How can I whiten my teeth? This is one of the most common questions we hear in the dental office. There isn’t a one size fits all answer. Below we will explain the most popular whitening options and let you know what the dentists at Streitz Dental Arts recommend.


  1. Professional Whitening Trays and Gel

This is arguably the best way to whiten. Custom molds are taken of your teeth and clear thin trays are made that fit over your teeth. The whitening gel goes in the tray and the tray is then placed on your teeth. This ensures a close adaptation of the whitening gel to the teeth, especially in teeth that are crowded together or unevenly spaced. The gel that a dentist can provide is usually much stronger than over the counter options, which means faster easier whitening. Whitening trays are the preferred method in our Plainfield and Joliet offices.


  1. Whitening Strips Over the Counter

This option is good if you are looking for a more cost effective solution and don’t have overlapping or irregularly spaced teeth. Strips use similar whitening agents to whitening gel, but not as high of strength. White strips are available at most drugstores.


  1. ‘Laser Whitening” in a Dental Office

We’ve noticed many dentists offer laser whitening in the office as a one day whitening option. This option has been around for many years and is controversial in the dental community. We’ve done the research and tested the systems in our own offices. Our conclusion is that these type of systems ‘dry’ the teeth out causing them to appear whiter, but don’t produce consistent long term results like whitening trays or strips. We don’t offer this option because we don’t feel it to be a service to our patients.