Thinking of whitening your teeth? What are the options?

Teeth whitening is fast becoming a very popular option for getting a brighter smile, and there are plenty of ways you can go about it.

Making a decision between the different options for teeth whitening can be tough if you don’t know where to begin, so here are the main choices, and the pros and cons for each one!

Teeth Whitening Options In Wellington | McKeefry Dental

Whitening toothpastes

What it is: You can pick up a whitening toothpaste at practically every supermarket in the country. Most of them offer a certain number of shades for whiter teeth within a certain timeframe.

Pros: Easily the cheapest option on the market, whitening toothpastes are extremely affordable. Plus, since you already brush your teeth twice per day at least, switching out your regular toothpaste for a whitening one won’t be at all difficult in terms of your daily routine.

Cons: Some whitening toothpastes are designed to be abrasive so they are scratching surface staining off the teeth without actually whitening the teeth themselves. They should not be used in conjunction with an electric toothbrush as the abrasion will be at a level that can be damaging and overtime, visible. A safe whitening toothpaste is Sensodyne Whitening as this chemically breaks the bonds between the stain and the tooth, and abrasion is not a problem.  Other whitening toothpastes can only offer a limited amount of whitening power, and it usually takes weeks to see any results.

Over-the-counter whitening products

What it is: This group of products includes everything from small whitening paper strips that you stick to your teeth, gels that you paint on, to mouthguard-like devices that you fill with gel then wear as you shine a special light over your teeth. They all require repeated use, such as for 30 minutes per day for a certain number of weeks.
Pros: While they’re not as cheap as toothpastes, these products tend to be fairly affordable. Being able to use them at home is also a handy and convenient option. They usually offer higher concentrations of active ingredients than toothpastes, which means you may see better results compared to using a toothpaste.

Cons: The main problem with these products is the time and effort required. As these products are not custom made to fit your mouth, the efficiency of the product staying next to the tooth surface for long enough can be limited. There is a limit of the concentration of the product which can be sold over the counter. Plus, not all products are as good as others, so they may not result in quite the bright white smile you had imagined.

Take home whitening

What it is: Impressions are taken of your teeth so that customised whitening trays which fit the shape and contours of your teeth and gums can be made. A second appointment is made where you are given your custom-fitted trays and the whitening gel/solution. These trays require repeated use over a couple of weeks.

Pros: In comparison to over-the-counter products these trays allow whitening products to sit right next to the tooth surface for as long as required (preventing the whitening gel being washed away by saliva). The trays are small, thin, discreet and more comfortable to wear than over-the-counter versions. Plus, being able to use them at home is a handy and convenient option. As the products are from a dental professional they also tend to have higher concentrations of active ingredients compared with toothpastes and over-the-counter products, which means you may see better and faster results.

Cons: The main problem with these products is the time and effort required as the gel needs to be repeatedly applied to the teeth over a number of days. As the active ingredient is a higher concentration than other products it can produce more sensitivity on the tooth. This option may also be a bit more expensive compared with over-the counter products.

In-chair teeth whitening

What it is: You will book in for a treatment at your local dental practice. Here, your dentist will insert a device to gently pull your lips back, a barrier is applied onto your gum tissue (this helps protect the gums from the whitening solution), and then the whitening gel is applied to your teeth. You’ll lie comfortably, watching a movie if you wish, while the whitening product sits on the tooth surface. Keep in mind you may require a professional dental clean prior to having your teeth whitened.

Pros: You normally can notice a difference in your teeth’s shade of colour as soon as the gel is rinsed off. This immediacy is perfect if you have a big event to prepare for. Additionally, this treatment is extremely easy, and you won’t need to do any of the work yourself. Results generally last up to a year depending on your lifestyle; if it’s maintained with care and you avoid staining from certain foods and drinks.

Cons: The only real ‘con’ for in-chair teeth whitening is its cost. While it’s certainly not enough to break the bank, the higher price point can be off-putting at first, but keep in mind that the results and ease are usually well worth the extra expense.

In-chair teeth whitening works best and lasts longer if it is combined with take-home whitening. This also allows for easy one night per month maintenance.

Before and after treatment

These before, during and after photos are a great example of how effective teeth whitening can be.


Before, during and after teeth whitening treatment at McKeefry Dental

Before, during and after teeth whitening treatment at McKeefry Dental – Not all patients are suitable candidates for teeth whitening, and results vary for each individual. Please contact McKeefry Dental to discuss your eligibility for teeth whitening and what results may be achievable for you.


If you already have existing dental treatment on your front teeth such as fillings, veneers or crowns it is important to be aware that these will not whiten. These treatments may need replacement with any whitening treatment that actually works. It is also important that your teeth have been checked by our dental team prior to carrying out whitening as decay plus whitening products can be very sensitive and damaging.

Contact us today to find out more about any of these options, and we can discuss which option might be best for your needs and expectations. Call us today: (04) 473 7802