hands-Free Design:Glo Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device. ...
- Best For Enamel Safety:AuraGlow Deluxe Home Teeth Whitening System. ...
- Best Organic Ingredients:Cali White Vegan Teeth Whitening Kit. ...
- Best Customizable:Active Premium Wow Teeth Whitening Kit.
On average, LED teeth whitening can lighten your smile 6-8 shades during a single whitening session. Overall, the addition of LED lights to whitening procedures has improved the effectiveness of whitening agents, allowing for brighter and whiter smiles.How do I prepare my LED teeth for whitening? ›
- Brush your teeth. ...
- Apply whitening gel on your teeth or to the tray.
- Connect the light to your phone, computer, USB port, it's going to be amazing!
- Turn on the light and keep it in your mouth until the light turns off. ...
- Remove the light and rinse your mouth thoroughly.
Results last up to 6 months, per 1 week treatment. Up to 9 shades whiter in just one week. After trying our whitening products, 95% of customers said they would use it again. Same enamel-safe whitening agent used by dentists.Do LED whitening kits damage teeth? ›
Is LED whitening safe? For the most part, it is considered safe. Sensitivity may occur with this type of teeth whitening. Sensitivity is related to the type of gel solution (bleaching agent), strength, and usage.How often should you LED whiten your teeth? ›
How often teeth whitening treatments are recommended by dentists. Professional teeth whitening performed in the dentist's office is recommended once every year to every 18 months, depending on how long the results last. At-home kits can be used as often as once every four to six months.What are the risks of LED teeth whitening? ›
Since this product penetrates the tooth's enamel, it is common for consumers to be skeptical of its effects. Whitening products usually do cause side effects like tooth sensitivity and slight discomfort or irritation of your gums.What is better laser or LED teeth whitening? ›
Firstly, whitening time is shorter for only 2-3 minutes, much less than 30-45 minutes of LED light bleaching. Secondly, there is lower teeth sensitivity, while LED light whitening has a strong acid swelling reaction. Thirdly, laser tooth whitening has a better effect and can last for longer time.What are the pros and cons of LED teeth whitening? ›
Pros and Cons of LED Tooth Whitening
- Tooth and gum sensitivity. Studies show that sensitivity is common after bleaching, especially after LED tooth-whitening procedures. ...
- Unsatisfactory results. ...
- Short-term effects. ...
- Expensive treatment.
We all want a white brighter smile. But this begs the question “does teeth whitening damage the enamel?” The answer is no. While there may sometimes be side effects, whitening treatment is safe on tooth enamel.
According to Dr. Alina Lane, DDS, “Current research shows that the use of LED whitening kits is quite safe when used infrequently, however it is extremely common to see an increase in tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation immediately after using these products.”How long do I leave LED teeth whitening on? ›
After applying the gel, plug the light into your phone using the appropriate attachment and insert the light into your mouth. Keep the light on for five minutes. After five minutes, remove the light and unplug it from your phone. Spit out excess foam if needed.Does Smile Direct make teeth fall out? ›
Myth: SmileDirectClub damages teeth and causes them to fall out. False. Our aligners will NOT damage healthy teeth. You should always maintain your regular cleanings with your local dentist to keep your teeth healthy and prevent any issues.Is Smile Direct faster than Invisalign? ›
While both Invisalign and Smile Direct are faster treatments than conventional braces, Smile Direct is even faster (i.e. it takes 4 to 6 months) than Invisalign (which requires at least 6 months of treatment depending on the severity of your case).
In-office professional whitening treatments use a higher concentration of whitening chemicals for a shorter amount of time, allowing you to see immediate results that last. In addition, adding LED blue light to your whitening treatment helps further brighten and whiten your smile.Is LED whitening better than strips? ›
Though some lights can add a temporary boost that fades within a day or so, none ultimately make your teeth whiter than trays of bleach or whitening strips alone. Nor can they shorten the amount of time you have to spend with a mouth full of whitening chemicals to achieve your desired tooth shade.What is the safest teeth whitening? ›
At-Home Custom Tray Whitening
For the safest and most effective at-home teeth whitening method, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends you use custom-fitted trays supplied by your dentist. Ill-fitting teeth whitening trays can cause the gel to ooze out and irritate your gums.
The most reliable and effective teeth whitening treatment is professional chairside teeth whitening. Also known as in-office tooth whitening, the treatment takes place at the dentist's office and only takes 90 minutes of your time.Can I use LED teeth whitening twice a day? ›
Can I whiten my teeth twice in a day? It is safe for you to use tooth whitening trays four hours apart from each other. This is enough time for your enamel to recover from any minimal wear that may have been caused by the whitening gel. However, tooth whitening is more effective the longer you leave each tray in.What happens if you forget to put teeth whitening gel in the fridge? ›
As NON-refrigerated whitening products break down and degrade during storage and shipping, hydrogen ions are produced. Those hydrogen ions are acid (pH = potential of Hydrogen). Whitening gels therefore become more and more acidic as they break down, resulting in an ever increasing possibility of sensitivity and pain.
Research shows that hydrogen peroxide products might damage proteins in your teeth's dentin layer. Dentin is the hard tissue that lies beneath your teeth's surface enamel. Another study shows that whitening products might also roughen or soften your teeth's surface.Does baking soda whiten teeth? ›
Baking soda is good for teeth whitening because it is a very mild abrasive, which helps remove stains from the surface of your teeth. In addition, baking soda is alkaline and salty, which helps lighten acid-based food stains – such as those from coffee, tea, and red wine – on teeth.How many teeth whitening sessions do I need? ›
How many teeth whitening treatments do I need? Posted July 25, 2022 by Fresh Dental. Even though it may include many administrations of the bleaching solution, most patients need one teeth-whitening treatment session. Wearing the whitening pellets lasting up to two weeks may be required for at-home whitening kits.What are the disadvantages of laser teeth whitening? ›
The disadvantages of laser teeth whitening
Some patients who have received laser teeth whitening at Dental Elements have told us that they experience teeth sensitivity and some gum irritation. If you're aware of a tendency to experience sensitive teeth, let your dentist and their staff know in advance.
Can laser teeth whitening damage your teeth? No, it doesn't. The teeth whitening gel will not damage your tooth enamel as it is a hard tissue. The American Dental Association says that teeth whitening is safe.What are the two disadvantages of LED? ›
- High initial price: LEDs are currently more expensive (price per lumen) on an initial capital cost basis, than most conventional lighting technologies. ...
- Temperature dependence: LED performance largely depends on the ambient temperature of the operating environment – or "thermal management" properties.
Also, if you have poor oral health or an underlying medical condition that affects the teeth, the teeth whitening procedure may make the teeth yellow. This is because the dentin has a yellowish hue under the enamel. So, when the enamel thins, your teeth become translucent and may look yellow.What is the safest way to whiten teeth without damaging enamel? ›
Baking Soda: As long as you are careful to brush gently, baking soda can eliminate stains from the surface of your teeth without damaging them. Whitening Strips: Whitening strips mold to the shape of your teeth to whiten them. Whitening strips are both safe and effective.Does enamel grow back after whitening? ›
Enamel doesn't have any living cells and is unable to repair itself if it undergoes damage. In other words, unlike the rest of the human body that can repair itself, once the enamel is gone, it's gone forever.Can you use LED teeth whitening everyday? ›
How Often Should You Use It? Use 15 minutes once a day for 21 days, and then one to two times weekly to maintain that beautiful smile. You'll see visible results just after an hour of your first use.
Conclusion: Both tooth whitening methods had a significant whitening effect after 15 days of use. However, the onset of whitening was significantly faster when using the nonabrasive, activator-containing toothpaste combined with an LED device. The toothpaste and LED device were both safe.Is red or blue light better for teeth whitening? ›
This means the two forms of light have different purposes and properties when it comes to wellness and beauty. Red light therapy can penetrate deeper into skin and tissue than blue light technology. Blue light whitening will help you to kill bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.What happens if you leave whitening light too long? ›
Leaving whitening strips on for too long can cause chemical burns to your gums. The peroxide in the whitening strips breaks down into oxygen radicals which can damage your gums with prolonged contact. In extreme cases, this can lead to gum recession.Do you brush your teeth after whitening light? ›
It's safe to brush and floss your teeth after using whitening strips. It won't reduce the whitening effects of the treatment. Manufacturers recommend doing so gently. This will help you avoid gum irritation and discomfort.Can you drink water with whitening trays in? ›
You should not eat, drink or smoke whilst wearing the trays. The whitening process works at different rates for each individual, but most patients report that a noticeable effect after just four treatments. Sufficient gel is given for the initial process to work.Does Smile Direct cause nerve damage? ›
These issues can lead to frequent headaches, strain in the neck and jaw muscles, migraines, difficult or painful chewing, and other issues. Other Smile Direct customers have reported nerve damage and broken teeth from the aligner trays.Does Smile Direct cause gum recession? ›
CAVITIES, GUM OR PERIODONTAL DISEASE – Cavities, tooth decay, periodontal disease, gingival recession, inflammation of the gums or permanent markings (e.g. decalcification) may occur or accelerate during use of aligners.Is Smile Direct worth it? ›
SmileDirectClub is worth it if you want straighter teeth without the cost of traditional braces and you have only minor to moderate tooth issues. There's little risk to learning if you're a candidate for treatment with SmileDirectClub, and the company includes a “Lifetime Smile Guarantee.”Can I cancel Smile Direct after one month? ›
If you decide SmileDirectClub aligners aren't for you within the first 30 days of use, we'll refund your cost 100%. Even after the first 30 days, you can return your unused aligners for a prorated refund. That's our promise to you.How many hours a day should I wear my Smile Direct aligners? ›
SmileDirectClub Aligners are designed to move teeth in 4-6 months2 and require 22 hours of wear per day. Your assigned doctor is a state-licensed dentist or orthodontist who was assigned to you to manage your specific alignment needs.
In general, the success rate of Invisalign is quite high. The overall success rate of Invisalign is around 96%. This means that 96% of patients who complete treatment with Invisalign achieve their desired results and are completely satisfied with the treatment.Do dentists use LED light to whiten teeth? ›
Your dentist will apply a whitening gel to your teeth. Then they will use a blue LED light, which activates the hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide whitening gel. This helps break apart the gel faster.Can I use hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth? ›
Hydrogen peroxide is an inexpensive household product you probably have on hand right now. When used carefully, it can be an effective way to whiten your teeth. But if used incorrectly — in concentrations that are too high or if used too often — it can cause serious and sometimes expensive tooth damage.Do home teeth whitening kits work? ›
Some home kits don't contain enough whitening product to be effective. Also, if a dental professional isn't doing the whitening, the mouthguard provided may not fit properly so some of the bleaching gel may leak out onto your gums and into your mouth, causing blistering and sensitivity.What is the most efficient LED color? ›
The most efficacious LEDs have very high correlated color temperatures (CCTs), often above 5000K, producing a “cold” bluish light. However, warm white LEDs (2600K to 3500K) have improved significantly, now approaching the efficacy of CFLs.Are whitening strips or LED light better? ›
Though some lights can add a temporary boost that fades within a day or so, none ultimately make your teeth whiter than trays of bleach or whitening strips alone. Nor can they shorten the amount of time you have to spend with a mouth full of whitening chemicals to achieve your desired tooth shade.Are LED teeth whitening kits better? ›
The concentration of peroxide in the bleaching agent determines its effectiveness. Professional whitening treatments have a higher peroxide concentration than LED treatments. Although both methods are effective, you get more immediate and longer-lasting results with professional whitening than LED whitening.What light do dentists use to whiten teeth? ›
Your dentist will apply a whitening gel to your teeth. Then they will use a blue LED light, which activates the hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide whitening gel. This helps break apart the gel faster. The resulting chemical reaction lifts stains off your teeth.What color makes your teeth look brighter? ›
Make your teeth look whiter – Darker shades like royal/navy blue, purple, and even black can make the color of your teeth appear whiter. Even so, be aware that colors like dark green and brown can look like food.What color LED light is best for staying awake? ›
Blue light has the strongest impact. Exposure to blue light (and white light, which contains blue light) during the sensitive period can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Exposure to white light during the day can have positive effects, including boosting alertness and mood.
The highest perception of brightness experienced by the human eye is generated with green light on the 555 nm wavelength. The greatest luminous efficacy which can theoretically be achieved at 555 nm is, altogether, 683 lm/W.Is red or yellow LED light better? ›
Red light thus helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, combats sun damage, reduces stretch marks, and deals with redness. Blue LED therapy, however, can be used to kill bacteria that cause acne and yellow LED light has been clinically proven to increase the overall health of the skin.What is the safest way to whiten teeth? ›
For the safest and most effective at-home teeth whitening method, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends you use custom-fitted trays supplied by your dentist. Ill-fitting teeth whitening trays can cause the gel to ooze out and irritate your gums.How long do LED teeth whitening last? ›
In most cases, teeth whitening can last from six months up to two years. There's more chance of your teeth staying whiter for longer if you avoid smoking and staining food and drinks such as tea, coffee and beetroot.