With peroxide to whiten and baking soda to clean, this paste releases penetrating bubbles and leaves a minty taste that lasts after you brush. “It brightened my coffee-stained teeth and didn’t make them sensitive,” said one tester. Time commitment: The two minutes it takes to brush. To buy: $4 for 4.3 ounces, at drugstores.
2 of 4Yunhee Kim
The Best Tooth Swabs
GoSMILE Smile Whitening System
“Easy and fun to use,” these were a hit with impatient testers, who began to see a difference right away (just rub the end of the swab on each tooth). Time commitment: Two minutes to apply, plus 20 minutes without eating or drinking, twice a day for a week. To buy: $89, gosmile.com.
3 of 4Yunhee Kim
The Best Whitening Strips
Rembrandt Advanced Whitening Strips
Testers who had tried other strips were pleasantly surprised by these. “They noticeably whitened my teeth, were easy to use, and weren’t slimy feeling,” said one. They also stayed in place and didn’t slip around on teeth (a common problem with other strips). Some testers saw results in as little as three days. Time commitment: 30 minutes a day for 10 days. To buy: $24, at drugstores.
4 of 4Yunhee Kim
The Best Whitening Trays
Aquafresh White Trays
"I got compliments after using these―people noticed that my teeth were whiter," reported one tester. The flexible trays, which mold to the teeth, are prefilled, so there's no guesswork about how much whitening gel to use. These trays were also particularly effective on stains between teeth. Time commitment: 30 to 45 minutes a day for seven days. To buy: $38, at drugstores.