A beginner’s guide to teeth whitening

Thinking about whitening your teeth but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll walk you through how to get the pearly whites of your dreams with Dr. Zaihly Lisette Azar – a leader in aesthetic restorative dentistry and dental surgery with over 25 years of experience.

Whitening your teeth is safe, easy, and can help boost your confidence. Whatever your whitening goals, SmileDirectClub has great products that Dr. Azar recommends.

Where do I begin?

There’s a huge world of whitening products out there. Different formats with different formulas, prices, and time commitments. It can be a bit overwhelming.

So, it’s best to begin with you. What are your goals? Maybe you want whiter teeth for a specific event like a wedding. Or maybe you want whiter teeth to feel more confident.

What does your schedule look like? Is convenience super important? Maybe you’re constantly on the go. Or maybe you have extra time you want to put into self-care. There are lots of options that require varying amounts of time.

Then, you should make sure your oral health is solid. Dr. Azar says,

“It’s a good idea to check with your dentist beforehand to make sure you don’t have any active periodontal disease. While you’re there, make sure you don’t have cavities because they can cause sensitivity while using whitening products.”

And finally, you should consider your budget. Home whitening kits cost up to $100, while in-office treatments can be several hundred dollars.

What are my whitening options?

 Once you’re clear on your goals, your time, your health, and your budget, you can explore your whitening options.

 Whitening Toothpaste: You can add whitening toothpaste to your daily routine. These toothpastes are made with abrasive ingredients, like silica, that help scrub stains from the surface of your teeth. Although it’s an easy and inexpensive way to get started, results are limited, even when you use whitening toothpaste consistently.

Whitening Strips: These are clear strips with hydrogen peroxide whitening gel that sit on your teeth for a short period of time. They’re more powerful than whitening toothpaste. Busy folks will appreciate our Dissolving Whitening Strips. They’re the way to whiten on-the-go, dissolving in just 15 minutes. Just pop them on whenever you have time. After about a week, your teeth could be up to 9 shades whiter.1

Home Whitening Gel Kits: If you’d prefer something more effective, but want to do it on your own schedule, whitening gel kits are an excellent option. There are different styles of whitening kits. SmileDirectClub’s kits include whitening gel with a no-mess applicator brush and hands-free LED lights. All of our gel kits are designed for convenience and are easy to integrate into any routine.

SmileDirectClub has three lines of whitening gel kits to suit different needs:

  • Our premium products, like our Premium Teeth Whitening Kit, whiten up to 9 shades in one week.1 They’re perfect if you’re looking for something quick and convenient.
  • If you’re looking for professional-level results at a fraction of the cost, our Pro Series is designed for you. Products like our Pro Whitening System use a 3-part system with whitening toothpaste to prepare your teeth, whitening gel to whiten your teeth, and an extender gel to make your results last and protect against staining. Our Pro Series whitens up to 12 shades in just one week.1
  • Our ultra-gentle products, like our Sensitivity-Free Whitening Kit, offer softer formulas that get your teeth up to 7 shades whiter in one week.1 They’re designed for those who struggle with sensitivity, but still want a bright smile. 

In-Office Whitening: Most dentists offer professional whitening treatments that combine strong whitening gel formulas and an LED light. Dr. Azar says,

“These treatments usually take up to an hour and typically require one to two sessions, depending on the person and condition of their teeth. While in-office whitening is very effective, it can also be expensive and can potentially cause tooth or gum sensitivity.”

It’s best to consult with your dentist if you are interested in this option.

Is whitening your teeth safe?

Whitening your teeth is safe. However, it’s important to consider your sensitivity level. Sensitivity is more of a gum issue than a tooth issue. “You have to be very careful with excess whitening gel and the amount of time gel stays in contact with your gums – if it’s too much, it can create irritation,” says Dr. Azar. Our brush applicators help you apply whitening gel cleanly onto your teeth.

If you do struggle with sensitivity, check out our Sensitivity-Free Whitening Kit that not only gently whitens, but also comes with our Enamel Care gel to soothe and condition your teeth after whitening.

How often can I whiten?

It’s important to talk to your dentist before regularly whitening your teeth.

How often you can whiten your teeth depends on the kind of whitening products you use and your gum sensitivity level. If you experience sensitivity, it might be a good idea to use something with a lower-concentration ingredient. Whitening toothpaste can be used frequently, but it’s best to follow the label’s instructions. Toothpaste that uses abrasives may not be meant for continual use.

If you’re getting a treatment done in-office, talk with your dentist about how often you should come in.

Once I whiten my teeth, how do I keep them that way?

“The things that can contribute to stained teeth are food and drinks with color like wine, coffee, and soda,” says Dr. Azar. Our Stain Barrier is an enamel-safe, low-sensitivity shield that protects your teeth against stains for up to 4 hours. It’s also important to brush regularly, especially after eating or drinking anything acidic or with a deeper color.

Whitening your teeth is a safe and effective way to boost confidence and feel great about your smile. If you’re interested in teeth whitening, SmileDirectClub offers a solution that fits your goals, schedule, and budget. Ready to achieve your dream smile? Our whitening shop is the best place to start.


1Maximum results when used as directed for 1 week. Results may vary.

2 Average results when used as directed. Results may vary.

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