How to Prepare to Whiten Teeth at Home


Consult with your dentist's office. Most dentist's offices have professional-strength home tooth-whitening systems available for purchase that are a bit more effective than over-the-counter brands.


Go to a local drugstore or other retail outlet that carries dental supplies and compare different brands of over-the-counter tooth-whitening systems. Most at-home tooth bleaching kits use carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide whitening agents in varying concentrations.


Compare pricing, duration of use, expected results and how long the whitening effect will last with different over-the-counter tooth-bleaching systems.


Determine your level of commitment and how often you want to deal with whitening your teeth. Some tooth-whitening systems require a daily commitment to gradually whiten and maintain whiter teeth, while other kits have a one- or two-week whitening process with results lasting for a year or more.


Compare ease of use for the different products. Some home whitening kits use bleaching gel and mouth trays, while other tooth-whitening systems have easy-to-use strips that you place over your teeth for as little as five minutes.


Check potential side effects and how long they may last with the different tooth whitening methods.


Select the tooth-whitening system that meets your needs based on cost, effectiveness, ease of use, and duration of whitening results and follow the directions exactly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check for tooth whitening system coupons in local sale papers and online for extra savings.
  • Some stains, like tetracycline staining, are deep within the tooth and will not respond to surface bleaching.
  • Crowns, white fillings and other dental work will not be lightened and could contrast with newly whitened teeth.