Canadians can pat themselves on the back due to their wonderful dental hygiene habits. 78% of Canadians brush their teeth twice a day and 43% of Canadians floss on a regular basis.
But if you don’t have pearly whites, brushing and flossing won’t be enough. Professional teeth whitening can give you the smile you always wanted. But how much does teeth whitening cost? Should you opt for professional or at-home teeth whitening? Does insurance cover teeth whitening? Here are the estimated costs.
How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?
Do you not know how to get your teeth whitened? If the answer is yes, you may want to first consider going to your dentist for a professional whitening service.
In-office teeth whitening can cost anywhere between $450 to $1,000. During the in-office teeth whitening process, your dentist will use an LED light to change the colour of your teeth. They will first apply a protective gel to your gums to protect them from the whitening process. They will then cure your teeth with a high-powered light.
After this initial appointment, your dentist will give you a whitening gel to use at home. The gel contains hydrogen peroxide, which breaks stains apart.
Keep in mind that the process may vary. Your dentist may even use the whitening gel in the office to show you how to apply it. The results can last anywhere between a few months to several years.
Professional Teeth Whitening Cost vs. At-Home Teeth Whitening Cost
At-home teeth whitening is more affordable than professional teeth whitening.
You can find whitening strips at a variety of stores. A box of strips can cost anywhere between $10 and $50. Directions vary between brands, but you’ll usually leave the strips on your teeth for about 30 minutes.
There are disadvantages when using the whitening strips. Many customers complain they don’t stay on their teeth. These are also not the best option for those who have sensitive teeth.
Whitening toothpaste contains low levels of brightening ingredients such as peroxide. Since you’ll brush your teeth twice a day, you’ll put a regular amount of peroxide on your teeth. This is the simplest whitening method and most people are already using whitening toothpaste.
Whitening toothpaste varies between $3 and $15, depending on the brand. There are many options on the market and you can find whitening toothpaste at nearly every grocery store and pharmacy.
If you just want to reduce the look of stains, you’ll benefit from a whitening toothpaste. But the amount of peroxide in the toothpaste isn’t enough to change your tooth colour. Some whitening kinds of toothpaste may also be ideal to maintain your white smile after professional treatment.
Most professional whitening treatments involve some form of at-home treatment. Your dentist will usually give you a whitening gel that you’ll put into a tray. The whitening gel usually contains a bleaching agent that will change the colour of your teeth. Some dental treatments only include whitening trays with no LED lights.
You’ll place this tray on your teeth for a certain amount of time each day.
This option can produce professional results. The cost is close to an in-office treatment is $50.
Most dentists require you get an impression before you can get your tray.
You can also find DIY products that are significantly more affordable, around $10 or $30. Since these aren’t conformed to your teeth, they may be messier and can result in uneven application.
Choosing the Best Teeth Whitening Method
Professional teeth whitening dental services are the most effective and fastest-acting method, but there is no right or wrong teeth whitening product. Instead, it’s important to choose the best method for you. In addition to cost, you’ll want to consider tooth sensitivity and your general lifestyle.
If you’re still not sure, ask your dentist for their recommendation. They will conduct a dental exam to gauge your dental health and discolouration severity, so they can give you the best advice.
Does Insurance Cover the Teeth Whitening Cost?
When learning about the average teeth whitening cost, you may be wondering if your insurance will cover any part of the cost.
Teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic service and isn’t covered by most dental insurance providers in Canada. While there are exceptions, such as using certain fillings to improve discolouration, teeth whitening is rarely seen as an exception. Even if you opt to improve the look of your teeth with veneers, most dental insurance providers won’t cover this service.
Avoiding Food and Beverages That Cause Tooth Discolouration
Whether you choose professional or at-home whitening, you’ll want to maintain the beautiful colour of your teeth. The best way to do this is to avoid certain food and beverages that cause stains. Common examples include:
- Red wine
- Certain fruit (blackberries, blueberries, pomegranates, and cherries)
Why do these foods and beverages cause stains? Your teeth will soak up the colour from these substances. These substances not only cause yellowing but also dark and even white spots. You may also see bumps, holes, and grooves in your teeth.
Keep in mind that there may be other factors that cause your tooth discolouration. These factors are ones out of your control and can impact any whitening treatment you go through. These factors include:
- Certain medical treatments (such as chemotherapy and radiation)
- Medications (such as some high blood pressure and antipsychotic medications, as well as antihistamines)
- Amalgam restorations
These factors can cause deeper stains that even professional treatments can’t tackle. Be sure to talk to your dentist if you suspect any of these factors are causing your tooth discolouration.
Get Teeth Whitening Today
The teeth whitening cost varies, depending on if you choose a professional or at-home treatment. Regardless of the method you choose, we recommend getting a professional exam to better gauge your dental health. From there, your dentist will give you advice on the best whitening method for you.
Is teeth whitening important to you? Contact us to book your appointment. We offer a variety of locations in Mississauga, Milton, and Brampton.