Wedding Hair and Beauty

let's talk about TEETH!

hi ladies!

looking for reviews on whitestrips/OTC whitening products. i'm willing to spend the money for professional whitening if nothing OTC works, but want to try the less expensive options first. (wedding is May 2011)

i've never had stained teeth, but started a new job a year ago, and long hours have pushed me into pretty regular coffee drinking. i'm also the occasional (once or twice a week) red wine drinker. I've noticed teeth aren't quite as white as I'd like them for my wedding.

thanks!!
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Re: let's talk about TEETH!

  • My dentist recommended that I just get the regular "teeth whitening" stuff that you get at the drug store. I've actually used the Colgate one before, to fairly good effect. It tastes DISGUSTING, and you don't want to swallow while it's in your mouth, but it creates a lot of extra saliva, so I carried around a little cup to spit in. Fortunatley, it only takes a short amount of time a day so is super easy to do when no one is around to see you. My teeth were not the shiny bleach white that you see in commercials, but it definitely made them a lot white. I'm planning to start up again a few months before my wedding. =)
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  • I love Crest Whitestrips! They have so many different kinds out now with varying prices. I am a freak for white teeth, so I use them once or twice a year anyway. My dentist said they are safe to us, bc I was worried about it. Both H and I used them before the wedding. And I also use Crest 3D white toothpaste, and that helps hold me over in between packs.
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  • I've been using the Crest Pro Whitestrips (the box is about $54... and it says "Professional" on the package).  Crest has about 3 or 4 different levels, and this is the highest level that they sell OTC. 

    I'm getting my teeth "fixed" in May.  I have a filling on one of my front teeth, and it's stained, so you can see it.  My dentist told me to use the Crest strips, switch to Ultrabrite toothpaste (which you can only find at the dollar store these days) and use a enamel strengthening rinse (like the purple Listerine one) to help with sensitivity.  I had used the strips for a few weeks and then stopped because of sensitivity, but in 2 weeks I noticed a big difference.
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  • fallbride1109fallbride1109
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    edited December 2010
    I used Crest Whitestrips for about 5 days before my wedding and kicked myself for not starting them sooner.  I saw a nice difference -- nice enough as my teeth were pretty white anyway.  But they definitely work.
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  • I like the Aquafresh gel trays.  I actually found them to be more effective and slightly cheaper than some of the other options.  They're little flexible, disposable pre-filled trays instead of strips, and I also thought they were more comfortable.  They made my teeth less sensitive than the Crest ones did.

    I found a Zoom! whitening deal on Groupon, and that's what I'm using.  In general (not just for teeth whitening), f you've never used Groupon and you are thinking of doing any beauty treatments, sign up for their daily emails.  They do tons of spa/beauty daily deals, and they're all AT LEAST 50% off the regular price.  You have to be patient and wait for something you want, but you'll end up being able to get things that otherwise would have been out of the question price-wise.  
  • I have had serious sensitivity issues with the strips in the past, and it seems they just keep making them stronger!  The only thing I used was the Crest 3D white toothpaste, and it takes longer, but works really well for those of use who can't handle the sensitivity!
  • I know everyone is mentioning strips but something that works really well for me is the Arm and Hammer Whitening toothpaste- it works really well!

    Also, crest whitestrips work really well as previous people mentioned but if you think about it this way, spending $40 on 1 box adds up quickly.  Professional trays you can get, in some cases, for free from new dentists (just look around online).  Its a really good investment since the trays last a really long time and the results last longer.

    Good luck!
  • Heather8505Heather8505
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    edited December 2010
    In Response to Re: let's talk about TEETH!:
    I like the Aquafresh gel trays.  I actually found them to be more effective and slightly cheaper than some of the other options.  They're little flexible, disposable pre-filled trays instead of strips, and I also thought they were more comfortable.  They made my teeth less sensitive than the Crest ones did. I found a Zoom! whitening deal on Groupon, and that's what I'm using.  In general (not just for teeth whitening), f you've never used Groupon and you are thinking of doing any beauty treatments, sign up for their daily emails.  They do tons of spa/beauty daily deals, and they're all AT LEAST 50% off the regular price.  You have to be patient and wait for something you want, but you'll end up being able to get things that otherwise would have been out of the question price-wise.  
    Posted by berryblonde1

    You might want to really research ZOOM before you do it.  I almost bought that deal also but was way too scared to do it after everything I read.  Just a FYI
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  • I also would highly recommend Crest whitestrips, they are amazing! I've done the Original 14 day package, and it worked well for me, but when I got the Advanced 7 day package, I had serious sensitivity issues. The 3D white toothpaste and mouthwash work well for me in between whitenings.
  • I'm a dentist, so I'll just throw my 2 cents in ;)  I would say that I have teeth with average sensitivity (very occasional sensitivity, usually to cold)  - but you may have teeth that are more or less sensitive then mine

    There are many products that claim to whiten teeth - be aware since many toothpastes, mouth rinses, etc "whiten" teeth by removing or lessening surface stain with an abrasive (not all have an active whitening agent in them).  Any product that actually whitens teeth from within by masking stain (OTC trays, trays from the dentist, Zoom) all have some form of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide in them.  In general, the concentration of the active ingredient increases (as well as the price) from OTC --> dentist made trays/Zoom.  The higher the concentration, the faster your teeth whiten - but the more sensitive your teeth might be and there is more of a chance you can "burn" your gums & other soft tissues.  Here are the pros/cons of each, in my opinion....

    OTC Trays (Crest Whitestrips, Colgate, etc)
    Pros: cheap, easy to use, doesn't require a dentist visit
    Cons: takes longer (in most cases) and many strips only cover the front 6 teeth (this is fine in most cases, but if you are severely yellow/stained or have bigger teeth/larger mouth the delineation between natural & bleached teeth might be evident)

    Professional Bleaching Trays (custom fit trays which you fill with bleach from a plastic syringe)
    Pros: better fit, usually has a higher concentration of active ingredient for faster bleaching, covers all of the teeth instead of the front 6.  You can also use these trays to deliver desensitizing agent to your teeth.  These trays will last a long time, unless you have dental work done that might change how well they fit...or you lose them :)
    Cons: more expensive & requires a dentist visit

    Zoom - (quick explanation: done in the dentist office by a hygienist or asst. - your teeth are isolated with your lips, gums, and all other soft tissues covered.  A high concentration whitening agent is applied to teeth & a UV light activates it.  This is done in up to four 15 minute sessions, all at the same appointment)
    Pros: Whitening done in 1 visit (about 2 to 2.5 hours)
    Cons: Most expensive (the office I work at charges ~$400 or so, but that also includes a set of custom made whitening trays for touch ups in the future).  Also at the highest risk for tooth sensitivity & tissue burns

    I personally had Zoom done a few weeks ago.  It went fine (no sensitivity during the procedure).  However, a little bit of the whitening agent leaked through my teeth onto the roof of my mouth, and let me tell you it BURNS.  This doesn't always happen, but it does sometimes.  As soon as they rinse it off the tissue it feels fine, but you can definitely feel it when it is there.  Immediately after the procedure was fine as well, but throughout the day I kept getting random, extremely sharp tooth pain (lasted about 5 seconds).  This lasted only for the 1st day for me, but like I said before it depends on how sensitive your teeth are in particular.
    ***Note: I was not able to put on desensitizing gel directly after the procedure, or during the day, until I got home.  It was also one of the coldest days of Wisconsin winter (very windy & about 0 degrees!).

    In closing, I have a few recommendations no matter which route you choose
    1) Do not wait to bleach until the week of your wedding (esp. if you have sensitive teeth, or want to do Zoom).  Do it a few weeks ahead of time - you do not want sensitive teeth ruining your big day!

    2) Keep in mind that dental restorations (fillings, veneers, crowns, bridges) do NOT whiten.  Keep this in mind not only for your wedding, but if you ever want/need to have dental work done in the future (whiten first!).  I cannot tell you how many patients come in for their appt to fix their front teeth, aren't happy with their current shade, and then decide they want to whiten.  A waste of time for all parties involved.

    3) To help with sensitivity issues after whitening, use products with fluoride in them.  Professional whitening trays & Zoom often come with desensitizing agents, which work nicely in the custom made trays.

    Happy Whitening!
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  • CatiaP03CatiaP03
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    edited December 2010

    LaughingIn highschool my english teacher actually told me when you go tanning, if you get like whiting gel (any brand) and smile while you are tanning it whitens your teeth as well. I've tried it a few times. Like for prom and other weddings.. I will be doing the same a few weeks before my wedding. It's a great and painless way to whiten your teeth. Teeth bleaching at the dentist is painless. And this way you get your tan/teeth whiten...Double score...enjoy and goodluck to all your ladies.

  • Ditto pp on the fact that lots of dentists offer free whitening kits for new patients. That's how I got mine and it worked well. I have also heard great things about the white strips. Just make sure that you don't eat anything that could stain your teeth within a few hours of bleaching. It could be a disaster. 
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