Are your pearly whites decidedly grey? There's a bewildering choice of ways to brighten your smile without resorting to expensive dental surgery treatments. They certainly won't offer bleach-bright Hollywood results but do the trick if years of coffee and vin rouge have done their worst. Here's our choice of the simplest and most effective at-home tricks and treatments for a glowing grin.
1. Pearl Drops Pure White Whitening Treatment: £25, Boots
This one is simple-to-use. Brush with your normal toothpaste then paint the brightening serum over teeth and leave for half a minute. Next, paint on the activator to work for a further 30 seconds and finish off by brushing with the included toothbrush and polish. Our tester was delighted with results even after five days; half the recommended treatment time.
2. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Pink: £114, amazon
With its special whitening function of 31, 000 brush strokes per minute, this sonic wonder gave remarkable results with ordinary fluoride toothpaste. Our tester reported a rather pleasing 'just paid a fortune at the hygenist' feeling to boot. Not cheap, but look out for discounts at major retailers such as Amazon and Argos - often 50% or more. Also available in white or black.
3. Rapid White Dissolving Tooth Whitening Strips: £50, amazon
Dab on the accelerator lotion then peel off jelly-like strips from the film and apply to the teeth. They'll dissolve in 5-7 minutes and in that time you'll feel like you're grinning through a coating of lemon and mint chewing gum. Rinse and go - these are simple and effective if you want a minimum of fuss (though the strip sachets can be fiddly to open).
4. Diamond Whites Home Whitening Kit: £40, diamondwhites
Put the plastic mouth trays in boiling water for half a minute then remove and bite down to customise your mould. After a brush with the activator spray, fill the moulds with gel and leave for 30-45 minutes. Can be a drool-fest but used with the follow up whitening pen included in your kit, results are good.
5. iWhite Instant: £21, amazon
These pre-filled gumshield-style trays contain a gentle, peroxide-free whitening gel to be used over the course of five days. A 20-minute treatment time followed by a swoosh around with water means it's all pretty simple, but expect effective stain removal rather than megawatt brightening. Slightly shallow trays mean this treatment is best for those without a tombstone grin.
6. Luster Premium White Pro Light: £43, amazon
Uses light to boost the effectiveness of the treatment. Pre-treat the teeth with the whitening solution, add activator then hold the lamp over the exposed teeth for two minutes. Can take up to 20 daily treatments for maximum results, but persevere for a winning smile.
Thinking long-term, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is a real investment. Never has a toothbrush been so effective. Buy brush heads for all the family (from around £19 for four from amazon) and you'll be fighting over it. The Pearl Drops kit tastes more pleasant than others we tried, is straightforward and, most importantly, works. Our Americano-loving tester's teeth showed a noticeable improvement in less than a week. Our budget winner.
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