When you want to whiten your teeth at home

Home Teeth Whitening

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Home Teeth Whitening?

I was wondering if anyone has information on saving money on home teeth whitening (bleaching). My dentist told me that she charges $350. I have seen kits to bleach teeth at home for $10-$20. Any feedback from readers would be helpful.

Whiter Teeth and Loving It

I've been bleaching my teeth for 3 years now and love it. I also arranged with my dentist to bleach my husband's teeth as an anniversary gift.

The active ingredient in the home bleaching kits that you can purchase at a dentist's office is Carbomide Peroxide. If you do not have sensitive teeth, you can use a higher percentage of Carbomide Peroxide. I have successfully used products such as Nite White and Opalescence F that have a high concentration of 15% Carbomide Peroxide. If there is sensitivity, it only lasts for a couple of days. I am also a heavy sleeper and wearing the mouth tray all night doesn't bother me.

The tray that the dentist makes is relatively cheap. It's the time for the dentist to make a mold from your teeth that costs so much. You can usually find a coupon in a newspaper or call around for quotes. $350 sounds like an awful lot unless you are in N.Y.

I only needed the top arch done so it cost $150, which included a follow-up visit and 4 syringes of bleaching agent. Four syringes alone are about $40 for future bleaching.

I absolutely love having brighter, whiter teeth. My confidence has risen and I smile much more.

Results with Home Teeth Whitening

I, too, looked longingly at the white teeth of others and wished I could afford to pay the bag of gold. Then, my dentist told me I could get good results with the over-the-counter products.

So I figured the few dollars was worth a try and bought a Rembrandt kit at Wal-Mart. It said to brush thoroughly for 3 to 5 minutes twice a day and use a tube a week for 4 weeks. Well, the 3 to 5 minutes has been pretty hard to do consistently. I'm a 30-second brusher and I'm out the door. But even struggling a little, I have seen great results in less than one month.

It won't lighten any caps or crowns or tooth-colored fillings, and I was worried about that. But I can hardly even notice them. They just seem to blend in. My teeth are not white, but they are not that dull yellow they once were, either. They're whiter and sparkly and really clean looking and feeling. I love it! And I'm going to keep it up.

After Whitening User Becomes Sensitive

I tried the $350 method. I hated it. I don't know about the cheaper kits, but your reader should know that quite often these whitening treatments make your teeth "sensitive."

After I had paid my money, I then had to deal with the pain from sensitivity. I couldn't even stand to speak because the air hurt my teeth. I asked about this and I was told by one of the hygienist that she tried the treatment but didn't continue because of the same problem. It would have been nice to know about this before I made my decision and paid my money. The other three tubes of whitener are sitting in my closet. I will never use it!

I'm happy with my teeth the way they are, and I would really think twice before using the stuff. It also makes your gums sore, but that's easier to deal with than the sensitive teeth.

"In Office" Whitening Expensive

I was a dental assistant for almost twenty years. Our office also offered bleaching. It was a two-step procedure; the first was an "in office" bleaching. This sort of gave you a jump-start. The second part was the take home kit. This came to $400, not covered by any insurance company as it is considered cosmetic.

As for the kind you can buy yourself, most of them will not give you such great results. And you should use some caution as they can burn the gum tissue. Rembrandt is a good company and has a whitening toothpaste that is pretty good. Check to see if they have a kit for bleaching. They are one of the companies I do trust. Even with this, use carefully. Too much will burn.

Rembrandt "Dazzling White" is a Winner

I have extensively done my homework on brightening teeth and the results achieved from Rembrandt "Dazzling White" is phenomenal. The cost is about $10 and has a 30-day guarantee. You can't beat it!

My teeth are naturally yellowish. Now they are noticeably whiter, and my family noticed. Now, they are going to use the system.

I have been using the system for 60 days and counting. My teeth even stay cleaner longer, feeling smooth as glass with fresh breath! Incidentally, this is how I was introduced to "Dazzling White."

I spoke to a woman in the store who has had costly bleaching treatments and she swore that Rembrandt "Dazzling White" gets teeth as white as the expensive bleaching treatments. I smile more and feel and look more confident!

Whitening Toothpaste Does the Job at Home

My eyeteeth were a deep yellow a couple of years ago when I decided to do something about it. I felt that I couldn't justify the expense of paying a dental technician, and I read that the home teeth whitening kits can be quite harmful on the teeth. So I skeptically tried the whitening toothpaste. I read in Consumer Report magazine that they do work though not as well as the dentist's job.

I have been using Ultrabrite Whitening for a couple of years now, and my teeth are definitely better looking. Though they aren't movie star brilliant, they aren't noticeably yellow either. And contrary to what my dental technician said, the toothpaste isn't really that expensive. It is not really recommended for children, especially young ones. I think it has to do with extended use wearing down the enamel.

First the Dentist and then Wal-Mart

I paid my dentist about $200 to have my teeth whitened and here's why. The dentist had an exact mold of my teeth made (called trays) and put me on a program of different levels of whitening.

Over the next month, my teeth got whiter and whiter, and it didn't hurt my teeth at all.

Store brands give you a tray, but they are not exact and do not do the job that going to a dentist does. Also, they provide a whitener that might be too harsh for your teeth. Your dentist monitors your progress and takes care of any complaints.

I'm very happy with going to the dentist first and then going to Wal-Mart to get my brightener.

Home Teeth Whitening with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is what I use to whiten my teeth. If you look on a bottle of it, there are directions for rinsing your mouth out with it. Floss, brush, and then rinse. Check with a dental professional that you trust before trying it. I have noticed a big difference in my teeth.
Rhonda from Mid-Missouri

How Fast Do You Want Results?

In my job as a dental hygienist, I answer patients' questions daily about the best way to whiten teeth. My answer usually is conditional: "It depends on how white you would like your teeth to be and how quickly you want to get there."

I usually counsel patients to begin inexpensively with a heightened home care regimen. Good oral hygiene in and of itself can help teeth get and stay white. Purchase a toothpaste with a whitening formulation that lists hydrated silica as one of the ingredients. (For many people, a whitening toothpaste that uses hydrogen peroxide as its whitening agent can cause unpleasant sensitivity of the teeth.)

I recommend to a patient, as much as is possible, to brush after every meal or about three times a day. Little changes in our home care can make a big difference in terms of achieving brighter teeth, especially when a whitening toothpaste is involved. Daily flossing is essential as well, as staining often occurs in the crevices between our teeth, in spaces that a toothbrush cannot reach or effectively clean.

The next level of whitening, which is slightly more expensive, yet still comes cheaper than purchasing from the dentist, are bleaching agents that can be found in your local drug store or grocery store. White strips, for example, prove easy to use and effective in achieving satisfactory results. Just be cautious in use, as the whitening agent may cause the above mentioned sensitivity.

The next level would, of course, be a whitening product from the dentist. While this is the most expensive option, this would also yield the most immediate and dramatic result. For example, if I have a patient who is a bride getting married in two weeks, I recommend that she purchase whitening from the dentist, since the other less expensive options can take at least two to four weeks to see desired results. But, if a patient is not on a time crunch, I recommend the other options be pursued first.

Another good idea would be to ask the dentist if they are running any specials and/or if they can offer a deal on the bleaching services. Recent economic woes have hit everyone, dental offices included, and oftentimes the dentist might be willing to cut a deal, simply to get the business. It is worth the ask at least!

Don't Do It!

I have information regarding teeth whitening (my husband is a dentist). Unless you get custom appliances from your dentist, when you apply the whitening solution (which is essentially bleach), you run the risk of the bleach getting on your gums and causing sensitivity. I know it's expensive to get the custom job, but I wouldn't recommend home teeth whitening.

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