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With demand for a whiter smile growing, there is a wide field of
products that promise to brighten teeth and bring dull or stained
choppers back to pearly white. But which ones are worth the money?
Sales of toothpastes with a whitening
claim jumped 22 percent last year at supermarkets, drugstores and
mass merchants. But the surge in toothpastes has been outstripped
by over-the-counter bleaching products. Leading in sales figures
is Crest Whitestrips, which came out last May. Procter & Gamble
is projecting at least $200 million in first-year retail sales for
But are there real results for the money spent? In general, people
who use the products start to see a real difference when their teeth
turn three shades lighter or more, according to Good Housekeeping,
which tested five alternative ways to whiten your teeth.
Here are the magazine's findings.
Overall best: the Crest Night Effects do-it-yourself product and
the in-office bleaching at Britesmile and Zoom! centers. All three
lightened teeth up to five shades.
Crest Night Effects, which costs $14.99, was introduced in
stores in March. To try it out, six Good Housekeeping testers
applied paint-on gel to their teeth right before bed for 14 nights.
The product uses "LiquidStrip Technology," which holds the whitening
agent to the teeth while you sleep. The whitening gel forms a LiquidStrip
coating on the teeth that works to remove stains and loosen stain-causing
buildup. In the morning, users brush the LiquidStrip coating and
stains away. Night Effects was found to lighten teeth from two to
five shades, according to a dental shade gauge for teeth. But testers
noted that the gel felt "goopy" after application.
Britesmile and Zoom! The other top alternatives were in-office
bleaching at Britesmile and Zoom! centers. The price is $400 to
$600, depending on location. A special light activates hydrogen
peroxide gel applied to teeth (15 percent of hydrogen peroxide in
the Britesmile gel and 25 percent for Zoom!). Both concentrations
are lower than some home whitening gels, which have 35 percent to
50 percent. The procedure takes about one hour.
Britesmile and Zoom lightened teeth by three to five shades. One
tester experienced sensitivity.
In second place were Crest Whitestrips and Colgate Simply White,
which lightened teeth up to three shades.
Crest Whitestrips, under $30. Testers applied flexible strips
twice a day, 30 minutes at a time, for 14 days and the results were
compared with those of other testers, who used five kits with trays
that fit around their teeth. The Whitestrips were tops for convenience
and comfort and they lightened teeth an average of three shades.
They came in second for whitening, though. (Whitestrips have received
the Good Housekeeping Good Buy Award.)
Colgate Simply White, $15.99. Testers used this brush-on
gel twice a day for 14 days. Teeth were lightened one to three shades.
Testers found it hard to keep their mouth open for 30 seconds after
applying, though new directions say this is not needed.
Teeth-whitening gums, Trident White and Aquafresh, each lightened
teeth up to one shade.Twelve testers chewed one of six gums four
times a day for six weeks.
Trident White and Aquafresh Whitening Dental Gum were
best. Each whitened teeth up to one shade (for two testers). Each
of the gums has a different whitening ingredient. Price: $1.50 to
$3.29 per pack.
Reference Source 1041