How to Whiten Teeth


Whitening or Bleaching your teeth is a safe and effective way to improve the color of your teeth. Bleaching agents come in a variety of strengths and formulations that all break down into a form of hydrogen peroxide. This can penetrate the enamel and remove the staining and discoloration that has soaked into the tooth. This bleach can be delivered in a few different ways. The most common ways of bleaching your teeth are over the counter teeth whitening strips, custom-fit bleach trays with bleach gel, and in-office applied bleach.


Bleaching Options


When deciding what bleaching option is right for you there are a few things we consider. The main things we assess are the severity of your stain, how quickly you want to achieve your whitening goals, and how prone you are to tooth sensitivity. Over the counter teeth, whitening strips are good for people who have very mild stain, are not in a huge rush to get whiter, and are prone to sensitivity because the bleaching agent is fairly mild. For people with heavier staining, these strips may not be strong enough to be effective. 

For a more professional teeth whitening option, custom-fit bleach trays are a great choice. Custom bleach trays are soft clear trays made by your dentist that allow you to use some of the stronger levels of bleach. This process starts with making a set of impressions of your teeth which are used to fabricate your custom-fit trays. You then use your bleaching gel in the trays and wear them anywhere from an hour to overnight. The bleach used in these trays can come in a variety of strengths to suit your particular needs. Bleach trays are good for people with heavier or more difficult to remove stains, people who are prone to sensitivity, and people who want to get whiter faster. The beauty of bleach trays is that you control the time and frequency of your bleaching. If you become sensitive you can bleach less often or for a shorter amount of time. For teeth whitening at home, both over the counter teeth whitening strips and custom bleach trays are a great option.

In-office bleaching is for people who want to reach their bleaching goals as quickly as possible. You may have heard of Zoom teeth whitening. This is one example of in-office bleaching. In-office bleaching can be delivered in a variety of ways, but what makes it special is the strength. Due to its strength, we supervise the placement of the gel and monitor your sensitivity as we do multiple rounds of bleaching. In-office whitening can remove stains more quickly and remove deeper, more challenging stains that other products cannot. The trade-off is a higher chance of tooth sensitivity. 


Teeth Whitening Cost


The cost of teeth whitening can vary depending on the materials that are used. Custom-fit bleach trays typically cost anywhere from $100-200 for the trays and first few tubes of bleach gel. The trays will last a very long time and bleach refills can be purchased to keep your teeth as white as you would like. In-office bleaching can cost anywhere from $350-500. Remember that there is no single product that will get you from start to your whitest shade in one round. Even with in-office bleaching, you would need to continue to bleach at home with either over the counter teeth whitening strips or a set of custom trays to reach your whitest shade possible.