Teeth Whitening Trays and Gels -- Teeth whitening trays and gels are effective, but the desired results take longer to achieve than with in-office bleaching. Depending on the strength of peroxide in the gel, these clear trays are usually worn a couple of hours a day or overnight and could take anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks before any results are noticed. There are basically two types of teeth whitening trays and gels: those purchased from your dentist and those purchased over the counter. While they will both whiten your teeth, the two have noted differences.
Teeth whitening kits from the dentist produce faster and more effective results because they contain a stronger peroxide-bleaching agent than whitening kits purchased over the counter. Another benefit of trays and gels from the dentist is that the trays are custom made and fit your teeth exactly. Over-the-counter trays are generic sized and could allow the bleaching agent to come into contact with your gums, causing irritation.
Teeth Whitening Strips -- Teeth whitening strips are popping up in every drug store across the nation. These whitening strips sold over the counter are fairly inexpensive, easy to use and most of them really work. Teeth whitening strips may take longer to produce the desired results depending on the strength of peroxide that they contain.
Teeth Whitening Toothpastes -- Teeth whitening toothpastes contain mild abrasives to remove surface stains. Some whitening toothpastes may have additional polishing agents and special chemicals that are more effective against stains than regular toothpastes, but teeth whitening toothpastes are not designed to actually "bleach" your teeth.