Crest is aggressively advertising on TV and on Facebook, the social networking site, to promote its Whitestrips Advanced Seal. Crest promises "a dramatically whiter smile."
Listerine says its Whitening Quick Dissolving Strip "simply dissolves to noticeably white." And i-White claims to provide "dentist-office results." Consumer Reports tested to see how well eight at-home kits work. Over 80 staffers tried out one kit each, costing anywhere from $17 to $50.
There are kits that use strips that stick on and strips that dissolve. Other kits use trays, including one from i-White. It has a battery-operated light designed to accelerate teeth whitening, but it didn't do so well. In Consumer Reports' tests, the i-White kit actually whitened teeth the least of all the kits tested.
Testers used a device called a colorimeter to assess staffers' before and after tooth color. Consumer Reports says don't expect dramatic results with any of them. None of the kits offered a Cover Girl white smile. But the $50 Crest Whitestrips Supreme did outperform the others, rating very good. It's available online.
If you want to reduce stains on your teeth, go easy when it comes to drinking tea, coffee, colas, red wine, and even clear sodas.
Be aware that all of the kits Consumer Reports tested caution that the product might cause temporary tooth and gum sensitivity, and that was the case for some people in the tests.