A Guide to Teeth Whitening

A Guide to Teeth Whitening

According to celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Jeff Golub-Evans, when it comes to teeth bleaching, peroxide is peroxide. “Whether it’s drugstore teeth-whitening strips or a professional bleaching gel, it’s the same ingredient, just in different concentrations,” the self-described “smile designer” explains, adding that strips can actually get your teeth almost as white as a pro treatment; it just takes longer. Seeing as how it’s allegedly almost summer and nothing goes better with sun-kissed skin than pearly whites, we asked the good doctor if he’d break down our options for a brighter bite—with price differentials—so that, just in case the rain does eventually clear up, we’ll be ready:

In-Office Bleaching

Process: A dentist paints teeth with a peroxide gel, then shines a blue light on them to accelerate the bleaching action.

Peroxide strength: 15-35 percent

Whitening ability: 6-10 shades lighter

Cost: At least $500

Time commitment: 1 hour

Take-Home Trays

Process: A dentist custom-fits bleaching trays that are to be worn regularly at home.

Peroxide strength: 5-11 percent

Whitening ability: 6-10 shades lighter

Cost: $200-$600

Time commitment: 30 minutes to 1 hour a day for up to 2 weeks

Whitening Strips

Process: Strips that contain bleach are adhered to both top and bottom rows of teeth.

Peroxide strength: 9-12 percent

Whitening ability: 3-6 shades lighter

Cost: About $45

Time commitment: 30 minutes a day for 2 weeks