Is Teeth Whitening Expensive?

Gone are the days when teeth whitening was only available to society’s rich and famous. Thanks to breakthroughs in dental technology and science, teeth whitening treatments have become far more accessible to just about anyone looking for a brighter smile.

That said, if you don’t know what you’re getting into, you can still very easily end up spending more than you might like on teeth whitening, especially if you don’t consider all of the different factors that can play into what you ultimately end up paying for your treatment.

To make sure that you end up with the perfect teeth whitening treatment that suits both your needs and your budget, familiarize yourself with the two biggest factors that influence what you pay for treatment below.

Dentist-Prescribed vs At-Home

One of the biggest influences on what you pay for teeth whitening is whether you choose to pursue at-home or dentist-prescribed treatments.

Almost always, you’ll find at-home treatments to be substantially less expensive than whitening at your dentist’s office. With plenty of teeth whitening kits available for under $100, with some even available for under $50, at-home whitening can potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long run.

Plus, you can save even more money with at-home whitening treatments if you opt for a monthly subscription service, as many companies offering teeth whitening products offer.

By opting for a monthly subscription over a one-time purchase, not only can you often save up to 30% on your purchases, but you also get all the necessary supplies needed to improve and maintain your teeth delivered right to your doorstep every month.

Unlike the more specialized whitening treatment you’re likely to receive from your dentist, these subscription services also typically go the extra mile to provide you with not just whitening products, but also other products to help you generally maintain your oral health beyond just having whiter teeth, such as floss, mouthwash, and even oral probiotics.

Different Methods

While the actual process behind whitening your teeth may be consistent across the various different whitening methods (with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide acting as a form of “teeth bleach” to help break down concentrated areas of stain or discoloration) different teeth whitening methods are available at different price points.

Whitening Strips

If you’ve ever purchased breath strips from your local convenience store, then you’re familiar with applying these types of strips onto your teeth. However, unlike those convenience store strips, whitening strips contain much more powerful ingredients, don’t disintegrate, and have to be removed after use.

You’ll often find whitening strips to be at the lower-cost end of teeth whitening methods, hovering around the $20 mark, depending on how many strips you buy.

Whitening Gels

The most direct method of teeth whitening is applying whitening gel directly onto your teeth, often with a provided applicator called a “pen”. These pens look and operate similarly to an applicator you would inside of a nail polish container.

Whitening gels, like whitening strips, also tend to be on the more affordable side, starting at around $25.

Whitening Trays

Another way to whiten your teeth is to fill a tray molded to the shape of your teeth with whitening gel, place the tray onto your teeth, and allow enough time to pass (usually specified in the provided instructions) before removing the tray and spitting out any excess foam caused by the whitening gel.

Whitening trays are often included as part of a larger teeth whitening kit, making them slightly more expensive than some of the whitening methods listed in this article. Most kits start at around $60.

LED Treatments

When combined with hydrogen peroxide, blue LED lights are proven to lighten the color of teeth much better compared to just using peroxide by itself. This is why many companies have taken to including mouth trays already fitted with blue LEDs in their teeth whitening kits.

Because LEDs only assist other methods of teeth whitening, you’ll often have to purchase them as part of an entire teeth whitening kit. Again, kits typically start at around $60.

Whitening Toothpastes

While often not the strongest method of teeth whitening, whitening toothpaste is often the cheapest and easiest-to-incorporate method of teeth whitening, especially when compared to something like LED treatment, which can require you to spend much longer periods of time in your bathroom.

Whitening toothpaste is by far the most affordable way to start whitening your teeth, with products starting at just $10.

Depending on how quickly you’re looking for results, there are plenty of rather inexpensive options for whitening and brightening your smile.