Great Whites

For wedding gowns, off-white is trés chic. For teeth? Not so much. Which bleaching products work, and which are just expensive? We asked Dr. Robert Emami of Dental Specialties in Randolph for his favorites.

white teeth

Photograph courtesy of Source Photography




How it works







Crest White- strips



minutes twice a day


Apply the clear strips directly to your chompers; teeth start to look whiter after a few days.


“It’s inexpensive, and the patient has total control,” Emami explains.


The over-the-counter product removes only
surface stains.


CVS Pharmacy, 231 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-266-6775,




minutes five days a week


Foam strips go into the iWHITE mouth tray. Activate the tray’s blue light and place it on either your upper or lower teeth.


The technology, impressive
for an at-home kit, provides dramatically white results very quickly.


“You can burn your
gums,” Emami warns.
“The trays are not custom fit, so they expose gums to the hydrogen peroxide gel.”


Rite Aid, 1295
Boylston St.,
Boston, 617-262-5770,


Crest White-strips Supreme (the Rx


minutes twice a day


Just like the over-the-counter version, but with more oomph. The prescription kind has twice the concentration of hydrogen peroxide for faster, more visible results.


“For the money, this is the best treatment,” says Emami. “The strips allow intimate contact with teeth, remove stains from the enamel, and prevent excess bleach from aggravating the gum area.”


The strips may cause tooth
sensitivity. Patients should begin using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth at least two weeks before treatment.


Available exclusively through dental offices;


Zoom! Bleaching




A dentist uses an oral shield to cover lips and gums, then applies hydrogen peroxide gel directly to teeth. An ultraviolet light is used to activate the bleach.


One shot, and it’s done.


It’s expensive—and the dentist has limited control over how white teeth become. Patients may also experience tooth sensitivity.


Dental Specialties, 950 N. Main St., Randolph, 781-963-2222, dentalspecial; Brite-
Smile, 75 Newbury St., Boston, 617-867-9500,