Here’s something to brighten your smile: safe, effective home products to get your gleam on.

If lockdown has had you reaching for the coffee and red wine in equal measures, your teeth may be starting to show the signs. Whereas in the past if you wanted to brighten your smile, a costly trip to the dentist was required, in recent years home-whitening kits have come on in leaps and bounds, giving safe, effective results at a fraction of the cost.

First up some fact on what causes teeth staining (it’s not just what we eat and drink!), plus tips on how to avoid staining in the first place.

  • Brush your teeth after every meal – a simple yet effective way of reducing teeth staining.

  • Rinse your mouth with water when you have consumed red wine, cola, coffee or any other food or drinks that may stain your teeth.

  • Tobacco and cigarettes will also contribute to teeth staining, long-term.

  • Teeth staining can be caused by other factors, besides food and drink. Some medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation can cause discolouration, as well as any illness or disease that affects enamel development in children, while teeth are still in development.

  • Some medical treatments or medications can also cause teeth staining, such as antihistamines and high blood pressure medications.

  • Visit your hygienist for regular cleaning to remove any surface staining professionally.

So how to achieve your most sparkling beam? Here’s our round-up of the best at-home teeth whitening kits to bring those pearly whites back to their gleaming best.

Spotlight Teeth Whitening Strips, £39.95

Can’t get to the dentist right now? Spotlight teeth whitening strips offer the next best thing, created by Irish dentist sister duo, Dr Lisa and Vanessa Creaven as an affordable alternative to teeth whitening at home. Especially formulated for sensitive teeth, the kit comes with easy-to-apply whitening strips that you apply to both top and bottom rows each day for an hour – after two weeks you teeth will be noticeably whiter and brighter.

iWhite Instant Teeth Whitening Kit, £29.99

If you’re looking for a fuss-free option when it comes to at-home teeth whitening, the iWhite kit provides 10 trays of pre-filled gels – ready-dosed for you to pop in and let them work their magic. Worn for just 20 minutes a day over five consecutive days, they give quick and easy-to-achieve results. Once you’ve completed the initial course, a single top up once a month will keep teeth white and bright.

Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder, £10.75

If you’re looking for a more natural, chemical-free alternative to whiten your teeth, Activated Charcoal have a powder containing (no surprises) activated charcoal, as well as calcium, ginger root and sodium to remove stains and discolouration as well as fights bacteria and reduce gum inflammation. Applied twice daily when you brush, it may not be as immediately effective as stronger, chemical-based formulas but it gives visible results, free from colours, chemicals and preservatives.

Glo32 Teeth Whitening Strips, £20 for 28 strips

Glo32 uses coconut oil as a healthier way of bringing the shine back to your pearly whites. The 14-day kit includes quick and easy to apply strips to gently remove stains, that naturally promote healthier gums and remove plaque, too.

Mr Bright Teeth Whitening Pen, £23

A genius addition to your washbag, Mr Bright Teeth Whitening pen is like Tippex, for teeth. Containing 2ml of whitening gel inside the precision application, you simply twist and apply to clean, leave for half an hour and rinse. Great if you only have one or two teeth you want to target.

HiSmile Teeth, £49.99

The newest tech in teeth whitening (celeb fans abound), HiSmile offers a peroxide-free whitening formula, activated by the in-built LED lamp in the ergonomic mouthguard. Simply add the gel, pop in the tray for ten minutes and the handy timer will let you know when you’re done. The shade chart included will help you chart your progress, with up to eight shades whitening in only six days.

Smile Science Harley Street Professional Teeth Whitening Kit, £29.99

Smile Science has the reassuring Harley Street name association for its ‘five-point LED accelerating light’. A similar concept to the HiSmile mouth tray, what sets it apart is the ‘pre-treatment’ cleaning formulation, which preps teeth and starts to remove stains. Coupled with regular use of their vitamin enriched whitening toothpaste, with vitamins A, B6 and C for overall gum and oral health, you’ll have a whitened AND healthier smile, too.

By Lydia Mansi
August 2020


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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.