They say first impressions are everything. In addition to a neat and clean appearance, white teeth add a sparkle that can’t be denied. The cleanest hair and the sharpest clothes look pale when coupled with a dull, stained smile.
Fortunately, with the advances in dental care, anyone can have white teeth. The teeth whitening options are within just about any budget.
The big questions to consider however is just what you want to achieve, how quickly you want to achieve it and how much you are willing to spend to get it.
Option #1 – Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste is the most affordable teeth whitening solution. Most every drug store or grocery store sells a wide variety of toothpastes, so finding one designed for whitening is not difficult. One thing to keep in mind when searching for the best one for you is to make sure they have either fluoride and/or hydrogen peroxide in them. These ingredients are the most common teeth whitening agents and work the best.
Takeaway: A whitening toothpaste is readily available and affordable. The downside is that the results are not as tremendously spectacular as you might think, especially if you have severely stained teeth. Continuous use of a whitening toothpaste can help prevent new stains from settling in, however.
Option #2 – High Tech Whitening Light
If you’re looking for more of a “teeth whitening in one session”, then the whitening light by Go Smile might be just the thing for you. According to the website, “The GO SMILE system works by applying a serum containing hydrogen peroxide directly to the enamel, or outer surface, of the teeth. Because the tooth surface is porous, the serum seeps into the tiny pores to reach the deeper dentin layer where stains from food, drinking and smoking accumulate over time. The peroxide chemically bonds with the stains and causes them to become colorless, visibly whitening the teeth.”
Takeaway: At about $130, the Go Smile system costs more than any whitening toothpaste, but less than a professional whitening treatment. The downside is that the light can cause skin damage and can also damage to your gums. Because it is an at-home treatment, the percentage of hydrogen peroxide is much less than that used in a dental office. The more severe the stains, the more often you’ll need to use it.
Option #3 – Whitening Kits
Whitening strips are so last year – the more effective treatment is using trays to whiten your teeth. Trays have an advantage over the strips in that they stay in place better than the strips and cover the entire tooth surface better. Whitening trays work relatively well and results are usually visible after a couple hours.
Takeaway: Whitening trays are great for the quick fix of whitening your teeth when you don’t have time or the funds for professional teeth whitening treatments. Although not as powerful as professional treatment, whitening trays still contain a good amount of hydrogen peroxide. They run about $25-$75 and you can expect to repeat the process every few months.
Option #4 – Professional, In-Office Whitening Treatment
In-office treatments offer the brightest, whitest solution for completely whitening your teeth. Only a dentist can offer the level of whitening that comes with professional experience. The big difference in at-home teeth whitening treatment and a professional treatment, besides cost, is the stronger formulations in the product itself. Where at home treatments use anywhere from 3 – 10% peroxide, in-office treatments use an 18% or higher level of peroxide.
Takeaway: Although a professional in-office whitening treatment is going to set you back anywhere from $500 – $700, the success rate is very good.
However, I feel most patients will get results comparable to the in-office treatment by using custom made trays and a professional strength bleaching gel. This is the process we use in our office and I feel it is the most cost effective.
Don’t get caught in the “try this, try that” trap. Spend your money wisely and go with an effective treatment from the beginning.
Our office can accomplish the look you are hoping for with far less time and money wasted. In fact, we are running a special right now for all new patients to get a complimentary teeth whitening when they come in for an exam and x-rays.
This Web-Only Special makes it easy to get a nice white smile and a dental check-up at the same time!