Are you self-conscious about your smile because of stained or discolored teeth? You’re not alone. In 2020, more than 37 million Americans used teeth whiteners, and 80% of Americans ages 18 to 49 say they want whiter teeth.
But you may be wondering whether teeth whitening is for you. So, from questions like, “Does whitening toothpaste work?” to the basics of how teeth whitening works and how much teeth whitening costs, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about whitening teeth safely.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that lightens the color of your teeth. It’s a simple and noninvasive way to improve the appearance of your smile. Teeth whitening works by using a bleaching agent to break down and remove stains from the enamel of your teeth.
Does Whitening Teeth Work?
Yes, teeth whitening is very effective. However, your results will depend on two factors.
- The method you use
- The severity of your stains
You may need multiple sessions or touch-ups to achieve your desired results, so it’s important to manage your expectations and understand teeth whitening is not a one-time fix.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Yes, teeth whitening is safe when done correctly and under the supervision of a dental professional. However, risks of misuse include the following.
- Tooth sensitivity
- Damage to teeth and gums
- Gum sensitivity
- Damage to enamel
Are You Looking for a Dentist for Teeth Whitening?
Best Methods of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening can be done in many ways, but not every method is created equally. The most effective and safest way to whiten your teeth is through professional teeth whitening. This is because your dentist can assess the condition of your teeth and gums to determine the best treatment for you. You dentist or dental hygienist can also apply the whitening agent evenly and accurately, reducing the risk of sensitivity or damage to your teeth.
Over-the-counter whitening products like whitening toothpaste or strips may be convenient, but they typically have lower concentrations of the bleaching agent, making them less effective. (So, you’d have to buy more product in order to achieve your desired results.) In addition, some of these products may cause sensitivity or damage to your teeth and gums if misused.
5 Ways to Whiten Your Teeth Safely
Wondering how teeth whitening methods work or trying to decide which option is best for your smile? Here are five ways to whiten your teeth safely.
- At-home bleaching kits. Affordable and convenient, these kits contain a bleaching gel applied to a custom-fit tray. Follow instructions carefully to avoid sensitivity and enamel damage.
- In-office bleaching. Quick and highly effective, this method uses a high concentration of bleach applied to teeth and is activated with a special light.
- Laser whitening treatments. Similar to in-office bleaching, this method uses a high concentration of bleach activated by a laser. Quick and more comfortable than traditional bleaching, this method is also more expensive.
- Whitening toothpaste. While not as effective as other methods, whitening toothpaste does help remove surface stains. Look for toothpaste with hydrogen peroxide or baking soda, but avoid excessive use as whitening toothpastes have been known to damage tooth enamel.
- Professional take-home trays. This method is effective with long-lasting results, but can cause sensitivity and enamel damage if you don’t follow directions carefully.
How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?
Professional teeth whitening can range from $100 to $800, depending on the type of whitening and the product that is used. While this is typically more expensive than at-home kits or over-the-counter products, don’t let the cost for professional teeth whitening deter you! The effectiveness and safety may be worth your investment.
Does insurance cover teeth whitening? Some plans do, and our in-office benefits specialist will work with your provider to assess your options and share a detailed quote before you make your decision. We also offer flexible, affordable financing.
Ready to See How Teeth Whitening Can Improve Your Smile?
Now that you know how teeth whitening works and which treatments are most effective, take the next step toward a more beautiful smile.
Dr. Shah and the compassionate, skilled team at Pleasant Dental are ready to answer your questions and provide the care you need to achieve the smile of your dreams.
Find out how teeth whitening can boost your confidence!