The Benefits of Teeth Whitening Trays and the Top 5 to Try in 2024 (2024)

The Basics and Key Active Ingredients of Teeth Whitening Trays

The best teeth whitening trays surround your teeth with a whitening solution containing hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. They also shouldn’t touch your gums too much.

Hydrogen peroxide levels are lower in over-the-counter (OTC) whitening trays compared to procedures done at a dentist’s office. Carbamide peroxide levels tend to be anywhere from 10% to 38%.1

Many teeth whitening trays come prefilled with whitening gel. Custom whitening trays require that you add the whitening gel before use. Keeping the whitening solution away from your gums is important to prevent tissue irritation or damage.

Some teeth whitening trays come with an LED light. This device accelerates the breakdown of the peroxide solution for faster, better results. Most teeth whitening trays require anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours per application.

Top 5 At-Home Teeth Whitening Trays for 2024

Everything We Recommend

Best Overall Smile — Brilliant Teeth Whitening Trays

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Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Trays are crafted from your impressions for a tailored approach. At $151 for the most expensive option, these trays are also an affordable at-home option.

Smile Brilliant includes three sets of dental putty to help you create quality impressions of your teeth. Choose from sensitive or non-sensitive formulas that include a 22% concentration of carbamide peroxide. You can also customize your whitening solution based on how heavily stained your teeth are.

Each whitening tray order comes with free shipping and a 45-day refund policy. A two-year replacement warranty offers an additional set of trays for $35 that also come with the same warranty. Smile Brilliant’s whitening gel also has a two-year shelf life and can be purchased separately.

Best for Sensitive Teeth — BURST Whitening Trays

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BURST offers a potent whitening treatment without the risk of gum tissue irritation. Their pre-filled, one-time-use whitening trays are one-size-fits-all. BURST advertises its sensitive solution whitens teeth up to 6 shades brighter in a week.2

These BURST teeth whitening trays only take 15 minutes daily to whiten your teeth. The 12.5% concentration of hydrogen peroxide is balanced with xylitol, potassium hydroxide, and peppermint oil.

This teeth whitening kit includes seven pairs of whitening trays for $80. You can also subscribe to receive a new pack every 12 weeks for under $50.

Fastest Result — Hismile VIO405 Teeth Whitening Kit

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We tested the Hismile VIO405 Teeth Whitening Kit and saw results after two sessions. Hismile also offers one of the shortest whitening session durations at only 10 minutes per day. The LED light during the session also has a built-in timer to turn off afterward.

This teeth whitening kit from Hismile costs $120 and includes 6 full treatments. According to Hismile’s website, you can achieve up to eight shades whiter after using this kit for 6 consecutive days.3

BURST teeth whitening trays exchange peroxide solutions for phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP). This solution whitens your teeth without causing the gum and tooth sensitivity associated with peroxides.

Best Affordable Option — Opalescence Go

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Opalescence Go pre-filled teeth whitening trays cost between $70 and $80, depending on which hydrogen peroxide concentration you choose.

Both 10% and 15% hydrogen peroxide are available in kits that include sets of four or 10 whitening trays. You can only order Opalescence Go kits from Amazon, Walmart, or an authorized dealer.

These whitening trays also feature a proprietary gel to whiten teeth without the risk of damaging gum tissue. Mint and melon flavors balance the peroxide taste.

Best Whitening Tray Kit with LED Light — Auraglow Teeth Whitening Kit

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This teeth whitening kit includes 20 treatments with a 35% concentration of carbamide peroxide.

The built-in timer on the rechargeable LED light keeps track of your session and shuts off once the whitening treatment is complete. When performed once per day for 7 consecutive days, Auraglow boasts results of up to 10 shades brighter.4

Auraglow offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. The teeth whitening kit has silicone trays that flex to fit your teeth, a storage case, and a charging cable. Auraglow’s kit costs $80 with free shipping.

Why Choose OTC Teeth Whitening Trays Over Other Methods?

OTC teeth whitening trays are a popular alternative to professional whitening trays and other treatments because they are:

  • Affordable — Teeth whitening trays cost anywhere from $50 to $300. That’s a fraction of the price of professional whitening treatments.
  • Convenient — Whiten your teeth whenever or wherever you want. Visiting the dentist for a teeth whitening treatment can cause anxiety and take time out of your day. Teeth whitening trays give you more control.
  • Cost-effective — Results are often seen after the first few treatments, but regular maintenance is required. Professional whitening treatments, however, provide instant results and only need to be completed a few times a year.

Pros, Cons, and Frequently Asked Questions about Teeth Whitening Trays

A custom mouth tray is a safe, effective way to whiten teeth. They are easy to use and reduce time spent at the dentist’s office.5 Results are fast, and teeth may be up to two shades lighter in a few days.6

Advantages and Potential Drawbacks of Teeth Whitening Trays

Our extensive research and testing uncovered these pros of teeth whitening trays:

  • Affordable
  • Specially designed formulas for sensitive teeth
  • Results last longer than whitening strips and whitening toothpaste
  • Convenient
  • Straightforward application
  • Custom solutions provide wider coverage
  • Requires little downtime
  • Quick results

After reading hundreds of reviews and comments and using the products ourselves, we determined the cons of teeth whitening include:

  • Custom trays can be expensive
  • Risk of irritating or damaging gum tissue with improper fitment
  • At-home methods take longer to work than professional treatments
  • Can be just as messy as whitening pens
  • Requires routine maintenance
  • Higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can cause sensitivity

Common Questions and Misconceptions

Many people considering teeth whitening trays ask the following:

How often should I use teeth whitening trays?

Most people only need to use teeth whitening trays for 2 to 4 hours daily. However, some people may need to wear teeth whitening trays overnight for the best results.

Are teeth whitening trays safe to use?

Teeth whitening trays are safe if the bleaching product doesn’t touch your gum tissue. Minor contact will irritate your gums and cause sensitivity. If you keep the bleach off your gum tissue, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Can I whiten my teeth if they’re sensitive?

Yes, you can whiten your teeth if they’re sensitive. Many patients experience less pain when they undergo a professional whitening treatment, but many commercial teeth whitening trays incorporate a special formula for sensitive teeth.

How long does it take before you see results?

Most people see results from teeth whitening trays within a few days or treatments. It’s a common misconception that teeth whitening treatments only require one session.

Many see results after a few whitening treatments, but the brighter appearance requires further treatments to maintain that whiteness. This is especially true for those who smoke, drink coffee or chew tobacco.

Are there any side effects of teeth whitening trays?

Side effects of teeth whitening trays include gum irritation, a lack of satisfactory results, and teeth sensitivity. If you experience issues while using teeth whitening trays, it’s best to stop use and contact your dentist.

Dentist vs. At-Home Teeth Whitening Trays

Effectiveness and Pros/Cons of Both Options

Dentists use a higher concentration of whitening solution (most often hydrogen peroxide) to bleach your teeth in a controlled and safe environment. People often see near-instant results with little or no irritation to the teeth or gums.

The pros of professional teeth whitening treatments include:

  • The most effective way to treat heavy stains
  • Treatment tailored to your mouth for less risk of gum tissue irritation
  • Requires little downtime
  • Near-instant results
  • Can be done a day or two before an important event

However, the experts at Newmouth came across the following cons in our research:

  • Expensive
  • Requires upkeep to sustain whiteness
  • Anxiety about visiting the dentist’s office
  • Whitening appointments take longer
  • May not be covered by insurance
  • Results vary based on the person

Several over-the-counter options exist to whiten your teeth at home. The effectiveness in whitening teeth varies from one product to the next, with several of these pros included:

  • Cost-effective
  • Convenient
  • Non-invasive
  • Custom and disposable solutions are available
  • Affordable

DIY teeth whitening comes with several risks and cons, including:

  • The diluted solution can require more time for significant results
  • Risk of developing gum tissue and tooth sensitivity
  • Requires upkeep to maintain the desired whiteness
  • Doesn’t treat underlying dental issues
  • May cause unintended/negative side effects

Comparing the Effectiveness of Dentist vs. At-Home Trays

Seeking out professional whitening treatments can offer a one-stop solution for stained teeth. Your dentist can tailor your whitening process to your individual needs.

While these professional treatments are on the more expensive side, they are proven effective in the majority of cases.

OTC teeth whitening trays work well for those with sensitive teeth and a fear of the dentist’s chair. These whitening trays provide significant results for most people without the high costs of cosmetic dental treatment.

Keep in mind that OTC teeth whitening trays do not address underlying issues such as cavities or gingivitis and can cause sensitivity issues in the gum tissue.

Alternative Teeth Whitening Treatment Options

Teeth Whitening Strips vs. Trays: Which is Better?

Teeth whitening strips can be less invasive and more affordable than teeth whitening trays. These whitening strips are commonly available but lack the flexibility to reach around curved teeth.

Improper use of whitening strips can lead to a non-uniform appearance of the teeth, gum irritation, and/or simply a lack of results.

Compared to other alternatives, teeth whitening trays carry similar risks of gum irritation. However, they can be custom-made or specifically formulated for sensitive teeth.

Teeth whitening trays often result in whiter teeth than if you were to use only the best teeth whitening strips.

LED Teeth Whitening: An Effective Alternative?

LED teeth whitening kits are a popular alternative to pre-filled and custom teeth whitening trays. The LED light activates the peroxide, increasing the whitening gel’s effectiveness. Many LED lights are often rechargeable and come with built-in timers.

Natural Teeth Whitening Methods: Do They Work?

Natural teeth whitening toothpaste and methods vary in effectiveness and longevity. No evidence exists that proves charcoal whitening toothpaste is safe for teeth.7

The safest teeth whitening methods include cosmetic whitening pens, DIY teeth whitening methods, whitening toothpaste, or professional whitening treatments.

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The Benefits of Teeth Whitening Trays and the Top 5 to Try in 2024 (2024)


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