At some point in life, your teeth may cease being pearly white, and you may wish to counter that. One of the biggest questions you will have at that stage is how much it is to get your teeth whitening. Essentially, there are many reasons as to why your teeth may turn color including;
- Diet – taking too much of foods rich in tannins, e.g., red wine, coffee, etc. while not observing a thorough oral hygiene program.
- Smoking – stains from smoking are very stubborn and will change the color of one’s teeth easily.
- Illness – certain illnesses and medications can change the color of someone’s teeth. Those undergoing chemotherapy on the neck and face regions might have the color of their teeth changed. Some patients taking certain asthma and high blood pressure medicines are also at risk of getting stained teeth.
- Poor oral hygiene – the inability to take great care of your oral health profoundly impacts the color of your teeth. However, even the most diligent of people who brush and floss their teeth regularly might still get the yellow teeth due to some other factors.
- Age – as you grow older, your teeth can start changing color as well. This is because of the wear and tear the enamel has been exposed to over the years. As it begins to thin down, the color and appearance of your teeth are changed.
- Other reasons such as genetics, accidents, fluorosis, grinding, etc. are the other reasons why the color of teeth changes.
The good news is, regardless of how your teeth got stained, there is always a solution for you. There are different methods to get your teeth whitening, which ultimately have a significant impact on how much teeth whitening costs. Furthermore, there are also teeth whitening for sensitive teeth, which also come at their own prices.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Intrinsic and Extrinsic whitening are the two major types of teeth bleaching;
Intrinsic whitening is the bleaching of the inner parts of the tooth; the dentin. Hydrogen peroxide is fused with the tooth to make it lighter, making the free radicals to bind with the yellowed or discolored pigments easily. The process takes place between the enamel cones. This usually results in the tooth being dehydrated, making it lighter, hence is reflected on the outer sides. The results are lighter, brighter, and whiter teeth.
Bleaching of the enamel is what is referred to as extrinsic whitening. When someone is affected by staining due to irregular oral hygiene, eliminating these stains exposes the color of the dentin – the inner parts of the tooth. The color of your natural tooth is then restored as long as the dentin itself was not discolored, to begin with.
Extrinsic whitening can be performed by anyone using over the counter teeth whitening products such as The Snow Teeth Whitening Kit. Intrinsic whitening, on the other hand, has to be done and performed by a professional dentist. In-office teeth whitening is often more expensive when compared to over the counter products. This is because of how they are applied, their efficacy, and the fact that it is being administered by a professional.
The 6 Best Teeth Whitening Methods
1. Professional (in-office) Teeth Whitening Methods and Their Cost
Cost: Around $650
Professional bleaching is one of the most effective teeth whitening methods available. The procedure is done at the dental clinic and only performed by an experienced dentist. Here are the steps which you should expect during an in-office teeth whitening;
- Your teeth first undergo some cleaning before shade of your current teeth is taken. You also get to see the most likely shade your teeth will get to after a successful procedure.
- Your teeth are isolated from other sensitive parts such as the gums. Accessories like dental dams, liquid dams, rubber dams, cheek retractors, etc.
- The whitener is then applied as the dentist ensures that only the right amount of it is used. This process takes a little over an hour.
- Light energy is, thereafter, used to activate the bleaching agent. Some dentists use Plasma arc while others use LED lights. This light is also used to make the bleaching agent work at a faster rate ensuring that you get your desired results in no time.
- Once the shade has been achieved, your dentist will rinse your teeth. Your teeth at this point might be a little more sensitive, so fluoride is used to ease it. In the end, you will have your brilliant, white smile back.
- It provides better results within a short period
- It is regarded to be one of the safest methods as only trained dentists are allowed to perform it
- The sensitivity and discomfort which can be felt is minimized
- Costlier than other teeth bleaching methods
- Not everyone is eligible to undergo this treatment
2. Laser Teeth Whitening
Cost: Around $1,500
Laser teeth whitening is one of the most innovative and highly effective teeth bleaching methods. It has the same application procedures as the in-office treatment mentioned above, only a bit pricier. Also referred to as ‘power whitening’ or ‘laser bleaching,’ lasers are used to accelerate the effectiveness of a concentrated whitening gel which has applied to your teeth.
If getting white teeth fast is your main concern, then this is your option. It is the best shot you have at getting ‘instant’ white teeth. Following this type of treatment, one might be at a higher risk of getting tooth sensitivity. This should, however, subside with time. Some people might find it uncomfortable while others will feel a constant sharp pain on their teeth. Your dentist will often prescribe some drugs to ease the pain.
- Whitening teeth is achieved in an hour or less
- There is no pain or discomfort during the procedure, so anesthesia is taken off the table
- You get 6 – 8 shades whiter teeth, and the results are instant
- It is the most advanced, hence the most expensive modern way of teeth whitening
- Tooth sensitivity after the procedure
- The extra attention you will get when you instantly change the color of your teeth might be unwelcoming to some people
3. Professional Whitening Kits and Over the Counter Whitening Trays
- Cost for Professional whitening kits: Approximately $400
- Cost for Over the Counter whitening trays: Around $100
Professional whitening kits and over the counter whitening trays are pretty much based on the same concept only that the dentist prescribes the former. Professional whitening kits are more effective than OTC whitening trays for several reasons including;
- The dentist prescribes them
- An impression of your teeth is taken; hence there will be no room for the whitening gel to come out of the tray and into contact with your gums
- It has a controlled concentration of whitening gels which should not cause any sensitivity for your teeth
Over the counter whitening trays work in the same way, but they are generic and might not fit your mouth correctly. This means you risk having some of the gel oozing out to get in contact with gums and other tissues. The concentration of peroxide in these trays is also a little bit smaller.
- Teeth whitening can be done at home
- Results will be visible after 7 to 12 applications
- Significantly cheaper than in-office and laser whitening
- They must be worn for some hours, every day for the results to be visible
- The efficiency of the kit varies from one brand to another
- This method is not useful for deeply stained teeth
4. Teeth Whitening Strips
Whitening strips are meant to be worn for at least an hour daily for a few days. You apply the strips, which have a bleaching agent along with the teeth. Like many other over the counter products, they contain lower concentrations of peroxide.
- Quite affordable
- Very easy to use
- They have low concentrations of bleaching agents making them the best choice for those with sensitive teeth
- It takes some time before the results are seen
- They are quite mild hence not the best for someone who is after instant results
- The strips only whiten the parts they touch meaning some crevices between teeth might be missed
5. Whitening Mouthwash
Unlike standard mouthwash, this type has a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. They are simple to use – just rinse with them once or twice daily.
- Daily time spent on usage is significantly lower than many other methods
- They are gentle on the enamel
- They also work to get rid of bad breath
- They are not very effective compared to other methods
- Results can be seen after a long time, probably months
6. Whitening Toothpaste
Teeth whitening toothpaste work like other types of toothpaste, but with a higher concentration of peroxide.
- They are some of the most affordable teeth whitening methods
- Very simple to use
- They also work to help fight cavities and eliminate bad breath
- It will take weeks or even months for the results to be visible
- They only remove surface stains
Over to You
The teeth whitening method you choose is solely dependent on you. How much stained your teeth are, and your budget is also some other crucial factors. Take your time to decide which method is the best for you and do not forget to contact your dentist for further advice.