There are different ways available to whiten your teeth. The three main choices are, getting it done professionally by your dentist, known as chair-side, purchasing a kit from your dentist and doing it yourself at home or using the over-the counter products.
At the Dentist
Getting it done professionally is the quickest way. This involves getting your teeth bleached with a bleaching agent or gel that contains a high concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide. This gel can cause irritation to the gums, so a rubber-like solution is painted on the gums to protect them. After the whitening gel is applied, a laser light is used to activate the chemical reaction and initiate the process. The gel is left on for 15 to 20 minute intervals, the process usually takes about 1 hour. Sometimes it can take several visits to get the maximum results. The cost is anywhere from $400 to $600 dollars. Dental insurance usually doesn’t cover this procedure, but a Discount Dental Plan may help you receive a discounted price.
Take Home Kits
The take-home kits, purchased from your dentists, contain trays that you apply the gel on to them, then place in your mouth for about 1 hour. The gel contains a lower concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide so it can stay in your mouth longer, sometimes overnight. The cost can range from $100 to $400 dollars. Some of the advantages of this method, less costly and you can do it on your own schedule.
The most inexpensive way, is to use the over-the-counter products. These products do not contain the same concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide as the take-home kits that you can purchase from the dentist. Such products include: whitening strips, whitening toothpaste, and now the latest whitening product is a mouth-rinse that contains Peroxide. The cost for some of these products can range from $20 to $100 dollars. There are dentist that say that those methods are not effective, but, there is some recent research that shows, white strips can be as effective as the in-office method.
Sensitivity to hot and cold is one of the side effects from whitening your teeth, this is caused by the higher concentration of Peroxide found in the gel used by the dentist. The other is gum irritation usually caused by using the at-home or over-the-counter method, where you have to use trays that don’t provide protection for your gums.
Please keep in mind, there is no method of whitening some dental work, such as, porcelain veneers, crowns or bonding. If a whitening procedure is done, you will possibly have two shade of white, or you may have to replace some of the dental work. Please discuss this with your dentist before proceeding with any method you choose.