As a Cosmetic Dentist, it’s tricky helping people wade through the many Teeth Whitening products and options available. Nowadays, everyone wants whiter teeth, and that attracts “entrepreneurial types” ready to exploit the high demand.
What I’m saying is buyer beware. There’s a lot of deception regarding Teeth Whitening products these days.Secrets of Best Teeth Whitening Products…
“How much does it cost?” is the first question on everyone’s mind. Teeth Whitening costs shouldn’t be the big factor in making your decision on Teeth Whitening options. The BIG question should always be “DOES IT WORK?”
There are so many internet-based Teeth Whitening scams these days, you have to be careful. They all claim to have the BEST teeth whitening results. Be wary. You don’t want to be spending ANY time or money on something that doesn’t deliver.
To make it easy to understand your choices, I’ve divided your options into Pretenders and Contenders. All you have to do is avoid the Pretenders and stick with the Contenders and you’ll soon have a whiter more-attractive smile WITHOUT wasting your hard-earned dollars on bogus products.
Bad Teeth Whitening Products – The Pretenders
Whitening Teeth isn’t like bleaching a T-shirt.
These are products that fail to deliver and often cause frustration for a dental consumer looking for a whiter brighter smile.
Most of these products contain peroxide ingredients proven to whiten teeth. They just don’t work very well because TEETH ARE VERY HARD and that makes them HARDER TO WHITEN.
Whitening Teeth isn’t like bleaching a T-shirt. You need high concentration and prolonged exposure to penetrate through hard enamel.
Home Brew Teeth Whitening
Teeth Whitening COST: less than $10
It will take HOURS of application to make a reasonable difference.
This is one of the Teeth Whitening options I’ll throw out there because some people are willing to experiment on themselves.
If you’re the mad-scientist type, feeling adventurous and don’t mind a huge mess, you can mix up a fresh batch of peroxide and baking soda to apply to your teeth with a Q-tip.
Results will be limited. To get better results keep reapplying the paste for an extended period of time. It will take HOURS of application to make a reasonable difference. Be careful not to ruin all your clothes with the peroxide.
The only good thing about Home Brew Teeth Whitening is you’ve probably only wasted your time.
Whitening Toothpaste or Mouthwash
Teeth Whitening COST: $5-$20 per tube or bottle
You want to condense your whitening time down instead of spreading it out as an every-day thing like brushing your teeth.
As far as Teeth Whitening costs go, Whitening Toothpaste or Mouthwash seem like a bargain. These products are a great marketing concept that taps into the universal desire to look youthful and attractive. Everyone wants a whiter smile. Unfortunately, these products fail the crash-test of actual usage. Basically, you’re paying for overpriced toothpaste that leaves your teeth marginally whiter and increasingly sensitive.
Whitening Toothpaste is often recommended for maintenance of whiter teeth. Don’t bother unless you’re OK with having constant sensitivity issues.
You want to condense your whitening time down instead of spreading it out as an every-day thing like brushing your teeth. Why? Because whitening makes your teeth vulnerable and sensitive. You want to limit that as much as possible.
Teeth Whitening COST: $20-$30 per pen
The only magic Whitening Pens will do is make the money in your wallet disappear.
Another great marketing concept for a product that fails to deliver. People are attracted to instant fixes and the idea of a paint-on teeth whitener is irresistible. Imagine liquid paper for teeth.
Here’s the scoop. Whitening Pens have been a highly-profitable internet scam. The first time I saw the ads I had to laugh, but I knew from the prominent ad placement on a major site there had to be big bucks involved.
People don’t know bogus from an internet ad and this can seem like a viable Teeth Whitening Option. The scammers focus upon a compelling story and downplay the actual product. When you get the delivery, one look at that eye-liner sized product and you know you’ve been burned.
The product itself is peroxide based like all the whitening products that actually DO work. The pens fail miserably as a delivery system because you always need high concentration and prolonged exposure to get a decent result. A paint-on can’t achieve that.
These products belong in the joke section of the novelty shop, with the Sea Monkeys. The only magic Whitening Pens will do is make the money in your wallet disappear.
Teeth Whitening COST: $25-$200 per application
The scary thing about all these kiosk-style operations is they’re completely unregulated.
Bleaching Kiosks are a fairly new concept where you can have your Teeth Whitening done at your local mall. Basically it’s a paint-on process with some showmanship thrown in. You’re paying someone to apply a Whitening Pen style application that doesn’t have much impact.
There are variations of Bleaching Kiosks in airports and on cruise ships. Some spas have also jumped on board with Teeth Whitening sessions added on as another optional service.
As dentists, we have a vested interest in you remaining healthy and happy with the results. We risk losing you as a patient if we make your gums bleed, set your teeth on fire with sensitivity or waste your time with something that doesn’t work.
The scary thing about all these kiosk-style operations is they’re completely unregulated. The stuff they put on your teeth could be ineffective or even harmful, and that person applying it likely has no health training whatsoever.
A fly-by-night fast-buck kiosk operator has no such qualms about hosing you with an ineffective or harmful Teeth Whitening process.
Not as profitable as the online scams with the Whitening Pens because there’s floor space involved and a wage for the person who has to apply the mystery formula to your teeth.
Best Teeth Whitening Options – The Contenders
Now we’re moving into the category of products and services that will give you a whiter smile and don’t leave you feeling totally ripped off.
These 3 products and services can whiten your teeth effectively, some perhaps better than others. Mostly it’s more a matter of time and convenience. The more fussing and time you’re willing to spend, the lower the cost of the product or service.
Teeth Whitening COST: $20-$45 per box
The do it yourself appeal and lure of cost savings draws many people to purchasing the strips.
Teeth Whitening Strips are widely available and will do a good job of whitening your teeth. You can buy a box of Whitening Strips or Trays over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. You can also order them online.
Freshness of product makes a difference, so be careful about those online purchases.
The do it yourself appeal and lure of cost savings draws many people to purchasing the strips. Unfortunately, many abandon them before long. They get frustrated by the inconvenience and slow progress.
Since the Strips and Trays are not custom fit, it’s harder to keep them in place and that means each tooth may not get a consistent coating of whitening gel. These products may not reach your back teeth as effectively.
Custom Bleaching Trays
Teeth Whitening COST: $150-$1500
With higher concentration of peroxide you get faster results.
If you’re Teeth Whitening with Custom Bleaching Trays, you’re almost guaranteed to get a good result.
Notice the huge variations in the cost for this? The high-price ones involve special products and protocols such as Dr. Rod Kurthy’s Deep Bleaching Kor System. The lower cost services are basically do-it-yourself take-home kits. Some doctors even give these away for free in order to attract new patients to their dental office.
The custom-fit trays ensure effective gel application over all your teeth. The trays can be conveniently be worn any time during the day and even overnight while you sleep. Many people find wearing them at night makes the process much easier to fit into their busy lives.
The other advantage of Custom Bleaching Trays is the better gels. With higher concentration of peroxide you get faster results. The gel also includes desensitizing agents and ensure more comfort and Calcium-Phosphate to provide strengthening.
Note: I had poor results with Hydrogen Peroxide vs. Carbamide Peroxide formulas. The Hydrogen Peroxide seems to be too harsh – leaving your gums burned to a bloody mess and the teeth barely whiter for your efforts. The Carbamide Peroxide seems to be much kinder to the gums, though you need to wear it for longer.
Slow and steady wins the race with Custom Bleaching Trays.
By the way, we charge $250 for Custom Bleaching Trays at Royal York Dental and we use NiteWhite from Discus Dental. We’ve provided convenient, whiter-brighter smiles for thousands of people over the years.
Laser Teeth Whitening
Teeth Whitening COST: $500-$2500 (may involve multi-sessions)
You’re paying for chair-time and that can add up.
This is the highest cost Teeth Whitening option.
Everyone loves fast results, and unlike the false promises of those Pretenders I mentioned earlier, Laser Teeth Whitening can deliver spectacular results in a short time.
This technique uses highly concentrated formulas that combine with extra activity triggered by the heat and light of the laser to accelerate the Teeth Whiting process.
The obvious drawback is the cost of Laser Teeth Whitening. You’re paying for chair-time and that can add up. You’ll likely need more than one session to get the full benefit.
Another downside of Laser Teeth Whitening is the potential for pain. This is aggressive treatment and measures must be taken to ensure your teeth don’t feel they’ve been lit on fire.
Which Teeth Whitening Option is for You?
If you have can afford it, upgrade to the Custom Bleaching Trays.
Maybe you’ve already tried one or more of the Pretenders and you’re ready to stop fooling around and get something that actually works. Good for you.
My advice as a Toronto Teeth Whitening Dentist? Choose based on your time and budget…
- If you’ve got lots of time but zero money, go for the Whitening strips.
- If you have can afford it, upgrade to the Custom Bleaching Trays.
- If you have lots of money but zero time, go for the Laser Teeth Whitening.
Have you tried any of these Pretenders and Contenders? If you’ve had good or bad experiences with teeth whitening products feel free to share your story here. Others could learn from your experience.
About the Author: Dr. Joe Bulger is a West Toronto dentist. He’s also the founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.