Are All Teeth Whitening Products The Same? Your Guide To Popular Whitening Products

An in-depth whitening treatment from your dentist may cost you anywhere from $300 to $1,000, yet you can purchase an over-the-counter kit for around $20. Why is there such a price difference? When it comes to teeth whitening, the old saying is true. You do get what you pay for. Although inexpensive whitening products may seem like a great bargain, they won't get your teeth as bright as professional products. However, they are not completely useless. It is up to you as a consumer to identify your needs and select the products that best fit your situation. Following is your guide to popular teeth whitening products.

Drug Store Whitening Kit

The most inexpensive of all teeth whitening treatments, over-the-counter kits come in many forms, including bleaching trays, strips and gels. According to the American Dental Association, these products can contain up to 10 percent carbamide peroxide, which is equal to approximately 3.5 percent hydrogen peroxide. These products may brighten your smile, but they will not lighten as well as other treatments. The results typically last around four months. Additionally, the treatments must be given daily for a couple of weeks before maximum results are achieved. 

Whitening Treatment at a Mall Kiosk

For anywhere from $50 to $100, you can have your teeth whitened at the mall. The whitening systems used at mall kiosks contain about 30 percent carbamide peroxide, which equals roughly 10.5 percent hydrogen peroxide. While mall treatments whiten better than over-the-counter treatments, they are not endorsed by the American Dental Association. In fact, the organization says it has serious concerns about mall whitening kiosks since the people running them are not licensed dentists. Many states have also started cracking down on these setups. Therefore, the term "buyer beware" is extremely applicable to mall kiosk treatments. 

Dental Office Whitening Treatments

The most expensive of all whitening treatments, dentist office treatments contain 25-40 percent hydrogen peroxide. As you can see, these treatments are much stronger than any you can buy on your own. What's more, professional treatments may lighten teeth anywhere from three to eight shades. Results last approximately six months to two years, depending on your eating and oral hygiene habits. 

Although they are the most expensive, in-office teeth whitening treatments work better than other treatments. To choose what treatment is best for you, weigh your budget against your ultimate goal. If you only want to remove stains and lighten your teeth by a shade or two, one of the lesser expensive options might work. However, if you want dramatic results, talk to a cosmetic dentist about your options, such as Front Royal Dental.