There are so many ways to whiten teeth that I often start a conversation about teeth whitening by asking people what they’ve tried in the past and what they did and didn’t like about it. I’m going to review the three best options available and what I am recommending most to people.
Over-the-Counter Crest White Strips
Option number one – the least expensive option – is the over the counter products like the Crest White Strips. These work well for some people, but can be a little clumsy to put on. Some have issues keeping the strips from slipping off teeth, some have no issues at all. My other complaint with these strips is that they don’t cover very far back. If you have a really wide smile, it may not be the best for you. If your smile is narrow, it might be just what you’re looking for.
Depending on the formula, you may need to wear them for up to forty-five minutes. To get the best results you may need to whiten up to twenty days, however, this can take longer if you have sensitive teeth. If you experience tooth sensitivity while you whiten, take a couple of days break before jumping back in. That means if you’re planning your whitening around a special event like engagement photos, a wedding, or maybe a graduation, start a little earlier than you think you need to.
While the over-the-counter works for some, the inconveniences can keep people from sticking with it. That said, if you’ve never tried whitening before and you’re on a budget, give it a try and see how you like it.
Custom Trays Made In-Office
Another way to whiten is by using custom trays. To get custom trays, we make a mold of your teeth and construct a tray that is fit to your teeth exactly. It looks similar to an Invisalign tray, and as long as your teeth aren’t shifting around or changing shape (for example, getting a bunch of new crowns), you can use those trays over and over for years to touch up your whitening.
Custom trays are more of an investment at approximately $300 for the set. Tubes of whitening gel come in a pack of two and are about $25 at the time of this article. Because of the initial investment, I recommend custom whitening trays to people who know they are going to be whitening over the long term and want to maintain their white teeth by touching up every several months.
Opalescence Go – The Easiest Way to Whiten Teeth
To those that don’t want to fiddle with the over the counter option but aren’t sure if whitening is for them, the Opalescence Go whitening system is currently the best on the market. For an initial whitening, a whole box is about $80. This places it between Crest White Strips and Custom Whitening Trays in terms of cost. It is more similar to the over-the-counter strips, but features several design improvements.
For one, the strips come loaded in a soft rubbery tray that allows you to put them on really easily. They only need to be worn for 15-20 minutes, about half the time of the crest white strips and the regimen lasts 10 days. The formula comes with some sensitivity ingredients to reduce the sensitivity that whitening can cause so you’re less likely to need those “sensitivity breaks”.
Opalescence only sells their kits to dentists, not in stores. If you see them listed on Amazon or Walmart, these are gray market products. Gray market products may not be the same product, are likely stored improperly, and can often be expired. Expired products are not going to be as effective. It’s better to get them from a dentist. We keep them in stock at our office so you can always stop by during business hours whether you have an appointment or not and pick one up to try.
The Best Teeth Whitening Option is the One that is Best for You
So to recap, if you’re just starting to try whitening – the Crest White Strips or similar over-the-counter options are a low stakes option to play around with. If you have a wide smile or are just unhappy with the sensitivity or the fit of the crest strips, the Opalescence Go is the next step up. You get those from your local dentist. If you’re an experienced tooth whitener and are committed to keeping your teeth pearly white for years, talk to your dentist about custom trays that can be used over and over again for just the cost of the bleaching tubes.
Do you have any questions about teeth whitening? Reach out or schedule an appointment by calling 513-241-1477 or schedule online by clicking this link here. As always thank you for listening and have a wonderful day!