Your Best Bets in Teeth Whitening Options

Your Best Bets in Teeth Whitening Options

There are plenty of teeth whitening options, so use these tips to see which is best for you.


By: Aly Walansky

Unsatisfied with the shade of your pearly whites but not sure if you are ready to fork over the cash for a professional whitening treatment?

Not to worry, says Dr. Jeff Golub-Evans, a cosmetic dentist on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

“Peroxide is peroxide,” he says.

Dr. Emanuel Layliev, who practices with Golub-Evans, adds: “Whether it’s drugstore teeth-whitening strips or a professional bleaching gel, it’s the same ingredient, just in different concentrations. Strips can actually get your teeth almost as white as a pro treatment — it just takes longer.”

So what’s the best treatment for you?

In-Office Bleaching

  • Process: A dentist paints teeth with a peroxide gel, and then shines a blue light on them to accelerate the bleaching action.
  • Peroxide strength: 15-35 percent
  • Whitening ability: 6-10 shades lighter
  • Cost: At least $500
  • Time commitment: One hour
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Bleaching Trays

  • Process: A dentist custom-fits bleaching trays that are to be worn regularly at home.
  • Peroxide strength: 5-11 percent
  • Whitening ability: 6-10 shades lighter
  • Cost: $200-$600
  • Time commitment: 30 minutes to one hour a day for up to two weeks

Whitening Strips

  • Process: Strips that contain bleach are adhered to both top and bottom rows of teeth.
  • Peroxide strength: 9-12 percent
  • Whitening ability: 3-6 shades lighter
  • Cost: About $45
  • Time commitment: 30 minutes a day for two weeks

Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpastes can maintain tooth health and are best for preserving whiteness between treatments, but often don’t contain enough of the whitening agent to show a significant change.

One important note: Some people find that the peroxide in whiteners cause them sensitivity or even pain, so take that factor into consideration.

“Even though in-office treatments and bleaching trays contain the most peroxide, you may be less sensitive to them because the trays are custom fitted, so there is less chance of leakage to other parts of the mouth to cause problems,” says Dr. Jeffrey Gross.



Aly is the senior editor of LovingYou.com, beauty and fashion editor for MyGloss.com, a style columnist for SheKnows.com as well as a contributor to publications ranging from Huffington Post to About.com. New Beauty Magazine and Star Magazine have rated her one of the top beauty bloggers on the web.

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