Often times patient's will ask me if there is a way to get their teeth whiter. In most cases bleaching, or teeth whitening, can be safely used to accomplish this goal. There are three main ways to whiten teeth. The first is over the counter products that you can get at the drug or grocery store (we have Crest Whitestrips available at the office for your convenience), the second is custom made bleaching trays (see the video below), and the third is in office bleaching. All will whiten your teeth, but have a different approach to do it.
Affordable At Home Teeth Whitening Solutions
The benefit for Whitestrips is that they are the most affordable option. I have even used them before myself! They typically are the lowest concentration, which means if you have sensitive teeth, these will be the least likely to induce your sensitivity. The downside is that they are a "one size fits most" and are not as comfortable as a custom made tray. Also with the lower concentration, they don't whiten as quickly.
Here are the Whitestrips we have available at the office:
Custom made Teeth Whitening Trays vs Over-the-Counter
The benefit of the custom made bleach trays are that they're... well custom! That means they're comfortable and fit closely. You can even wear them to work and often people won't even notice. You can also use a higher concentration so that it works faster. These trays will last a long time if you take good care of them, so in the future you can simply request more bleaching gel for any touch-ups.
In-Office Teeth Whitening Gets the Fastest Results
In office bleaching is the fastest way to get from "point A" to "point white." Since this is the high concentration stuff, I have to place a special gum protectant screen, then let the bleaching gel sit on the teeth for about 20 mins. We can do two doses back to back if you'd like to go whiter. The downside is that any future touch ups will need a repeat procedure (as opposed to using your existing trays and getting a gel refill).
Here's a video showing how the custom trays work to whiten teeth: