Teeth Whitening

by Jessica Wright
(last updated April 15, 2015)

Getting teeth whiter at the dentist can cost anywhere from $500 to $1000 per session, with getting a touch-up within six months costing the same amount. For some this is an added expense that simply is too much to pay. The other alternative is to use a home-based teeth whitening kit. The cost is relatively cheaper, running from $25 to $40.

It can be really hard to decide on which product to use. Especially when it seems like there are literally hundreds of different products all claiming to whiten and to brighten your teeth. While most teeth whiteners are harmless, there are some that can actually damage the enamel on your teeth, especially if you leave it on longer than you should.

While looking for the perfect whitening product it helps to know that there are three basic teeth-whitening systems that are available for use at home. There are systems that rely on strips, trays, and paint-on whitener, with each one having good and bad qualities.

  • Paint-on. This type of product first appeared as an over-the-counter product in 2002 and is relatively easy to use. Just paint the gel onto the teeth as you would if you were painting fingernails. The time that is required is as little as thirty minutes twice a day; you will want to follow the manufacture's suggested times. You should be able to see results within a week with the teeth being about three shades lighter.
  • Trays. This type of product is usually worn for about forty-five minutes a day. The problem with trays is that they can be hard to wear, especially if you have a tendency to a gag reflex. While trays do what they are supposed to do, they can be awkward, messy and uncomfortable to use. With trays you can usually see results in about one week, with teeth about two shades lighter.
  • Strips. Out of the three this type of product is usually the least expensive. These strips are easier to use, but there are times that they will slip off and will need to be reapplied. They are usually applied to the teeth with an adhesive to keep them in place. For results to be seen you may have to wait two to three weeks, with results of teeth being between two to three shades lighter.

To discover which type of product that you like best, it may take some testing on your part. Even though your friend may enjoy using the trays, you may find that the paint-on works best for you. It really ends up being a matter of personal choice.

No matter which type of product you choose it is important to see a dentist to determine if your teeth and gums are healthy enough for a home teeth whitening kit.

Author Bio

Jessica Wright

Jessica is a communications major studying for her masters and working full time. Growing up in a household of girls, she learned young the fun of trying new beauty ideas. Jessica enjoys playing the piano, dating, and having a good time with family and friends. ...

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