Teeth whitening products put to the test

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People spend millions of dollars a year trying to get a bright, white smile. But with so many options, from toothpastes to professional treatments, which whitening treatment gives you the most bang for your buck?

Stew Ault has wanted to whiten his teeth for some time.

“I was contemplating if I should do the home remedy thing or go to the dentist and get professional whitening done,” Ault said.

We set him up with the best selling product on the market - Crest Whitestrips. Ault used the 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects. For 20 days of treatment, the cost is $54.99.

Thomas Thyne has tried Whitestrips before but still wants his teeth to be brighter.

“I would like for my teeth to look white from across the room,” Thyne said. “I want to look like I take care of myself.”

We gave him the GoSmile Smile Whitening Light System which uses a special light to activate the whitening process. The device plus enough gel for four whitening treatments costs $198.

Kelly Gaige also values a bright smile but doesn’t have the time or patience for at-home treatments.

“The fact that it’s quick and it’s over so quickly, that’s huge for me because it’s a one stop shop,” Gaige said.

We sent her to Exquisite Salon and Spa in Littleton to try out the Da Vinci Whitening System. At Exquisite Salon and Spa it costs $99.

The Da Vinci treatment promises instant results. A special gel is applied to the teeth and a light sits on them for about 20 minutes. When the process was over we asked Gaige about the experience.

“It’s an odd angle to have your mouth at so your mouth gets a little dry, but it was fine otherwise,” she said. “I see a little bit of a difference. It’s one of those things I’ll have to look in the mirror a few times and decide how much a difference I see.”

We went back to visit Ault after 20 days of using the Whitestrips.

“I definitely see results and other people have definitely asked me if I’ve been whitening my teeth,” he said.

He didn’t experience any side effects and was very pleased with the whitening.

“For the cost and the results that I got, I definitely think it’s worthwhile,” he said.

And finally, Thyne did three treatments with the GoSmile whitening kit, once every two weeks. He said the process was a little difficult.

“It was annoying for 30 minutes having to hold it,” he said.

And he did experience some negative side effects.

“A part of my gum had turned white. It bleached my gum,” he said. “My third treatment I felt a little bit of sensitivity coming on.”

But Thyne did see results even after one use.

“Absolutely, yes. And each time that I used it I feel like I saw better results each time,” he said.

Dr. Bernard Slota is a Denver dentist who specializes in cosmetic treatments like whitening. He said all of these three products can provide results; the only difference you’ll find in professional treatments is the strength.

“Professionally we can use much stronger solutions which are much more effective in a faster time,” he said.

We showed him before and after photos of our three participants. Dr. Slota said it’s difficult to judge in pictures, but did note the most apparent difference in Ault’s teeth.

“It looks like there’s a significant difference from the top to the bottom,” he said.

Overall, Ault and Thyne loved their results and would definitely recommend their products to others.

“I think it’s better than expected,” said Ault.

“I think there’s a significant difference in the amount of white that I see,” said Thyne.

And Gaige would be willing to try Da Vinci again to get her teeth even whiter.

“She says it could go up a couple of more shades, it’d always be worth a try,” she said.

Professional whitening treatments at the dentist’s office can cost in the hundreds of dollars. Dr. Slota said the best and easiest way to keep your teeth white is to avoid eating and drinking things that can discolor them, like coffee, tea and red wine.