Is Home Teeth Whitening the Best Bleaching Choice for You?

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A Look At Teeth Whitening Trays Including Over The Counter And Custom Whitener Trays

Teeth whitening trays can be purchased over the counter, provided by your dentist or used in his office.  In some cases, the over-the-counter products are just as effective as professional treatments.  Since they are the least expensive choice, you may want to start with that option.

GlaxoSmithKline (makers of Aquafresh toothpaste) manufactures an over-the-counter teeth whitening tray that costs less than $20.  The tray is composed of a flexible plastic material enclosed in foil with the bleaching agent already included.  They are to be used on the upper and lower teeth for 45 minutes, once daily for two days.

It takes several weeks to see the finished result and during that time, it is important to avoid dark beverages and tobacco use.  People are typically pleased with the results.  You can expect to see lightening of three to six shades.  Your dentist can show you a shading strip to gauge what the effect might be or you can look at an online strip to get an idea.

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The “warm and form” teeth whitening trays cost less than $20, as well.  People say that they are more difficult to use, but they are reusable.  They do not come with a whitening gel.  So, the cost ends up being more than the disposable type.  The advantage is that they are generally a tighter fit, which allows for more even bleaching.  Maximum strength over-the-counter teeth whitening gel cost between $35 and $40.

When you use any of these kits, follow the instructions carefully.  If you have any gum irritation or abrasions, wait until that clears up before you use them.  You can expect that the treatments will cause some irritation, lasting anywhere from 2 days to a month.  This is due to the peroxide bleaching agent.

Your dentist can provide teeth whitening trays in a take home kit that includes the bleaching gel.  The cost ranges from $100-$400, but the kits are more effective than those that you could purchase at a drugstore or over the internet. 

The tray that you dentist provides will be custom made to fit perfectly.  It resembles the mouth guard used in some sports.  Your dentist may recommend that you leave the tray in place for an hour or more.  In some cases, an overnight soak is recommended.  The results are usually as good as more expensive treatments and also less irritating.
Overall, any teeth whitening trays will be more effective than the paint-on bleaches or the toothpastes.  It really just depends on how much you want to spend.