How to Choose Wisely
With so many choices, how do you know which whitening product is right for you?
Your first step should be to consult your dentist, whether you are planning to get a professional whitening treatment or want to try an over-the-counter product. Your dentist will let you know if you have any conditions which will not respond well to bleaching, or which might be aggravated by it.
Determine how white you want your teeth to be. An in-office whitening procedure can make teeth 10 shades whiter, while whitening toothpaste may only lighten teeth by one shade.
Factor in your budget. In-office tooth whitening done by a dentist will give the best results in the shortest amount of time, but will run you hundreds of dollars. Meanwhile, over-the-counter products will offer a modest improvement, for about $25 to $100.
Consider how much time you are willing to commit to the process. An in-office whitening treatment takes about an hour but will cost you. Over-the-counter methods are far cheaper but require using them about twice daily for several weeks.
Finally, remember that no matter what whitening treatment you choose, the results won't last forever. Foods, drinks, smoking, and medications can re-stain your teeth. Maintenance is required, no matter what whitening product you choose.