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Tooth Whitening: Is Cheaper Better?

Lately, I've been thinking of having my teeth whitened at Brite Smile, but the idea of spending a few hundred dollars for gleaming chompers doesn't sit so well with my inner cheapskate. So this morning, I asked my dentist which method he recommended.

"Honestly," he said—and I paraphrase—"I'd just get some Whitestrips." He went on to say that while Brite Smile would give me slightly better results than Whitestrips, he didn't think the difference was worth the significantly larger cost.

He's not the only one. My former dentist once told me the same thing: Whitestrips are effective and relatively inexpensive. Thought you all might like to know that in my completely informal survey, the at-home stuff gets the thumbs-up from dentists. It's been a few years since I've done Whitestrips, so I'm curious: Do you think they work? Or would you rather save up and do something like Brite Smile?

Join The Conversation
dad3n1 dad3n1 9 years
Growing up, every once in a while my parents made me dip my brush in peroxide then baking soda and brush my teeth that way. I didn't understand until I grew up and stopped doing it. Man did it make a difference! Recently I went back to my old habit of tea and coffee drinking, so I started my old baking soda and peroxide routine. I do this once/day, then toothpaste two times a day. No sensitivity, and my teeth are getting whiter. My dentist said to stay away from whiteners, because they do make your teeth and gums sensitive, but this way works good enough. Give it a try before killing your teeth with chemicals. Then, after a month, if you still feel the need to do more, try something expensive like Celebrity Whitener, or even your own dentist's formula. Now, if your teeth are as yellow as a banana, that's a different story. Get some financing and get to the dentist!
megawatt64 megawatt64 9 years
just used crest whitestrips premium 7 day. got some of the sensitivity, but it subsided a day or two after i stopped. the results are pretty great--whiter teeth, but not crazy fake-looking white. i feel like i smile more now just to show them off!
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
Apparently, WhiteStrips only work on coffee drinkers. They remove the coffee stains but that's it. If your teeth are just naturally yellow or were before and got yellower after you drank coffee, then it'll just bring them back to their natural state or do nothing at all.
hilstew hilstew 9 years
When my teeth need to be whitened, I will brush for two weeks with Baking Soda and my teeth sparkle like crazy. I just keep a small bowl of it by my sink, brush with it, and then follow up with regular toothpaste. It's kind of abrasive on your gums, but it's my dentist's recommendation. Cant complain about the cost or the results...but give it a few weeks!
miszJAX miszJAX 9 years
I used Crest White strips weeks before this city beauty pageant, & it really works. Only thing though is you have to make sure you don't stain 'em by drinking coffee or foods that'll " dye " your fresh pearls. Also - - the choice of your toothpaste & mouthwash.
The only problem I have with Whitestrips is that they make my already sensitive teeth over the top sensitive. The result is almost worth it, but not quite...
Linz81 Linz81 9 years
I had my teeth sealed when I was younger (sealants) and never had any problem with them until I tried to use Crest Whitestrips. They ate all the sealants out and I had to pay $200 to get them re-done because my teeth, being suddenly exposed to everything, started like instantly developing cavities. Nightmare!
vikingprin vikingprin 9 years
It really depends on how deep your stains are. I got some results with the white strips, but after years of smoking and drinking red wine, I had to get the night trays from the dentist before I could get a surface cavity filled. Now my teeth are whiter than ever - and the funny thing is people have started commenting on how red my lips are! Since I have the trays, I can use them whenever I need a touchup, but if I lost them, I think whitestrips would work now.
actorgirl21 actorgirl21 9 years
I got the same advice from my dental hygienist friend. I bought the white strips and thought it worked wonders. It's really not that bad of a taste, it certainly isn't pleasant but it's not bad. I found that it was kind of a pain in my arse to have to put aside a hour a day (in 30 minute increments) for a week! But in the end it was good and my teeth are significantly whiter!
Ericka Ericka 9 years
Don't use those new tray ones! I tried them and they burned my gums it was horrible, but I love the strips if you can handle the taste.
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
I don't like using Crest White-strips. The taste is awful and because it is 'one size fits all' (and I have a small mouth), the gunk irritates my gums. I like the GoSmile products better. You can focus on which teeth need more attention and don't get any on your gums.
purrtykitty purrtykitty 9 years
i think it really depends on how much whitening you need. if it's just a shade or two, then the strips are probably the way to go. i wanted to go several shades whiter, so i opted for trays and whitening gel from the dentist...and i had fantastic results.
nslods nslods 9 years
I'm glad this article came up! I'm wanting to whiten my teeth before my wedding, but had no idea about all the different brands on the shelf these days. Everybody's comments will really help my decision easier, since I know what works good and what to avoid. And to know they work just as good as if the dentist did it, that makes me feel even better!
ur_momm ur_momm 9 years
emilyquinn - prescription listerine strips off ebay?? hmmmm i cant find the listerine ones ANYWHERE here (Montreal)... maybe ill check ebay.
zc zc 9 years
i's rather get them done proffesionally. Getting a dentist to do it ensures that it's done properly and safely and it lasts for longer. white strips also make your eeth extremely sensitive, more so than when its done proffesionaly.
ashleygaidhlig ashleygaidhlig 9 years
Personally, I'd use the whitestrips until I was ready (financially!) to get veneers!
emilyquinn emilyquinn 9 years
You guys- seriously. Listerine FTW. WAAAAAY better than crest and I bought the prescription strength whitestrips for 50 bucks off of ebay. DS Listerine strips seriously demolished CWS in terms of ease of use, sensitivity (way less) and whitening (much more!)
lexichloe lexichloe 9 years
These don't work on veneers, so what does? Do any of you know if there are any OTC remedies for dull veneers? I'm guessing you have to go to the dreaded dentist?
nikkipez nikkipez 9 years
whitestrips work very well save your money
rachelbojangles rachelbojangles 9 years
Whitestrips are awesome. My teeth are blindingly white. My dentist said the same thing to me. "Just get some whitestrips"
cittypark cittypark 9 years
i've used whitestrips before and they def do work. the only cons are that they make your teeth very sensitive for a bit~ and if they touch your gums, they may get pretty sensitive as well or even bleed a little. Also, bc they're just strips, they will whiten just your front rows~
Skelly1029 Skelly1029 9 years
I used the Crest Whitestrips for a while and really liked them, but recently my friend turned me on to Listerine Dissolving White Strips. If you cut them to fit your teeth and only overlap just a tiny bit, they totally dissolve and leave your breath fresh without all that goo on your teeth! :)
coffeelove coffeelove 9 years
I tried the Crest Whitestrips years ago, and my teeth have never been the same. They are now sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages, and I haven't been able to whiten my teeth since. I am not sure if people have the same reactions to Britesmile, but I was very unhappy with my results from the Crest Whitestrips. I followed the instructions meticulously, and saw no improvement, and had the increased sensitivity, which has lasted for years.
sarabel sarabel 9 years
I did the Brite Smile and it didn't whiten as much as I wanted. The dentist gave me the trays for free and they work 10X better than the in office whitening.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I love these. I had a friend who just had her teeth whitened and said it looks pretty much the same as when she used Crest white strips. The only difference her gums hurt waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more now that they've been done professionally.
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