Up until recently, I was considering getting my teeth professionally whitened as I was starting to feel really self-conscious about the way my teeth were beginning to look. The effects of regular intakes of caffeine and alcohol, and I hate to say this – the onset of aging, were taking their toll on my not-so-pearly-whites. However, professional teeth whitening here in the UK can range from £300 to £1000 and $250 to $1000 in the USA. Ouch!
For someone like me who’s always on a budget, expensive teeth whitening treatments are not really an option! However, I recently found a way for me to whiten my teeth for a lot less money and it’s made me feel much better about my smile again. In this post, I’ll share with you what I did and some other ways I’ve been looking into in order to keep the cost of teeth whitening down.
Cheap teeth whitening alternatives
1. Natural homemade teeth whitening
There are some natural ways you can whiten your teeth using cupboard staples. Baking soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) – that magic, safe ingredient which can clean pretty much anything, can also be used in teeth whitening, along with a splash of lemon juice. Mix those two ingredients into a paste, dab your toothbrush into the mixture and brush onto your teeth, leaving it on for a few minutes.
This is something that I’m going to be trying going forwards as a regular treatment to keep my teeth from discolouring again. Take a look at this article for a couple of other ways to whiten teeth naturally.
2. Professional home teeth whitening kit
This is something I’ve tried, so I wanted to mention it as it’s a pretty cheap option for whitening teeth. I did a lot of research on home teeth whitening kits and came to the conclusion that Dr. George’s Dental White (*affiliate link) is the best on the market.
Dr George’s Dental White uses flexible teeth moulds that you can create yourself at home to fit your teeth perfectly. That seems to be half the battle in teeth whitening – getting the right moulds to snugly fit your teeth.
With this product, you make the teeth moulds by holding them in water for 6 seconds (no more and no less) and then fitting them to your top and bottom teeth for a couple of minutes. Once the moulds have set, you can then add teeth whitening gel into the moulds and sit with them in your mouth for at least 20 minutes up to 60 minutes per day.
I have to say that making the moulds yourself is very tricky. I wasted one of the moulds by not timing it properly, so it sort of folded in at the sides and stuck together. Another issue is that when you have the moulds in your mouth, you can’t talk, eat or drink. This is difficult if you have young kids as they may still need to communicate with you whilst you’re undergoing treatment!
Dr George’s uses a small amount of Hydrogen Peroxide as a bleaching agent which is a chemical but is deemed safe in small doses. The manufacturer says that teeth whitening results can be seen in 2-3 weeks which adds to the overall safety aspect because of the reduced treatment time compared to other home teeth whitening kits.
With all that said, it is cheap – around $22 for the kit – and I think it’s the better option out of all the home teeth whitening kits. It does work, if you can get the moulds to fit correctly. I know this because my teeth did whiten in the areas where the moulds were nice and snug.
3. Visit a dental hygienist
In case you hadn’t guessed already, this is the option that has made a huge difference for my teeth. I was due a routine dentist check-up anyway but I decided to also book an appointment with my dental hygienist for a deep clean and polish. I don’t usually do this because of the added expense but decided this was worth a shot as it was a lot cheaper than professional teeth whitening treatments.
Now this might not sound groundbreaking when it comes to teeth whitening, but I was amazed when the dental hygienist was able to remove all stains, plaque and tartar. It wasn’t a very enjoyable experience listening to my teeth being scraped and buffed… it was actually a bit like torture for 45 minutes. But it totally worked and best of all I know my teeth are properly clean. I came out of there looking like I’d undergone a course of professional teeth whitening!
And the cost? £68 ($107) for a deep clean that gave me better results than the home whitening kit and all without bleach. Ok, it wasn’t as cheap as I’d like it to be, but it was so much cheaper than going for a professional laser or bleaching treatment at the dentist.
How to keep that bright, white smile for longer
Discolouration and staining on teeth are usually caused by food, drink, smoking and the natural process of aging. So the best way to keep your teeth looking white is to change certain factors in your lifestyle, like cutting back on caffeine or quitting smoking. However, that’s easier said than done!
Getting your teeth looked at every 6 months by a dental hygienist is a good way to make sure your teeth stay looking nice and white for as long as possible and overall, it’s much cheaper than splashing out on professional teeth whitening treatments. Using natural teeth whitening remedies afterwards should also help hugely.
Do you have any frugal tips for keeping your teeth bright and white?
*I’m a member of the Amazon Affiliates program. This post contains an affiliate link to a recommended product. If you make a purchase by using my link I will receive a commission, at no cost to yourself. All opinions in this post are my own!