How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Teeth Whitened?

Teeth whitening is a common cosmetic dentistry procedure.  There are many different options.  Just how much does it cost to get your teeth whitened?

It really can depend on which path you choose.

Here we explain several possible paths and provide some tips on how to cut corners while not affecting the process making your teeth as white as they can be.

Do You Want the BEST Affordable Teeth Whitening Toothpaste?


Money in a jar (How much does it cost to get your teeth whitened?; This much)

“Money” by Pictures of Money (CC BY 2.0), via

Part of choosing the type of whitening you prefer is knowing the associated costs and finding those within your budget.

Teeth whitening is effective and it will improve your smile.

However, different types produce different results.  It is important to note the difference between whitening and bleaching.

Whitening restores your teeth to their natural color while bleaching brings them to a color beyond the natural color of your teeth.

Best Over the Counter Teeth Whitening Cost


“Toothbrush” by logic (Standard Restrictions), via

While answering the question “how much does it cost to get your teeth whitened?”, we hope to steer you to the most effective, yet affordable solutions.

You can find an array of teeth whitening and bleaching products at the drug store and all of these work for minor extrinsic stains.

Whitening toothpastes and whitening strips are the most common products, but there are also kits that include teeth trays and a special gel.

These products range from $3.00 to $100.00, depending on the method you choose.

The Various Options

Toothpastes are the least expensive, but they also take the longest to produce results.

The best whitening toothpaste generally takes about 30 days to produce optimal whitening.

Use white strips for one to two weeks.  And, after two weeks, your teeth are at least a few shades whiter.

Teeth tray and gel kits are similar.  You typically use them for one or two weeks.  The results are that your teeth become several shades whiter.

To get optimal results from whitening toothpaste, you need to brush at least twice a day and make sure to floss to remove debris between the teeth.

Be sure to use a clean toothbrush that isn’t frayed. Ideally, replace your toothbrush when the bristles are frayed.  Or, after three to four months.  Whichever comes first.

If using whitening strips, apply them twice a day.  Leave each strip in place for 10 to 60 minutes, depending on the type you choose.

You normally use these for a couple weeks, but there are some express options that allow you to put the strips on for up to two hours and these are one used for only one or two days.

The kits require you to place gel into two different teeth trays – one for the upper teeth and one for the lower teeth – and then place these on your teeth for a specified amount of time.

Most of these kits require you to keep the gel in place for 15 to 60 minutes. These can be messy, but make sure to allow as little gel to contact your gums as possible to minimize any possible irritation.

So, the answer to how much does it cost to get your teeth whitened has a wide range.  Picking the right one for you might take some trial and error.

Teeth Whitening Cost at Dentist

Instrument Collection

“Instrument Collection” by schwab (Standard Restrictions), via

There are two primary methods that your dentist uses to whiten and bleach your teeth and these include the creation of specialty at-home kits and chairside whitening procedures.

These are usually the most effective and efficient when it comes to bleaching your teeth.  This is because the dentist controls the procedure.  This allows the dentist to use a much stronger type of peroxide.

In most cases, the dentist uses either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

The dentist likely makes at-home kits.  It is important that you follow the instructions exactly to get optimal bleaching results.

Your dentist will take a mold of your mouth to create custom teeth trays to ensure a proper fit. This is an advantage over the over-the-counter teeth trays that are one-size-fits-all.

A well-fitted teeth tray keeps the gel securely in place and it helps to minimize any gum irritation.

You generally use the kit for two weeks and will need to use the gel once or twice a day, depending on what your dentist recommends.

On average, these kits cost between $100.00 and $400.00.

How Much is Chairside Whitening?

Chairside whitening is done in your dentist’s office.  You should expect to spend approximately two hours at your dentist’s office.

Your dentist begins by cleaning your teeth and protecting your gums, and then applies a special gel to the teeth.

Your dentist may try a special light to speed up the process.  But, this light isn’t actually doing any of the bleaching.

Once your teeth are at the shade you want or time is up, whichever comes first, your dentist will remove the light, clean your mouth and send you home.

It is important to avoid any food or drinks with a dark pigment, and don’t smoke, for 24 hours to prevent re-staining.

On average, a chairside whitening procedure is around $650.00.

Teeth whitening costs vary greatly, but there is always at least one option within your budget.

It is a good idea to consult a dentist before choosing a teeth whitening option so that you can learn more about your overall oral health and the type of staining you have.

Both of these will impact the type of whitening or bleaching you can safely have on your teeth.

The bottom line is that when answering the question about how much does it cost to get your teeth whitened, going to the dentist is not going to be your most affordable answer.

Categories of Teeth Staining

Bucket O' Berries

“Bucket o’ Berries” by tvvoodoo (Standard Restrictions), via

There are two categories of teeth stains:

  • Extrinsic stains
  • Intrinsic stains

Extrinsic Stains

Extrinsic stains form on the enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth.

These are superficial and generally respond to mild teeth cleaning or whitening procedures.

More stubborn stains may require bleaching to lighten them so that they aren’t visible.

If this type of stain makes their way into your dentin, or the inner layer of a tooth, they can become ingrained, making them incredibly difficult to eliminate.

Lifestyle habits are what causes this type of stain. Things like dark-pigmented foods and drinks and smoking are the most common causes.

Poor dental hygiene can also also lead to extrinsic yellowing.

Intrinsic Stains

Intrinsic tooth stains are in the dentin of your teeth, making them deeper stains that are more difficult to deal with.

There are dental bleaching procedures that can tackle these, but it can take up to a year, in some cases, to whiten the stains.

These stains are due to things like using certain medications, aging, trauma and excessive fluoride.

Over-the-counter whitening products won’t work on this type of stain.

So, to answer the question about how much does it cost to get your teeth whitened, you should first identify the source of the stains.  This will allow you to save on teeth whitening costs that you know won’t work and thus save you money!

Does Tea Stain Your Teeth?

Earl grey / アールグレイ

“Earl grey / アールグレイ” by Kanko (CC BY 2.0), via

Drinking tea is one of the most common teeth staining “Lifestyle habits” that people wonder about.

Before we answer that question, we need to clarify the question.  Are we talking about hot tea?  Iced tea?  Green tea?

There are many types of tea and many types of tea leaves that might affect the color of your teeth if consumed over long periods of time.

After all, if you worry about spilling your cup of tea on your shirt, why wouldn’t you worry about how that same liquid might affect your smile.

Let’s first focus on one of the most common drinks people might consume.

Black Tea

Many people drink something called Black Tea.  In the Southern US states, at least where I live, Black Tea is also called Ice Tea or Iced Tea.

This tea is seldom black in color like the name would suggest.

Typically, it is more of a brown color, with a slightly orange tint.

However, it typically includes tannin’s that promote stains.

Dentist’s typically think this type of black tea can be much worse than coffee when it comes to staining your teeth.

I found sources at Gary Cash DDS, WebMD, Colgate, and also C&C Dentristy that agree.

Green Tea

Green tea is a beverage I love to enjoy when I frequent my favorite Japanese restaurants like Benihana.

Green Tea Ice Cream - Matcha Green Tea Latte and Green Tea Ice Cream Set - Cocoro Cafe, QVM AUD8 set

“Green Tea Ice Cream – Matcha Green Tea Latte and Green Tea Ice Cream Set – Cocoro Cafe, QVM AUD8 set” by Alpha (CC BY-SA 2.0), via

They make a hot green tea. And, they also make Green Tea Ice Cream.

It doesn’t sound that good.  But, it is surprising how good Green Tea flavored ice cream is.

But, it’s not the ice cream that you should worry about.

It’s that hot tea that is the perfect closer to your meal.  Such pleasant memories.

But, alas, the answer is that it unfortunately does affect the color of your teeth.

The good news is that green tea’s affect on your teeth is milder than the black teas we talked about earlier.  But, unfortunately, green tea still does have the ability to stain.

A Weapon to Fight Tea Stains

One of the methods I listed on our Dazzling White Teeth HQ home page is a simple one that I employ to combat staining teas.

After all, do we really want to give up the enjoyment they provide?


So, to combat the staining effects, I simply try to remember to rinse my mouth with fresh water at the end of my meal.

So, one of the cheapest answers for how much does it cost to get your teeth whitened, is WATER.  Tap water is free just about where ever you go.  And, just a little rinse can really go a long way to reduce the need for teeth whitening treatments.

White Teeth Doesn’t Have to Bankrupt You

Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas on why your teeth might not be the whitest they can be.

Do You Want the BEST Affordable Teeth Whitening Toothpaste?


And, have shown you a few cool tricks to beat the stains while avoiding teeth whitening costs.  Maybe you now understand how much does it cost to get your teeth whitened?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.