Whiter teeth have been a hallmark of youth and health for many years. Over the last 15 years or so, many different methods and products have come to market to allow everyone to achieve the goal of a whiter smile if they so choose. There are so many different methods it is not always easy to choose the one that is right for you. Below you will find a detailed description of each type of teeth whitening to help make your choice easier.
Teeth Whitening Methods
The various methods all have the same goal in common, to make your teeth whiter. Some are done on your own and others are done under the supervision of a dentist.
-Teeth Whitening Toothpaste ($5-$12 per tube). This method is probably the cheapest and easiest to use. It is easy because it is something we do every day at least twice a day….tooth brushing. Many toothpastes now incorporate teeth whitening agents to help you achieve a whiter, brighter smile. Unfortunately, teeth whitening tooth pastes have their drawbacks. The results are very variable from person to person. If you have very deep staining, these toothpastes may not work as well as for someone who has very light staining. However, as mentioned earlier, we are brushing anyway, so why not give it a try and see what the results may bring for your particular smile.
-Teeth Whitening Strips/ Gel Pens ($20-$55 per box). This method costs a little bit more and can give very good results as well. You can buy a box of Whitening Strips, gel pens or Trays over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. Check the expiration date on this product as it does matter. The active teeth whitening ingredients in the strips and gels are the same as dentists use in their professional teeth whitening procedures however, the concentration of the teeth whitening agent in the store bought products is at a much lower level. The lower concentration may not get your teeth to whiten as much as you’d like. The other drawback is the application of the strips and gels. The strips must be placed across all the teeth, and cannot be directly applied to one that is stained more. The fit is not great, and they may irritate gum tissues. The gels can be messy, and may be uncomfortable to swallow.
-Teeth Whitening W/ Custom Trays ($200-$500). This method is done through your dentist‘s office. The trays are made to custom fit your mouth comfortably and allow for an even distribution of the teeth whitening gel across all teeth or only applied to specific teeth. The trays can be worn day or night (even while sleeping) over a period of one to 4 weeks, and are very convenient for busy schedules. The other advantage is that this type of teeth whitening will use stronger whitening agent. The main disadvantage to this type of teeth whitening vs the at home techniques is that it costs more, and sensitivity may be greater, but the results are better.
-In Office Teeth Whitening ($300-$800). This is the highest cost, fastest, and generally most effective Teeth Whitening option. This procedure is performed by the dentist using a special light and teeth whitening gel. This type of whitening can deliver fantastic results in as little as 1/2 to one hour. This technique utilizes a highly concentrated whitening agent accelerated by heat and light to speed up the Teeth Whitening process. The disadvantages are, you have no idea what the results will be in the one hour, and the higher cost of Teeth Whitening.
Teeth Whitening Conclusion
As you can see above there are many choices available for teeth whitening. Discuss the various options for teeth whitening with your dentist to see what would work best for you. Teeth whitening is a rapidly growing trend. Be financially and proceduraly aware when choosing the best option for your smile.