Are you considering teeth whitening for your wedding? We've rounded up the best treatments to ensure you have your brightest, whitest smile in time for your wedding day.
These are possibly the most fuss-free option – just adhere the thin, flexible strips to your teeth, then leave them to work their magic for the designated time. They’re pre-coated with a whitening formula, so there’s no fiddling necessary.
And you can easily pop them in for an evening on the sofa, or even take them away on holiday.
Spotlight Teeth Whitening Strips, £26.66 tested by Peta Hunt, editor-at-large
“Designed by dentists Lisa and Vanessa Creavan, these contain hydrogen peroxide to get quick results. I experienced no sensitivity and these were easy to apply – I wore mine on the commute! In two weeks, my tea and coffee-drinking were stripped away; if used with the matching toothpaste, the formula is designed to last for up to six months.”
If you don’t have time to diligently sit with moulds in your mouth every evening, then the quickest way to whiten your teeth is with a whitening pen.
Application takes just 30 seconds, and is ideal for hard-to-reach areas in the mouth – no molar is left untouched!
Mr. Bright Teeth Whitening Pen, £22.95, tested by Molly Coughlan, editorial & fashion assistant
"There’s nothing I covet more than a gleaming white smile, so the chance to test out the Mr. Bright Teeth Whitening Pen was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.
I was impressed to discover that the brand rejects animal testing, something I always look for when choosing cosmetic products.
In terms of application, it’s fairly easy to use: twist the bottom to release the gel, then paint onto your teeth. This means specific areas such as the front teeth can be targeted, although I did worry about having even coverage across my smile.
The pen promises visibly whiter teeth in just thirty minutes, but I didn’t see any immediate effects.
However, after using the pen daily for two weeks, I can definitely see a difference.
The pen feels less intense than whitening strips I’ve used in the past, containing no peroxide.
Using the treatment, my teeth do feel slightly more sensitive than before, but not dramatically so. I’m definitely going to continue using the pen and see how my smile develops – it claims to last for 6–8 weeks, so in terms of longevity and value for money, I can’t fault it.”
Brides-to-be with time on their side could invest in a whitening toothpaste.
The effects won’t be as immediate as the other options we’ve reviewed, due to the lack of bleach – but the toothpastes gradually remove discolouration for a milder approach.
Opting for a toothpaste, as opposed to a costlier whitening treatment, also means you’ll be able to save some of your wedding budget for other things.
Curaprox Black is White charcoal toothpaste, £19.95, tested by Melanie Macleod, content writer
"While I’ve always been keen to try in-chair teeth whitening, I’m a wuss when it comes to cosmetic procedures, so a nice, non-scary toothpaste was the one for me.
I’ve tried countless whitening pastes over the years and never seen much difference. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this one.
Sure, my housemates were miffed at the charcoal mess I left in the sink, but that was the only negative side-effect. After two weeks, it lifted stains from my teeth, and my colleagues commented that my smile looked extra white. It erases discolouration without bleach, and I’d definitely recommend this.”
Trays require a little more patience than strips.
You mould them at home to fit your mouth, before filling them with the whitening gel and wearing them for a set amount of time. The big advantage is that it’s easier to achieve even results.
The Swiss Clinic Whitening System, £47 tested by Zoe Jobson, publisher
"This product claims to give you naturally whiter teeth with a visible difference in as little as three days.
Before you begin, you need to dip the two mouth-moulds in boiling water to soften them, and then pop them into your mouth to shape them. After that, you add the gel and are supposed to wear them for up to an hour each day.
I didn’t experience any sensitivity and the gel was pleasant enough in taste. The system comes with three tubes of it, and you can easily get two sessions out of a single one.
The only negative aspect was the time element. Finding a 30- to 60-minute window for wearing the moulds, during which I couldn't eat, drink or talk, was challenging.
If you go for this option, then you really do need to work out how you’re going to factor in some time for this treatment every day.
I used the moulds four times over a six-day period, and while you’re advised to start with a 30-minute session and then build up to 60 minutes as you go, on a practical level I found that around 40 minutes was the longest I could keep the trays in. Other people may not be able to notice a change following the treatment, but I think my teeth are slightly whiter.”
Dental professionals can offer expert advice while you’re having your treatment, and there are various options available.
Depending on your chosen method, in-chair procedures usually give instantly noticeable results, and probably involve some form of after-care.
Obviously, visiting a professional for treatment will cost a lot more than off-the-shelf products.
Philips Zoom Teeth Whitening, £395, plus single tooth internal bleaching, from £250 tested by Michelle Royle, group editor
“Before starting my treatment, I had an in-depth consultation with the dentist, Karim Abdel-Khalek, who checked the health of my teeth and then took a few X-rays and measurements, before confirming that I was suitable for the Philips Zoom treatment.
We also discussed whitening a dark root-canal tooth after the initial whitening.
The dentist made sure my gums were protected by using a sealant before the whitening gel was applied to my teeth, which was activated by blue LED lights in four 15-minute sessions.
It was slightly uncomfortable, but not at all painful.
At the end of the session, I could definitely see that my teeth were brighter. For each of the four days after the in-chair treatment, I wore whitening trays for 60 minutes. I had no sensitivity, and found the gel and trays easy to use. After the general whitening, I revisited to have my dark ‘dead’ tooth treated. The dentist drilled into an old filling at the back of the tooth, then for three days I filled the cavity with bleach to whiten the inside, and wore a tray to whiten the outside.
I’m thrilled with the results. I didn’t want a ‘fake’ white smile, and I found with this treatment my teeth were much brighter, but not too glowing. I would also highly recommend the internal bleaching – I just wish I’d done it all years ago!”