When considering teeth whitening products and services, there are multiple methods to choose from. For minor discoloration, a special toothpaste, whitening pen, or whitening strips may be all that is necessary to bring forward a whiter smile. For intermediate to severe discoloration and stains deeper than the surface level, there are custom-made whitening trays, LED whitening kits, and the professional treatment provided by dentists.
Surface stains that can be lifted more easily with minor at-home treatments will cost less than more invasive methods requiring unique whitening trays or in-office assistance. Stain removal toothpaste is commercially available for everyday consumers starting as low as $3. Some more well-known toothpaste brands may charge upwards of $15 per container, so the cost is up to the user’s preference.
Whitening pens are comparable to stain removal toothpaste, but they are more convenient regarding size, portability, and last-minute touchups. Teeth whitening pens generally vary from $15 to $50 depending on the brand, package quantity, and any promotional sales that may be happening at the time of purchase.
Teeth-whitening strips are considered a more well-known product as they have been available for retail sale for quite some time. Whitening strips are usually found in the dental aisle of drugstores, supercenters, and grocery stores. The price per package can start at $10 for a small supply and continue upwards to $50 for a month worth of upper and lower strips.
LED teeth whitening kits can be purchased in commercial settings or through a dental practitioner. LED kits generally use a whitening gel applied to the inside of a rubber-like or plastic-like dental impression, followed by an LED light to activate the bleaching agent. Over-the-counter kits start around $50, while personalized kits created at the dentist’s office can be more costly, up to $300.
Custom-made whitening trays require an appointment with your dental clinic, where dental impressions will be made to be a closer fit for your teeth. On the lower end, whitening trays can be $100 and up to $600 on the higher end.
Professionally whitened teeth are more expensive, with the national average of $650 per session. Some dentists charge less, around $450 per session, and others may charge up to $1000 for each treatment. Depending on how many treatment sessions are needed before your chosen shade of white is reached, this can become quite an investment but is one worth it when you show off your bright white smile.
How Much is Zoom Teeth Whitening?
Zoom is an FDA-approved method for whitening teeth in a professional manner. Like other professional whitening sessions, Zoom requires a one-hour appointment when performed at the dentist’s office. If sitting for an hour is uncomfortable or difficult, the dentist can offer an at-home treatment plan that is less aggressive.
Using custom-made trays, the Zoom gel can be applied to the impressions and worn for several hours at a time. Treatment time for home use is 12 days, with an average cost between $300 and $600. Like other whitening products, tooth sensitivity is still a risk while using Zoom.
How To Use A Teeth Whitening Pen
Teeth whitening pens are becoming more popular among other methods. Unlike whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, whitening trays, and LED whitening kits, the whitening pens are quick, easy, convenient, and portable. While no product is necessarily better than the other, a trend is forming with the accessibility of whitening pens.
To use a whitening pen, there are only a few steps to follow:
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush your teeth as you usually would.
- Once done brushing your teeth, remove the cap from the pen and twist the bottom until the whitening gel is visible on the tip of the brush.
- Apply just a thin layer of the gel onto each tooth, covering the entire surface as if you were painting your teeth.
- For the last step, leave the gel on your teeth without rinsing.
There are still sensitivity factors to be aware of when using whitening pens. Still, due to the low concentration of bleaching agents, any tooth sensitivity or pain should be minor and short-lived. Results may be visible after a single application with mild discoloration and only surface stains.
How To Use Snow Teeth Whitening
Snow teeth whitening kits cost between $150 and $300. Most kits include 75 treatments with the initial purchase. One year’s supply of the unique whitening serum can be purchased for $75 if needed after the included doses are gone.
To use the Snow whitening kit, the enamel-safe serum is applied to a silicone mouthpiece which is then worn for 9 to 21 minutes a day. The mouthpiece uses an LED light to activate the bleaching agent and increase the effects of the whitening process. The LED light comes with a charger for the wireless option or can be plugged into a phone if corded. The Snow whitening technique uses similar concepts to whitening strips and LED whitening trays, but it requires less time per treatment, is safe on crowns and bridges, can be used on sensitive teeth, and has a five-year warranty.
How To Use Teeth Whitening Strips
Before using any teeth whitening product, strips included, it is recommended to brush your teeth and remove any surface plaque or daily build-up that had time to occur. Brushing your teeth beforehand allows the bleaching agent to make closer contact with the tooth and have a better chance at lifting any minor surface stains.
After brushing, whitening strips can be applied to the teeth in three simple steps. Remove the whitening strip from its individual packaging, place the gel side to the teeth, and set a timer for 30 minutes. Try to avoid placing any of the strips or gel on the gums since the bleaching agent could cause minor discomfort and irritation. If any part of the strip is left hanging from the teeth, fold it behind your teeth to get a more secure attachment. Once the 30-minute timer is finished, remove the whitening strip and properly dispose of the items in a garbage bin.
After using whitening strips, teeth enamel can be very porous for some time. To avoid immediately staining the teeth after any whitening treatment, try to stay clear of any dark-colored food or drinks, smoking or using tobacco products, or using any products containing fluoride for at least a few hours.
Why do my teeth hurt after whitening strips? Temporary pain and tooth or gum sensitivity may not affect everyone, but they are other side effects to be prepared for.
Why Do Whitening Strips Hurt My Teeth?
The main ingredient in teeth whitening products is peroxide. When oxygen molecules mix with the peroxide in the whitening strips, a chemical reaction occurs to lift surface stains from teeth. Some people who have teeth sensitive to peroxide may experience pain, discomfort, or sensitivity to hot and cold during or after a whitening session. The pain experienced from whitening strips is usually temporary and will go away with time.
Using products that contain a lower concentration of peroxide or one that requires less time on the teeth are two beneficial ways to work towards a whiter smile while avoiding any discomfort. Sticking to room temperature foods and drinks after using whitening strips is another way to reduce any hot or cold temperature sensitivities.
If the pain is severe, does not go away, or you know you have a peroxide sensitivity, stop using the product and discuss whitening options with your dentist for recommendations more suitable for you.