If going to the dentist is too expensive, too inconvenient, or just too newfangled for you, don't fear. There are two ways to bleach your teeth in the privacy of your own home.

  1. Over-the-counter bleaching kits - You could purchase an over-the-counter bleaching tray. When you purchase one of these kits, you will receive a one-size-fits-all tray and the gel. The process will take about two weeks of keeping the tray in your mouth for two hours a day. They can range from $49 - $120 for a whole system for your entire mouth (upper and lower sets of teeth). Be aware: dentists do not recommend these over-the-counter systems. Without the custom fitting that comes with supervision, the gel can irritate and whiten your gums. You should see a dentist before doing anything, so that (s)he can determine which treatment is appropriate for you. If you do decide to purchase an over-the-counter system, make sure that the ADA (American Dental Association) has approved the particular product that you buy.

  2. "At-home" dental trays custom made by your dentist - A safer version of "at-home" bleaching entails obtaining a custom-made dental tray from your dentist. At an office visit a tray is made (it covers just the teeth, not the gums). Your dentist provides you with the whitener, and you take it home. It is to be worn twice a day, an hour a pop, for two weeks or more. You'll schedule another appointment with your dentist at the end of two weeks for a checkup. These supervised at-home kits range from $300 to $500. The procedure is not any more or less safe than the chair-side visit; it just takes longer.

    SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW whiten your teeth?