Teeth Whitening Kits: Do They Really Work?

Categories: Cosmetic Dentistry

Teeth discoloration is a common concern for many people. Thankfully there are several options available to get a brighter, whiter smile. Teeth whitening can be achieved through various teeth bleaching methods, including in-office and at-home treatments. Teeth whitening kits have become increasingly popular as people seek for simpler and more convenient ways whitening their teeth. While teeth whitening kits are easy and convenient to use, they don’t always guarantee the best results. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in most store-bought whitening products and kits is usually no more than 10%. However, dentists are able to offer whitening treatments using hydrogen peroxide concentrations of up to 40%, making in-office teeth whitening more effective

What are Teeth Whitening Kits?

Teeth whitening kits come in many forms but are mainly a collection of trays and tubes of whitening gel or whitening syringes, used to whiten the teeth. The trays are filled with the whitening gel and fixed to the teeth then left for some time. Some of the various types of teeth whitening kits include:

  • Whitening kits with moldable trays
  • Whitening kits with pre-filled trays
  • Whitening kits with trays and LED light

Kits with pre-filled trays are one-size-fits-all kits with trays that are already filled with whitening gel. These come in handy for individuals on the go.

Kits with moldable trays have plastic trays that are heated up to mold onto the teeth. Once they are fitted to your teeth, you can take them off and on and fill with the whitening gel that comes in syringes.

Teeth whitening kits with LED lights have lately become popular for their aesthetic appeal and seemingly better results. These kits resemble mouth guards and may come with pre-filled trays or moldable trays with whitening gel. The kit is attached to an LED light that helps activate the whitening gel to facilitate the whitening process.

Most whitening kits will come with written instructions that guide you on how to use them. They also contain a shade guide to help you track your progress.

How Do Teeth Whitening Kits Work?

The working principle of these teeth bleaching kits is pretty simple. The trays hold the whitening gel in constant contact with the teeth, which facilitates the bleaching process. Whitening gels contain carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide as the main bleaching agents. Fast-acting gels mainly contain higher hydrogen peroxide concentrations, making them more effective at removing surface stains and deep discoloration.

With pre-filled and moldable trays the whitening agent is usually hydrogen peroxide, which triggers the bleaching action as soon as it makes contact with your teeth. These trays stay in contact with teeth and are therefore fairly effective. Kits with LED light are similar to their counterparts and are only differentiated by the LED light, which enhances the effect of hydrogen peroxide. 

How to Use Teeth Whitening Kits: Process and Frequency

Most whitening teeth kits are designed to be used daily for 4-14 days straight. Given the bleaching agents used in these kits, most of them take under an hour to work. However, each kit can vary in the number of treatments requiret, from five-day, seven-day, or fourteen-day treatment.

Even with the best teeth whitening products, following the instructions to the letter is vital to achieving the best results. 

To whiten teeth using kits with pre-filled trays, you must follow the following steps:

  • Brush your teeth.
  • Remove two trays from the packaging.
  • Line the top tray against the bottom of the top teeth and carefully push the tray upwards onto the teeth.
  • Repeat this step for the bottom tray.
  • Close your mouth, but be careful not to bite down hard to avoid oozing of the gel.
  • Keep the trays in position for the specified period as in the instructions. Afterward, remove and dispose of the trays.
  • Use water to rinse the teeth and gums of any excess gel.

For moldable trays with syringe gels, the following steps apply:

  • Gently brush your teeth.
  • Heat some water, but don’t let it boil, as this would compromise the tray.
  • Place one tray into the water for about five seconds.
  • Remove the tray from the hot water and instantly place it in your mouth. Bite down on the tray, pressing it against the back and front of the teeth until it fits comfortably.
  • Let the tray cool, and if it doesn’t fit your teeth properly, repeat the steps above.
  • Repeat the steps involving heating and fitting for the other tray.
  • Ensure that the trays are clean, cool, and dry.
  • Add some gel into the trays, just enough to avoid oozing the gel onto the gums.
  • Fit the trays onto the teeth, wiping off any excess gel to avoid damaging your gums.
  • Keep the trays in position for the recommended period, usually about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the trays and remove the gel on your teeth by rinsing.
  • Clean the trays.

 What Are the Best Teeth Whitening Kits?

There are plenty of teeth whitening kit brands available in the market today. And just like with any other teeth whiteners, results may vary from one user to the other. Generally, the effectiveness of these kits depends on the hydrogen peroxide concentrations and how well users follow the instructions given.

While choosing the best whitening kit may be difficult, a good rule of thumb is using whitening kits recommended by a dentist. Going through credible and trustworthy teeth whitening kit reviews may also help simplify your searching process.


Everyone wants to keep a pearly white smile and keep teeth stain-free by any means. Teeth whitening kits offer an easy and convenient way of keeping teeth white but may not always match the results as with in-office teeth whitening procedures. Over the years, teeth whitening kits have become more popular, and brands have developed better kits for improved results. That begs the question: Do teeth whitening kits really work?

Yes, but with limitations. Teeth whitening kits are effective at eliminating some stains and teeth discoloration, but their effectiveness may vary among users. Also, these kits may not do much in whitening deeply stained teeth, making in-office whitening treatment with your dentist the best solution.