Teeth Whitening: Best Teeth Whitening Products Options and Costs

by Joe Bulger DDS

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 - best teeth whitening products 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.

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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.

Whitening Pens

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.

Bleaching Kiosks

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.

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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.

Whitening Strips

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.

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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…

  1. If you’ve got lots of time but zero money, go for the Whitening strips.
  2. If you have can afford it, upgrade to the Custom Bleaching Trays.
  3. 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.
Signature for a Toronto Cosmetic Dentist.

Dr. Joe :)

Dr. Joe Bulger

About the Author: is a West Toronto dentist. He’s also the founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Manhattan cosmetic dentist September 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Best article about Teeth Whitening. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. Thanks for the post.


2 Best cosmetic dentist nyc January 14, 2012 at 6:49 am

Hi, Joe Bulger DDS
Thanks for your Information about Whitening Strips, Custom Bleaching Trays & Laser Teeth Whitening.I think laser teeth whitening are most expensive process so you have said before about this cost.


3 Felicia @ No Deposit Poker September 30, 2010 at 6:12 am

Hi Dr. Joe, I’ve once tried a whitening pen (according to how it was categorized on your post) and boy, did I really fell for it! I wanted my smile to brighten even a bit just like what the commercial said so I bought one and tried it. Sadly, you’re right – the only thing magic whitening pens will do is make the money in your wallet disappear. Thinking about it now, I didn’t know if I threw it away or it might have ended up at the back of my drawer. In short, it never worked for me (I don’t know if anyone who bought that product had their teeth really whiten after using it.) I will admit it, it cost me about $25 that time..


4 Toronto-Etobicoke Dentist - Joe Bulger October 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Thanks for sharing Felicia. The first time I saw the ads they were on MSNs home page and I thought “Wow, they must be paying good money for that.” I studied the ads carefully and they were extremely well made. Almost irresistible.

A few days later a patient brought one in and I laughed out loud. It looked just like the photo on the website but was so tiny in size. It was easy to see that huge profit margins were attracting the fast-buck tricksters.

Joe 😀


5 Felicia @ No Deposit Poker October 5, 2010 at 8:34 am

Hi Dr. Joe, yep, I really was tricked that time. I did a search of that product. Obviously, it’s discontinued now. I’ll give you a hint – it’s the whitening gel of a very well-known brand. It has 3 letters + gate. Maybe they discontinued making it because it doesn’t really work and also to prevent complaints from loyal customers (about being ripped off), just like me.


6 Teeth Whitener Reviews November 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm

The most effective method is laser teeth whitening, but it is the most expensive, however as you have said before, it is the best choice if you have a lot of money but zero time.

My suggestion is to go for DIY whitening or Teeth whitening kits, because they are not so expensive and results are quite fast!


7 Has Crowns February 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

How do the custom trays work with crowns and other restorative work? I lost all my front teeth to a baseball in the mouth and I understand that because they are crowns that they will not whiten with the strips and/or tray process. What option would work best to whiten my smile?


8 Kelly Kotlinsky April 10, 2012 at 6:14 am

How much does it cost for laser teeth whitening nowadays?


9 Muhammad Saeed June 1, 2012 at 4:55 am

Which one is the best option for one’s teeth whitening. Teeth whitening gel or laser teeth whitening. Need an answer! Will be very thankful.


10 Iony@brighteningteeth June 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

Home teeth whitening is less expensive than in office teeth brightening, but both methods are effective. Naturally teeth whitening instead requires a lot of time!


11 Sun City Dentist June 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

This is really a great article about teeth whitening. Thanks for sharing this with the readers. Great write up with some amazing information. Love to see more from you. Keep it up. :)


12 Teeth Whitening Tulsa June 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Home teeth whitening is less expensive than in office teeth brightening but there is no match for professional advice from a dentist.


13 ray July 28, 2012 at 12:02 am

You are not being honest with yourself, or your readers. You are only stating the facts as they pertain to your business. Everything written here is written by someone who has a high financial risk in the dental industry. I shutter to think exactly how much money you made maybe as much as $500.00-$1,000.00 to bleach someones teeth???? Just to leave them w/ permanent to temporary electrical shock to their nerves leading into their gums. Their by far better off placing this teeth gel with peroxide on themselves and getting basically the same thing at the kiosk or salon or better yet having someone come to their house were they can split the costs with others when the mobile teeth whitener visits 2-3 times per year.We are in a recession you know. People are going to do what is right for their pocket book and teeth. Especially when the results are the same. Why don’t you stick to dental repair and let the patient save money on the dental whitening they can do with an l.e.d. light that doe’s a fantastic job. You don’t even want me to get started on what most people think of there dentist bills.


14 Sophea Chan August 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Dear Doctor,

I would like to ask you one question. My teeth are not white because my mom used Tetracycline when she was pregnant. Can Laser whitening teeth help me?


Sophea Chan


15 Joe Bulger DDS October 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm

That’s challenging Sophea. Tetracycline stain will be very deep into your teeth. You may consider prolonged whitening for 2-3 months or porcelain veneers.


16 Spence August 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Laser teeth whitening can be very expensive. I recently ran across a method that really works great. It is a method that the Romans used to get white teeth. It is simple and effective.

I use wood ash. It contains calcium and phosphate that help to Remineralize your teeth. This makes them stronger and whiter at the same time. Pretty exciting, right.

It cured my yellow teeth, so I highly recommend it.


17 Caden January 16, 2016 at 4:27 am

Many many qulitay points there.


18 Nina November 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm

How and where u buy the wood ash?


19 Will October 11, 2012 at 2:04 am

Thanks for the good, straightforward comparison article.


20 kauai dentists October 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I’m planning to have a laser teeth whitening next week, your post had give me a lot of ideas about this dental procedure. Thanks for sharing informative article. Keep posting one. :)


21 Angela October 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I am currently using KoR. The first in office visit was not bad at all, just time consuming. I am now using the at home trays and the gel has been burning my gums. I will try to use less gel tomorrow. Its bad at first but goes away after a few minutes. I was not happy with the cost, but was told this was the best method of sensitive teeth. As of today I am only hoping I can finish the procedure. I have investing alot of money but it really hurts. Any suggestions?


22 Lu November 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Angela, make sure you use a desensitizing toothpaste, like Sensodyne while you are whitening with KOR, also make sure you use their desensitizing medicament before you place the tray in your mouth and after you take the trays off. Also, I find if you are able to take Ibuprophen (Motrin) since that is an anti-inflammatory, that helps with the discomfort. Speak to your dentist about the sensitivity, worse case… you don’t leave the trays in as long or use the trays every other night. It will take you longer to get to your desired whiteness… but worth the wait :)


23 Joe Bulger DDS November 13, 2012 at 12:39 am

Great advice Lu. Just to add, I usually recommend using the desensitizing gel in the trays AFTER each whitening session to help close up those open, sensitive pores.

Regarding the burning gums, that may indicate the trays are extending a few millimeters too far. The trays could be easily cut back a little.


24 Ashley November 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Anyone experiencing teeth whitening sensitivity should first make sure they are not applying to much gel in their trays which will get all over your gums. Also make sure your trays are a legit custom fit and cut so it does not cover your gums only your teeth. Lastly look into buying the newest dental product that is a miracle for sensitivity MI Paste.

In the dental industry for 7 years


25 Nancy Izatt November 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm

How do the custom trays work with crowns? Is it true that because they are porcelain crowns that they will not whiten with the strips and/or tray process. How can I whiten all my teeth?


26 Joe Bulger DDS November 19, 2012 at 10:58 pm

That’s true Nancy. The porcelain crowns won’t change color. If the crowns are on the side, that may not be a big factor. But if your front teeth have crowns, whitening can create a big color variance between whiter natural teeth and old crowns.


27 Nancy Izatt December 3, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Thank you for your reply. Is there any way to whiten all the teath in my mouth if the front ones have crowns, top and bottom?


28 Joe Bulger DDS December 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Nancy, the back ones can be made whiter with whitening. To change the front ones, you might have to change the crowns. The good news is that All-Porcelain Crowns are far more attractive than the old metal-core crowns of years past.


29 dr.papneja December 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Rinsing your teeth with Lemon juice can help in the teeth whitening also they help dissolve the free radicals!


30 Joe Bulger DDS December 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I’m concerned that could be harmful advice. An acid bath of lemon juice might dissolve surface stain, but will probably dissolve tooth structure along with it.

I see a lot of health-conscious people who have accidentally done significant acid damage to their teeth. Acidic beverages (such as lemon juice) are often the main culprits.


31 tooth whitening December 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

I have to admit that this was a very informative post. The tips highlighted here are wisely selected and i earned some new information too. Appreciating the brains behind this post. Keep up the good work.


32 Gems@ teeth whitening reviews January 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Well it’s critical that you do your research well enough before really going for a teeth whitening products. There are so many so called “best”s out there so you really need to be careful.


33 Girly 123 January 14, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Hi, I’ve tried a new white strip called SheerWhite. The strips are thicker than traditional white strips and they mold well and stick to your teeth easily. They also stretch while you are applying them, so they get your back teeth. They come in a thicker and heavier weight than other white strips, so they cover longer teeth. There is a plastic tool enclosed in each packet so that I can press the product in between my teeth. Even trays don’t fit this well.The strips can be worn up to 2 hours with no sensitivity. They are 20% carbomer peroxide. I like these strips because they cost about as much as the gel refill syringes, they are disposable and very easy to remove. Try it, you’ll like it.


34 Kristin H April 12, 2013 at 5:34 am

Hi Dr. Bulger,
Thanks so much for the informative site! I would love to share my story of The Search for White Teeth. :) I hope it can help someone else. I have the dreaded tetracycline-stained teeth (intrinsic stain). Since I was 12 years old, I have been ashamed of my teeth and hidden my smile behind my hand. I have searched most of my life for a solution–or just some way to lighten the teeth to a more acceptable yellow.

In the beginning, the only option was crowns which not only were terribly expensive, they also meant cutting away almost all the healthy tooth you had. Then, in-office whitening like Zoom, etc. came along. Dentists immediately told me it might help/probably would help somewhat, but I’d never have white teeth from it. Intrinsic stain could not be whitened as it was in the dentin of the tooth. I had a couple of treatments and they did come up some shades, but they were never anywhere near white. Also, laser whitening was really expensive and quite painful for the 24 hours after the actual treatment (though I didn’t mind–again, pain meant nothing in the search…) Then veneers came around, but their pricing was practically as ridiculous as crowns at around $1300/tooth. I figured out my cost would be around $20,000, which of course was impossible. And although veneers are much smaller/thinner than crowns, dentists still have to remove a great deal of healthy tooth as well.

Finally, I looked up a study on whitening of intrinsically-stained teeth which indicated that using a certain type of whitening strip for 4-6 months got significantly better results than using the control (which was a standard, non-fitted bleaching tray). I was intrigued, naturally. But googling it the next day (in order to show it to my dentist so we could give it a try), the KoR Whitening System came up. I went to the site and I was knocked out! Not only did they say they could whiten tetracycline-stained teeth (although no guarantees of absolute white), the actual before and after pictures on their site showed people with severe staining from tetracycline (grey/blue/purple banding, deep yellow/brown and grey, etc) going from darker than C4 and D4 on the dental whiteness scale to B1 (normal, beautiful white). I was astonished. I was so excited I immediately sought out a dentist in Chicago who provided the service. Today was my in-office bleaching appointment. My teeth have gone from approximately C2-C3 to almost B1! I have white teeth! I am overjoyed. I really cannot say enough about this system nor could I thank its inventor enough. I used the at-home bleaching trays (custom) for 2 weeks and by the fourth day I could notice a significant difference. Even other people noticed in the first week. I was already happy by day 5! Today they came up from around A1 to close to B1–the best possible outcome given for me! I am so happy–I am actually proud to smile and I can’t stop looking at my teeth in mirrors. (ha!)

I do have some small amount of tooth “tenderness” today, after the in-office procedure, but ibuprofen has taken care of it. I will also do another 2 weeks of bleaching at home to see if we can get all the way to B1, but even if I don’t, I am ecstatic with the results. (Note: I didn’t have to do this; I wanted to try to get whiter. I could’ve stopped today if I wanted to, as the dentist informed me).

For anyone doing tray bleaching, I also had a mishap with the carbamide peroxide getting on one small part of my upper gum and abrading it, but I used Biotene mouthwash and was very careful with the trays and gel and the sore went away in 2 days. Generally after that, I always put the trays in, pressed very lightly on the surface of the teeth to “seal” the trays at the top and wiped the excess carbamide peroxide on my gums (if any is there) away with my finger and then a tissue. I’ve had absolutely no problem with it since then. I will not be bleaching tonight but will go back to it tomorrow night. I expect no sensitivity problem as I haven’t had any with the trays.

Also very important: Be sure to use the anti-sensitivity solution morning and night for the first two nights and then *every* morning. Also, I started using Sensodyne a month before beginning KoR (as was suggested by the dentist–really any toothpaste with the same amount of potassium nitrate will do). It’s been remarkably easy, honestly.

I’m fairly sure Dr. Bulger’s system is probably the same as Kor: custom trays with carbamide peroxide used for two weeks with an in-office intensive session or trays used for four weeks. It’s probably less money, but I don’t mind that I paid $750 for KoR–I can’t believe I found it and got this lucky. :) Best tooth health to all. And thanks again for the article!


35 Joe Bulger DDS April 12, 2013 at 11:28 am

Thanks for sharing your story Kristin. Enjoy your whiter smile!


36 Hardy Alex April 12, 2013 at 5:56 am

“A phone survey of 1,000 adults found that 90% of the respondents believe an attractive smile is an asset to one’s career and 58% said they were more likely to trust someone with an attractive smile.” In such a scenario, the procedure of teeth whitening will be surely effective to a big number of people.


37 Karen April 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm

First I used the whitening strips-did very little and I was faithful to the last one in the box.
Next, I tried the GoSmile from one of the home shopping networks-I did not see any results.
Then, a dentist was recommended to me by a friend whose teeth were sparkling white. His fee was very reasonable $250.00. He examined my mouth and suggested I return two weeks after my regular dentist appointment and cleaning. I did this and he re-examined my mouth and told the female assistant to apply the gel and position the light (laser?) After one hour, the results were very disappointing. The female assistant told me that she too was disappointed with her own treatment, which turned her teeth gray. While we got two shades lighter, there really wasn’t much difference. The dentist gave me custom fitted trays and gel to use at home. After several months, I got no results. He told me that there are some teeth that can’t be whitened and you never know until you try.
Over the past years, I noticed my teeth getting more and more yellow. I go for regular, every six months, checkup and cleanings. I’m beginning to feel very self-consciense about this as dark teeth really show your age, and I am wondering how much veneers might cost. I am 69 years old and only look 50 until I smile!!


38 Joe Bulger DDS April 17, 2013 at 1:55 am

Karen, disappointing to hear you had no luck with those different whitening modalities. You may be able to get a decent result if you go longer with the trays. Try a month with some decent gel… not bargain-brand stuff.

Veneers are probably an option for you, but the cost skyrockets when it’s 10-12 teeth on top and another 10-12 on the bottom.


39 AvreyJade July 24, 2013 at 2:05 am

One quote comes to mind throughout this article:

“methinks (s)he does protest too much”.

The cosmetic dentists now have to publish articles convincing the ever-increasing number of consumers turning to at-home whitening methods that this is dangerous and ineffective?

It’s kind of like doctors having to come online and warn people not to use bleach instead of antibiotics, because bacterial infections need to be treated by antibiotics. You could DIE if you dont use antibiotics!!

Oh…except, no one has to publish this. Mainly, because you don’t need to spend time advertising/advising against something that ACTUALLY doesn’t work. You don’t need to tell people not to put square tires on their cars, or use suspenders instead of seat belts. Know why? Because something that doesn’t work will inherently publish this information itself. It doesn’t need to be shouted from the rooftops by the people who are providing the product that DOES work. How often have you seen seat-belts advertised? How about water? How about: never. Because you don’t need to tell people they need to use seatbelts or drink water. People already know this.

If all these alternative whitening treatments are ineffective – the dentists really WOULDN’T care. They’d invite you to try them. They know it wont work. Like the way your hematologist would’t start a massive campaign on the failure of blood-letting as a treatment. They might tell you – I advise against it, because you’ll probably die – but they don’t need to campaign against something that doesn’t work.

Groups of people only have to campaign against something if it does work. Aka, it threatens them. Notice the first paragraph of this article? They are SO against at-home-DIY-whitening. They are SO indignant on behalf of your wallet and hard-earned money. They are SO appalled at the online-scam to trick you out of your money. Their feelings are so strong, they insist that you don’t waste a SINGLE PENNY on these contraptions. Don’t even try them! Hmmmmm. Makes you feel a tad suspicious, doesn’t it? Why are they so hellbent on scaring you away from these products? If they really didn’t work, the dentists would be pretty thrilled. Because they are right. People really DO want whiter teeth. And if if cosmetic dentists were the only people who could provide this, they’d be singing. Who cares if you bought 200 lightening pens, all of which didn’t work, and then ended up shame-faced in their offices, embarrassed you ever fell for such a thing, and now willing to pay for what you really DID want.

Let’s just wrap it up with: If alternative-at-home whitening methods really didn’t work…there would be absolutely no need on the part of dentits to advertise it. And they certainly wouldn’t care if you gave it a shot. Why not go ahead and state the obvious…it’s completely unbelievable that dentists are primarily concerned about the vulnerability of the “weak-minded public”, and their potential “exploitation” by reasonably-priced-at-home whitening treatments. it’s a bit more believable that they are terribly worried of losing a portion of the teeth-whitening market…a portion of the market that will increase as people discover that…shocker…they DO actually work.

It is a bit ironic, however, that this article is essentially a speech about how underhanded it is for online-alternative-tooth-whitening companies to hoodwink the unknowing public into spending money on an “inferior tooth-whitening products”….and all the while, these dentists are using their own manipulation tactics to…ya know…convince the public to spend MORE money on more EXPENSIVE whitening methods.

Who would have ever believed dentists were so fiercely ethical on our behalf? That is so heartwarming.

On a side note – weren’t the commercials for teeth-whitening toothpaste promoted and advertised by both dentists and their licensing body? I guess the 4 out of 5 dentists who recommended tooth whitening toothpaste to the public are…not part of this division of dentists…who are now indicating it is ineffective. Interesting.


40 Joe Bulger DDS July 24, 2013 at 10:59 am

Your conspiracy theories are interesting. A little heavy on the sarcasm for my taste.

If you have plenty of time and no money, by all means indulge in home remedies. Those who have the money but for whom time is scarce can stick to efficient, proven systems from trusted sources.


41 Alex July 26, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Nice blog I want to add here that teeth whitening by home remedies requires a lot of time but its long lasting instead of maniacal teeth whitening!


42 Paul Mann August 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

Hi Joe, Thanks for this products name and price. One more thing I have to ask you that I have stripe on my teeth. Which will be perfect for this problem?


43 Raine August 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Hello Dr. Joe,

I appreciate the honesty of your article. I am getting married in exactly 2 weeks and just had my top braces taken out yesterday. Do you think trying the whitening strips will work a little bit? I don’t need super great results, just a little difference just for the wedding is fine.

I really appreciate your response :)



44 Joe Bulger DDS August 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Congrats on your big day Raine!
Yes, the strips will help. Be sure to back off for the last 2-3 days so your gums and teeth won’t be sensitive on your wedding day.


45 Craig from Dramatic Whitening October 21, 2013 at 10:02 am

Some great advice there, I personally recommend an initial visit to the dental hygienist for a really good clean and then whitening kits and toothpaste to compliment that. Once you’ve had that initial work done, keeping a bright white smile is much easier. – Craig


46 Tim February 11, 2014 at 1:42 am

I wonder how many people just don’t realize (like I didn’t) how much coffee, tea or wine (or smoking) can affect the colour of their teeth. After 45 years or so of drinking coffee I quit a few months ago. Since, in the last few years I was only drinking decaf (mostly as a habit), I quit fairly easily and didn’t have any caffeine withdrawal problems. My teeth have naturally whitened quite spectacularly just with normal brushing and mouth wash. I wouldn’t have believed my two or three morning cups of coffee ruined my smile but it was so obvious once I quit. Now I’m way ahead of the game because I don’t even need to buy coffee. This has got to be the very cheapest, if not the easiest way to whiter teeth.


47 Amanda Koch May 9, 2014 at 1:44 am

I have used whitestips before a few years ago and was pretty happy with the results, but they didn’t last which is normal. When I started using them again I started getting really bad tooth sensitivity so I stopped. Now I use sensodine everyday because my teeth are more sensitive on a daily basis to things such as cold air or drinks. I really want to whiten my teeth again but am scared to use the whitestrips. Maybe in moderation? I have considered spending a little more money on the Glo system but haven’t found any true feedback. Is there a product I can use before or after such as the gel someone mentioned above? Overall, what would your recommendation before for whitening sensative teeth? Thank you for your article and followup responses!


48 Sophia Liam May 15, 2014 at 8:58 pm

I totally agree that the first question should be “does it work?” But I would add to that, “how well does it work?” My experience with teeth whitening is that most products do help with whitening, but some of them only help short term, and some of them do not completely bleach the teeth.

Sophia Liam | http://www.drsusack.net


49 Lennie May 26, 2014 at 1:41 am

Most people generally don’t have a “Pearly White” smile anyway and it looks unnatural – look at all the Super Stars when they smile – an unnaturally extremely white too perfect set of teeth – obviously all porcelain veneers. I don’t have that, as a matter of fact, I don’t want to have a pearly white smile. I’m 55 years old, have reasonable good yellowish teeth and it really doesn’t bother me that much at all. I do take good care of myself (mostly organic natural homemade remedies) and do not look my age at all. I also eat resonable healthy and watch my weight. In general, if you’re happy with yourself it shows in your smile – yellowish teeth and all! Ther is one thing I would like advise on though. I don’t drink any alcohol but I do smoke and I love my tea (my sins and lots of it) but also drink enough water! This obviously causes brown stains on and inbetween my teeth and I would like to know if there are any home remedies that can remove it, or most of it anyway as it is quite noticeable. I do not have the money to have it seen to professionally, therefore also the “home remedy skin and hair products” although it really gives a much better result tha many of the expensive brand names. I would really appreciate some advise on the brown stains removal on my teeth. Found your article very interesting and honest


50 botox June 26, 2014 at 11:13 am

When I initially started whitening back in the day, I was told to only do the top teeth as those are all that really show…


51 Dazzle Meds July 25, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Do you think trying the whitening strips will work a little bit? I don’t need super great results, just a little difference just for the wedding is fine.


52 best teeth whitening products for all teeth August 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Instead of paying for expensive home teeth whitening systems
that may, or may not, perform as well as you expect, check into a professional teeth
whitening service provided by your dentist. The
advantage of using custom-made trays is the gel is far
less likely to leak out, as this could damage your gums.
Since everyone has varying teeth sensitivity issues, what may
be good for your friends may be a disaster for you.


53 dullesdentalgroup.com August 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Laser whitening is without a doubt the best option for individuals that can afford the cost. However, it is important for dental offices to caution patients that some temporary discomfort can arise for some patients.

However, the overwhelming majority of patients will agree that the slight discomfort is worth the instantly whiter smile!


54 best home teeth whitening products 2013 September 1, 2014 at 12:29 am

Just swish it around your mouth for a couple of
minutes, or you can mix it with a teaspoon of baking soda and a dash of salt to make a teeth whitening paste you can apply on your teeth.
As a general rule, for those with sensitive teeth,
its best to start with a lower bleaching percentage. They said the FDA uses the term “bleaching” only
when teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color.


55 Neha January 7, 2016 at 2:32 pm

Dear Dr,

I have yellow teeths. Can u plz suggest
me the best tooth whitening kit??


56 Sandra January 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm

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57 Marina January 17, 2016 at 8:04 am

A secret to 100% naturally and safely whitening your teeth, no matter how old you are or how deep your teeth are stained, using a shockingly simple method based on obscure and buried research by a renowned team of scientists in the United States from the Department of Operative Dentistry.

Visit website> http://bit.ly/237IdHP


58 Marko March 25, 2016 at 4:43 pm

A secret to 100% naturally and safely whitening your teeth, no matter how old you are or how deep your teeth are stained, using a shockingly simple method based on obscure and buried research by a renowned team of scientists in the United States from the Department of Operative Dentistry.
Read more >> http://tinyurl.com/hevoddt


59 Best Dentist in Delhi May 26, 2016 at 10:58 am

Great Post! Thanks for the share.


60 Janine June 13, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Is Tooth bleaching available by dentist sir?


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63 Wilmie Swart September 9, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Hey all, I was looking for an easy teeth whitener as I have stopped smoking for a while now, and would like to get my teeth a bit whiter. Being the inquisitive person I am, I started to research a lot about teeth whitening. We are all so obsessed with our health these days that I wanted a product that would do more good than bad. I found a lot of products full of ingredients I could not even pronounce. I was about to just let the whole thing go when I come across a product named Cocobaci. Cocobaci is in itself, a deep body cleanse, using natural ingredients that benefit the body and teeth in more ways than one. Oil pulling is a whole new concept to me but it is amazing!!! The oil comes in different flavors with each their own essential benefits like boosting immunity, anti ageing etc etc, its also rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Please please try this before any other product as it is definitely my favorite!!! Go see the products here, http://ow.ly/MuC03043muU


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65 Jen October 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Very helpful post comparing the many options out there. Thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful guide.


66 Richard M. February 9, 2017 at 7:51 am

I’ve seen whitening pens recently at the local dollar store, so I thought I’d try them out, since it only cost a dollar. They worked, but not nearly as well as it was described on the package. It was basically gelled hydrogen peroxide you painted on and left for 10 minutes. Considering I only spent a buck on it, spending the money on it wasn’t bad. Spending the 10 minutes x 4 applications was…


67 David Rodriguez April 26, 2017 at 10:57 pm

Hi, I was wondering if 35% Carbamide Peroxide and remineralization gel syringes with blue light would be the safest and most effective teeth whitening option. My main concern is that its safe and will not damage the teeth or the gums permanently and if it slightly does damage the gums or teeth they will heal again?



68 Miranda Li June 1, 2017 at 3:44 am

This is a great article and gives one an idea about the whole teeth whitening procedure, where and how to start for someone like me who is considering the whitening treatment.


69 Mark42 June 7, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Hello, do you allow guest posting on smilesensation.com ? Please let me know on my email :)


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