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The Best Teeth Whiteners for Your Wedding: A Guide to At-Home Teeth Whitening

Want a brighter smile for your wedding without a trip to the dentist? These are the at-home teeth whiteners to know about, from LEDs to strips and toothpastes

Girl smiling on a beach
Pexels / Lola Russian

Girl smiling on a beach
Pexels / Lola Russian

Here at Hitched HQ, we’re firm believers that all smiles are beautiful – especially wedding day smiles. That said, we’re well aware that teeth whitening is a popular pre-wedding treatment among couples, so we're bringing you the best teeth whitening at-home kits.

Are they as good as professional whitening treatments? To be honest, you won't get the same results with an over-the-counter whitening kit as you will with a trip to the dentist.

That's because over-the-counter kits can legally only contain up to 0.1% bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide, whereas a dentist's treatment or dentist-supplied at-home kit can contain up to 6%. If you want to whiten your teeth by a significant number of shades, or you're after speedy results, we suggest calling in the professionals.

However, over-the-counter kits can brighten up your smile, so long as you choose the right products. 

From whitening strips to toothpastes and LED lights, here are the best home teeth whitening products to prep your smile for your wedding snaps.

What Are the Best Teeth Whiteners?

We’re glad you asked. Here are our top picks…

The Best Teeth Whitening Kits

Over-the-counter teeth whitening LED lights tend to have fairly mixed reviews. It typically isn’t the LED light that is doing much to whiten your teeth but the gel you use alongside it. It’s important then to pick a kit with a powerful, but safe gel. These are the best teeth whitening kits from the UK. 

1. SmileTime Teeth Whitening Kit – £39.99

Smile Time teeth whitening kit

Frequency of Use: Six days

Duration of Use: 15 minutes 

The powerhouse SmileTime Teeth Whitening Kit promises to get your teeth up to eight shades whiter in just six days – with most people apparently getting visible results in only two.

The kit uses an advanced active non-peroxide whitening ingredient called PAP which is proven to whiten and brighten without any sensitivity and has been approved by UK and EU regulations as safe to use.

It has over 3,400 five star reviews so Zoe Burke, Editor of Hitched, tried it out too. "I've always been on a mission to whiten my teeth without spending lots of money or spending lots of time in a dentist's chair. The Smiletime kit was really easy to use - you simply apply gel to a mouth guard, which is attached to an LED light, and put it in your mouth for 15 minutes a day, after cleaning your teeth. 

"It is really straightforward, although it's a bit uncomfortable - I had a little bit of jaw ache towards the end, but it's not for long. I definitely noticed a lift in the colour of my teeth towards the end of the six days, and possibly it would have been even better if I could kick my coffee, red wine and Diet Coke addiction. 

"If you're looking for a quick fix and can also give up those teeth staining treats for a week or so, Smiletime could definitely work for you."

For its purse-friendly price, this teeth whitening kit feels luxurious – and the packaging can all be reused or recycled. It’s an ideal product to use as a top-up whitener before your wedding or honeymoon, and we love its eco-credentials and fresh, minty taste. P.S. they’ve got next-day UK delivery, too, so don’t worry if your honeymoon’s next week!

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2. Rio Smile White Advanced Blue Light Teeth Whitening – £39.99

Rio Smile teeth whitening kit

Frequency of Use: 20 days 

Duration of Use: 15 minutes 

This kit contains gel for up to 20 applications, which means you'll get a lot of use out of it for the price. It lifts stains caused by all the typical culprits, like wine, coffee, tea and food colourings. You apply the tray for just 15 minutes every day after coating it in gel and applying the pre-treatment spray, and the blue light is designed to enhance the whitening effect. There are no batteries required, you simply plug it into a USB output or smart phone and go! 

Unlike a lot of teeth whitening gels, reviews state that this had no particular flavour and "tasted of hardly anything."

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3. HiSmile Teeth Whitening Kit – £119

Hand holding up a teeth whitening kit

Frequency of Use: Six days 

Duration of Use: 10 minutes

Used by the likes of celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, according to the HiSmile site, this teeth whitening kit has been designed to deliver maximum results in just six applications. Each application takes 10 minutes, and there are three steps to the process. What’s more, the key ingredients mean this kit shouldn't cause pain or sensitivity.

The HiSmile kit is neat and compact. You get an LED light, three syringes full of whitening gel, a day toothpaste, a night toothpaste and a set of instructions. After popping the gel into the top and bottom trays, you have to insert the tray into your mouth and wait for 10 minutes. Then, you simply wash out the tray and your mouth with water. Easy.

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The Best Whitening Toothpaste

Using a whitening toothpaste is an easy way to get a head start when it comes to teeth whitening. 

The best way to achieve white teeth is to take a holistic approach, so although a whitening toothpaste probably won’t make much of a difference on its own, it’ll maximise the effects of other treatments. Here are the best whitening toothpastes that’ll have you on a one-way street to healthy gums and pearly whites. 

4. Colgate Max White Expert Complete Whitening Toothpaste – £7.99

Colgate teeth whitening toothpaste

Frequency of Use: Twice daily

Duration of Use: Two minutes

Colgate Max White toothpaste contains 'optic brighteners' which reflect blue light and make your teeth look instantly whiter. 

We used this product twice a day for three weeks, and although the whitening properties are only gentle so results are minimal, it did a good job at banishing stains and keeping the mouth healthy. It has a slightly warming, foamy texture, and a little goes a long way so only a pea-sized amount is needed to clean all your teeth. 

It didn't leave our teeth with any sensitivity so if that is a concern of yours, this Colgate product could be a great pick for you. 

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5. Janina Ultrawhite Whitening Toothpaste – £7.70

Frequency of Use: Twice daily

Duration of Use: Three minutes

The Janina Ultra White Toothpaste contains a combination of natural fruit enzymes to whiten teeth without harsh abrasives. It is also formulated with a whitening ingredient that helps stop stains sticking to the teeth without causing any harm. 

It's designed to work on removing stubborn coffee, tea and red wine stains, resulting in visibly whiter teeth, with one reviewer saying, "As a smoker and drinker of black coffee I needed something to lighten my teeth and so thought I would give this a try. I would say that after three or four days I could definitely see a difference in the colour of my teeth and I would say that six weeks on has lightened my teeth by at least a couple of shades."

They recommend brushing for three minutes, before spitting out the excess and not rinsing with water afterwards. It is perfect for everyday use and should be used before and after other teeth whitening treatments to keep your mouth healthy.

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6. Sensodyne Rapid Relief Whitening Toothpaste – £2.49

Frequency of Use: Twice daily 

Duration of Use: Two minutes 

If you have sensitive teeth, Sensodyne should be your go-to toothpaste brand for teeth whitening in the UK. This brilliant toothpaste will effectively remove stains and restore the natural whiteness of your teeth, all while relieving and building ongoing protection against the pain of sensitivity. 

Amazon users have rated it 4.6/5 with many saying that it's a great substitute to the original Sensodyne toothpaste - just with whitening benefits!  

Use this toothpaste twice a day when brushing, and in conjunction with other teeth whiteners for best results.

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7. SmileTime Premium Whitening Toothpaste Kit – £18.99

An excellent whitening toothpaste kit from SmileTime

Frequency of Use: Twice daily 

Duration of Use: Two minutes

If you are looking for toothpaste that'll leave your mouth feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, check out the Premium Whitening Toothpaste Kit from SmileTime!

Complete with a bamboo toothbrush and a 40 ml tube of PAP whitening toothpaste, this kit is a must-have for those who value high-quality and sustainable dental hygiene products. The toothpaste is designed to give you a beautiful, bright smile, remove yellow stains, and keep your teeth as healthy as possible. So, if you have sensitive teeth and you desire a toothpaste that'll give you fresh breath and pearly whites, give this kit a try. 

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The Best Teeth Whitening Strips

Alongside toothpaste, teeth whitening strips are another gentle but effective whitener. They can easily be applied at home, mould to the shape of your teeth and they don’t cost a fortune.

Most strips are pre-coated in a teeth whitening gel which contains hydrogen peroxide, the chemical that brightens your teeth. It’ll depend on the strips as to how regularly you can apply them and how long they should stay on your teeth for, but we've rounded up some of the best teeth whitening strips available in the UK. 

8. Boots Exert Dissolvable Teeth Whitening Strips – £18

Dissolvable teeth whitening strips

Frequency of Use: Two weeks

Duration of Use: 15 minutes

If you're looking for whitening strips that are a little less wasteful than the single-use disposable options, consider Boots Expert Dissolvable Teeth Whitening Strips

The pack comes with 56 strips and just like other strips they sit in your mouth for 15 minutes working their whitening magic. Apply to clean, dry teeth, and rinse after to remove the slightly sticky residue. Here's where the fun comes in - they'll dissolve gradually leaving you with pearly whites and no wastage. 

Reviews say that even though they didn't notice a dramatic change, it helped their teeth return to a uniform and natural shade, and they contain no hydrogen peroxide there should be no extra sensitivity. 

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9. Spotlight Teeth Whitening System Strips – £25.80

Frequency of Use: Two weeks

Duration of Use: One hour

Developed by dentists, the Spotlight Teeth Whitening Strips are easy to apply and, when used in conjunction with whitening toothpaste, make your teeth look visibly whiter – especially after the first use. 

Each pack contains 28 strips which you apply to dry teeth and leave for an hour before removing. The small amount of hydrogen peroxide breaks down the stains on your teeth by penetrating the top layer of the enamel to brighten the colour. They recommend repeating a full course every six months and try top up every three months with generally five days worth.

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10. SmileTime Premium PAP Teeth Whitening Strips – £24.99

Model holding up Smile Time teeth whitening strips

Frequency of Use: One week

Duration of Use: 15-30 minutes

Looking for something that'll give you the pearly whites you've always wanted? The Premium PAP Teeth Whitening Strips from SmileTime will be right up your alley! Vegan-friendly, peroxide-free, and UK-approved, these whitening strips have been clinically proven to produce exceptional results.

We took it to the test and were very impressed. The set provides you with a seven-day course of strips, so you can look forward to having immaculate teeth by the end of the week. The best part? They have a refreshingly minty taste that'll make your whitening strip experience all the more fulfilling.

We found that the whitening strips didn't fall off our teeth so they weren't uncomfortable to use. We were able to multi-task with them on so they are ideal if you have a busy lifestyle. 

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11. Pro Teeth Whitening Co. Premium Dental Whitening Strips – £9.49

Frequency of Use: Two weeks

Duration of Use: 30 minutes

Coming in at less than £10 for 28 teeth whitening strips, the Pro Teeth Whitening Co.’s offering is one of the most affordable.

These dental strips contain activated charcoal for professional results, and they promise to make a difference to the colour of your teeth after just one use. Each treatment takes just 30 minutes, and if you do one treatment everyday, the appearance of stains caused by coffee and red wine will be reduced.

According to reviewers they're somewhat fiddly to apply and keep in your mouth, but the results are very good for the price.

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12. iWhite Instant Teeth Whitening Kit – £19.97

iWhite instant teeth whitening kit

Frequency of Use: Five days

Duration of Use: 20 minutes

Couples on the hunt for quick teeth whitening in the UK will love the iWhite Teeth Whitening Kit. It costs less than £20 and promises immediate results.

"I planned to use it for five consecutive days but after just two days there was a really big difference, after five days I was super happy with the result," confirms one reviewer. 

Another said that, "I love this kit, very easy to use. In just one treatment my teeth were so much whiter. After the course of five they look so bright and white, I'm so happy. I've tried lots of other products and none have the effect as quickly as these. I couldn't believe how fast this worked and how instant I got the results."

In the kit you get 10 pre-filled trays which we recommend using over five consecutive days (or once in a while for a bit of a boost). Each treatment should take 20 minutes, and after five days, teeth will be whiter and stronger.

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13. Mr Blanc. Minty Fresh Teeth Whitening Strips – £9.71

Frequency of Use: Two weeks

Duration of Use: 30 minutes

You’ve probably seen Mr. Blanc products advertised by every influencer and their dog on Instagram, but don’t let that put you off. These teeth whitening strips are actually really effective, and the perfect choice if you’re looking for a quick fix. They shouldn't cause any pain or sensitivity, either.

The strips are layered with a tooth whitening gel which removes deeply embedded stains beneath the surface of the enamel in a safe and effective way. You'll have to keep topped up on your supply if you want your teeth to maintain their colour, but one set is ideal for a special occasion where you want your teeth shining (like a wedding!).

"Been using these for nearly a year, not an instant fix, you’ll need to do a couple of days to see a difference," explains one reviewer. "If you stop your teeth will slowly revert back, but for me these are great as I’ll start to use them a few days before an event."

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14. Molarclean Advanced Teeth Whitening Strips – £3.45

Molarclean teeth whitening strips

Frequency of Use: Two weeks

Duration of Use: 30 minutes 

Yes, you can whiten your teeth for less than £4! The Molarclean advanced strips are so quick and easy to use, and won't leave you with any sensitivity. 

We found that they worked best when stuck to completely dry teeth, so would recommend brushing your teeth and drying each individual tooth before applying. "These strips really do work and have whitened my teeth straight away - had quite a few compliments on how white my teeth are," said one user. 

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The Best Charcoal & Oil Pulling Teeth Whiteners

Charcoal is an on-trend, vegan way of brightening your teeth, however, the method isn't without controversy. While fans insist it whitens teeth, there are concerns that it's too abrasive against enamel.

Some dentists do recommend if for removing surface stains - just make sure you're brushing gently, and only use it for short periods.

Another natural whitening method is oil pulling. Made popular by Gwyneth Paltrow (who else?), it’s still pretty new to the Western world, but some published studies say it has benefits for your oral health.

In short, it’s the act of swilling coconut oil around your mouth for 15 minutes to reduce plaque, bacteria and stains. The taste is acquired, but after a few weeks some users have reported a change in the colour of their teeth.

15. MAHSA Charcoal Ginger Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash – £20

Charcoal and ginger teeth whitening toothpaste and mouthwash

Frequency of Use: Twice daily

Duration of Use: 3 minutes

Take your teeth brushing routine to luxury heights with the MAHSA charcoal and ginger whitening set. Nothing like your average toothpaste, the whitening toothpaste literally sparkles in the bottle so we couldn't resist trying it ourselves.

It might feel a little scary at first to use a jet black toothpaste, but its something we quickly got used to. As for the mouthwash? It had a lovely, sweet minty taste, that left our mouth feeling refreshed and clean thanks to the bacteria-fighting ginger. 

Oh, and they looked so chic in our bathroom cabinet. They'd make an ideal gift if your partner has been talking about how they want to whiten their teeth before your wedding. 

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16. Pro Teeth Whitening Co Activated Charcoal Natural Teeth Whitening Power – £9.99

Frequency of Use: Twice daily

Duration of Use: One-two minutes

This Amazon bestseller has some impressive user reviews. "I noticed a difference from the first use. I drink a lot of tea and coffee and my teeth are always stained with caffeine but it began to lift immediately. The shine was also fab and my teeth did feel very clean," says one person. 

This powder promises to subtly whiten your teeth by a few shades while removing stubborn stains. It’s also 100% vegan-friendly and apparently approved by UK dentists. Ensure you keep the lid firmly closed after use so the product stays as powder and doesn't become clumpy. 

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17. Procoal Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder – £8.99

Pot of activated charcoal teeth whitening powder

Frequency of Use: Four-five times a week

Duration of Use: Two-three minutes

This activated charcoal powder by Procoal helps removes stains and is best used in conjunction with a daily whitening toothpaste. Each jar contains up to six months’ worth of supply, making it one of the most purse-friendly teeth whiteners around. 

Put a little powder in your hand and then dip a wet toothbrush into it. Then, just brush and repeat as necessary. 

The results of this natural teeth whitener are supposed to be quick and visible. Granted, having powder in your mouth takes some getting used to, but after a couple of treatments it should become second nature.

"I have been using this product for about a week now and have noticed an improvement in my teeth. Yes, it’s certainly a little messy but if you are careful it is worth it," explains one reviewer. 

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18. Ecodenta Extra Black Whitening Toothpaste with Black Charcoal & Teavigo – £5.40

Frequency of Use: Twice daily 

Duration of Use: Two minutes 

This charcoal toothpaste is vegan-friendly and at a wallet-friendly price. It contains 96% ingredients of natural origin, and was formulated in collaboration with a dentist. As well as activated charcoal, which will help to absorb tooth stains, it contains teavigo, a green tea extract that has antibacterial properties to protect against tartar. 

"I've been using this toothpaste for a couple of months now and it cleans really well and keeps my gums and teeth in a good condition especially as I have gum disease. Its an acquired taste, but I am seeing improvement in the stains lifting from my teeth. Very happy with this and definitely recommend," says one customer. 

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19. Keeko Morning Mint Oil Pulling Sachets – £34

Keeko oil pulling sachets in a glass bottle and a pouch

Frequency of Use: Two weeks

Duration of Use: Five-15 minutes

These convenient and easy-to-use sachets make oil pulling a whole lot easier. Warm the sachets in your hands or under running water until it feels like the coconut oil has hardened. Then, pour the contents into your mouth and swirl around, before spitting out. The longer you swill - the better!

These have a hint of peppermint oil, lemon oil and chamomile alongside the coconut oil for a pleasant and zingy taste. You get 14 sachets in every pack, and they’re best used in the morning before a charcoal-activated toothpaste.

If you're new to oil pulling, this reviewer explained that they are ideal for you. "I've wanted to try oil pulling for a while. The Keeko mix tastes great and is visibly removing plaque after a couple of uses. The process feels a bit odd but pleasant, leaves my mouth and teeth feeling really clean. All I can say is try it - you may, like me, be very pleasantly surprised," they said. 

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The Best Teeth Whitening Wands

Teeth whitening pens are a short-term solution if you want to top up your teeth whitening while on the go. These convenient wands are filled with a whitening formula that you coat your teeth with to cover dark marks or stains.

For the most part they are gentler than other whitening solutions and should be used for touch-ups rather than a primary teeth whitening tool so if you're after lasting and strong results see the products above!

20. Colgate Max White Overnight Teeth Whitening Pen – £9.99

Colgate max teeth whitening pen

Frequency of Use: 35 days

Duration of Use: Overnight

You can get a radiant smile while you sleep with the Colgate teeth whitening pen. We found that it was so simple to use and loved that we didn't have to wait and wash it off - we could just close our eyes and drift off!

Click the bottom of the pen until a small drop appears on the brush. Make sure your teeth are dry and apply a thin layer of the gel to your teeth and allow it to set. This is a little uncomfortable as you have to keep your mouth open, but it only lasts around 30 seconds. The next morning, brush your teeth as your normally would and repeat nightly. It's a great teeth whitening product for travelling as it will easily slip into your bag. 

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21. Moon Kendall Jenner Teeth Whitening Pen – £19.99

Moon teeth whitening pen

Frequency of Use: Twice daily for two weeks

Duration of Use: 30 minutes 

Supermodel Kendall Jenner reportedly swears by the Moon teeth whitening pen for some quick on-the-go brightening action. The whitening gel works to counteract signs of staining using incredible antioxidants such as lavender oil, strawberry extract and honeysuckle flower. Simply brush the vanilla mint flavoured product over your teeth and allow for half an hour before eating or drinking. 

One user said, "I bought this product for a quick and easy use before going out and it did not disappoint! Really works," and another commented, "It worked like a gem! My teeth are pearly white after two weeks of use."

Well, if it's good enough for Kendall's gnashers...

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Do Teeth Whitening Lights Really Work?

Girl smiling on a beach
Pexels / Lola Russian

In a clinic, yes – light treatment can effectively whiten your teeth. When it comes to at-home teeth whitening lights, they don’t tend to be the same quality.

LED lights won’t whiten your teeth on their own. You need to apply a whitening agent to your teeth first – and don’t worry, if you use an all-natural one, these are perfectly safe. Teeth whitening gels are the most professional and intense of all the at-home teeth whiteners. They contain a much higher percentage of hydrogen peroxide (the main whitening ingredient in the products listed above).

In fact, while a whitening strip might have between 1 and 10% hydrogen peroxide, a tooth whitening gel could have around 35%.

The results of teeth whitening gels are, quite obviously, a lot better – but we would recommend a visit to the dentist before you use one. They might be able to make a tray which fits your gums to avoid the gel spilling over and irritating your mouth.

Our main piece of advice? If you want to notice a difference in the shade of your teeth, opt for a slightly more expensive at-home LED light with a good quality gel. We’ve reviewed some choices above.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Your Teeth Professionally Whitened?

The cost of getting your teeth professionally whitened depends on where you get it done, the treatment you choose and your dentist. We’d always recommend doing your research and paying a little more for a safe service which you know will work.

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay between £200 and £300 for professional bleaching. Laser whitening will cost more. It might be expensive, but the results last for a long time and you’ll only need top-ups after the first treatment.

If you’re not sure about full teeth whitening and don’t like the idea of whitening your teeth at home, you might want to consider a treatment called Airflow. Dr Reena Wadia of RW Perio says: “This aims to remove stains that traditional scaling and polishing may not remove. It uses a combination of flavoured fine powder particles, compressed air and water. Patients do not experience any sensitivity or discomfort. The results are immediate and leave patients with cleaner teeth and fresher breath!”

Can Yellow Teeth Become White?

Of course! Just bear in mind, the more stains you have on your teeth (and the longer you’ve had them), the harder it will be to reverse the damage.

Take a holistic approach to whitening your teeth if they’re particularly yellow, and don’t expect overnight results. Start by seeing your hygienist (an important step for maintaining gum health), buy an electric toothbrush and learn to floss. Oh, and remember that anything which stains a white T-shirt will generally stain your teeth, so minimise frequent intake of tea, coffee and red wine.

Will Teeth Whitening Make my Teeth Sensitive?

Take any horror stories you’ve heard with a pinch of salt. Yes, people with naturally sensitive teeth might suffer a bit more, but any sensitivity caused by teeth whitening is usually short-lived.

If you whiten your teeth properly and with a good quality kit, you won’t do any lasting damage. Use a desensitising toothpaste beforehand to reduce tooth and nerve sensitivity.

When to Start Whitening Teeth For Wedding?

If you are opting for a teeth whitening kit or strips, it is typically best to give yourself at least two weeks to prepare as many of them have enough product for 14 uses. A whitening toothpaste can take around three to four weeks to start showing, but we recommend starting to use one a few months before. The earlier the better!

Now your teeth are looking their best, you’ll want to give your nails a bit of TLC, too. Check out our round-up of the best nail strengtheners to use before your wedding manicure