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Let’s face it, everybody wants to have whiter teeth. After all, its one of the very first things we notice about others. Some people will tell you that the only way to get whiter teeth is to shell out hundreds of dollars for whitening treatments at your dentist. That is one way, but there are other, more affordable ways to brighten your smile as well.

We’ll take a look at ten different methods for whitening your teeth:

1. At-Home Whitening Kits
There are many at-home tooth whitening kits available. These include strips, gels, trays, etc. and can be purchased over-the-counter. At-home whitening kits are specifically geared toward removing superficial surface stains and usually take some time to achieve your desired level of whitening. They’re not as effective if you need help with deep stains. Most at-home whitening kits run between $20 and $50.

Top At-Home Tooth Whitening Products

2. In-Office Bleaching
This type of tooth whitening is performed by a dentist. With in-office bleaching you have access to more powerful bleaching agents than those that are available in the at-home whitening kits. Therefore, you can expect to reach even deeper stains with this method of tooth whitening. Most dentists offer some sort of in-office bleaching. You can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $800 for in-office bleaching procedures.

3. Whitening Toothpastes
Chances are if you were to look at your current tube of toothpaste you’d see the word “whitening” somewhere on it. Whitening toothpastes are everywhere, mainly because they sell well. Whitening toothpastes are not overly effective mainly because they contain quite mild bleaching agents.

4. Natural Whitening
Many people prefer to whiten their teeth naturally rather than using sometimes harsh bleaching agents. The most popular form of natural tooth whitening is simply brushing with baking soda. Also, some foods such as celery, apples, pears, and carrots trigger lots of saliva — which helps to scrub away stains on your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum also triggers saliva, which helps eliminate teeth stains.

5. Other Whitening Products
New tooth whitening products are popping up all the time. This includes products like whitening gum, whitening mouthwash, whitening floss, etc. These are generally the weakest tooth whiteners available over-the-counter. In other words, if you’re serious about whitening your teeth, save your time and money.

Conclusion Depending on your whitening goals, the timeframe you’re looking for, and your budget, your tooth whitening method will vary. An effective option for those on a budget and with 1-3 weeks to notice whiter teeth will probably want to look at the at-home whitening options. Those that are looking for immediate results and have a larger budget will want to look at the in-office whitening option. We don’t find that the other options are very effective or worth your time.

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Cory Kemp is the founder and chief editor of DentalPlanCards.com. He's committed to providing consumers with helpful tips for saving money at the dentist. Follow me on Google +