Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
In this article
Opalescence is a leading brand of teeth whitening products that you can purchase through a local dentist’s office. They offer a few different products, including at-home treatments, whitening toothpastes, and chairside whitening (in-office).
Everything We Recommend
Opalescence PF Custom Tray Whitening (available at dental offices)
Opalescence whitening products lighten discolored teeth caused by coffee, tea, wine, soda, tobacco, and other foods and drinks. Discoloration also naturally occurs with age and can sometimes be attributed to certain medications, thinning enamel, and plaque buildup.
Although tooth discoloration is a normal part of life, about 80 percent of Americans aged 18 to 49 say they want whiter teeth to boost their confidence.2 Cosmetic tooth bleaching is also a $3.2 billion global industry.1 Americans alone spend more than $1 billion on over-the-counter tooth whitening each year.2
Opalescence uses an advanced, dental-grade teeth whitening formula to remove stains from tooth enamel and dentin. Enamel is the thin outer layer of a tooth, while dentin is the thick inner layer of a tooth. Dentin is darker than enamel and makes up the bulk of a tooth.
Tooth enamel can easily become discolored over time from dark-colored foods and drinks. And as you age, your enamel becomes thinner, which leads to dentin exposure. This process can make your teeth appear darker.
The active ingredients in Opalescence whitening gels are formulated to pass through your teeth and oxidize the discolored molecules deep inside, removing stains and brightening your smile.
The original, patented formula also contains potassium nitrate and fluoride, which help strengthen your teeth and decrease sensitivity.
Opalescence offers a few different concentrations, flavors, and whitening methods. This allows you to whiten based on your needs and lifestyle. For example, you can whiten your teeth with a custom-made tray, pre-filled tray, or whitening toothpaste. In-office treatment (chairside) is an excellent option if you have severely discolored teeth or want to whiten your teeth quickly.
Opalescence uses advanced, professional-grade whitening gel to brighten your teeth. The products also contain ingredients like potassium nitrate and fluoride, which help strengthen enamel and reduce sensitivity. You have to set up an appointment with your dentist to determine the right treatment for your needs.
Yes, Opalescence products work when used as directed by your dentist. The products contain either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to whiten teeth. These two active ingredients have been proven to lighten teeth safely and effectively.3, 4, 5
For example, Opalescence BOOST (in-office) whitening contains hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient. The Opalescence PF custom-tray whitening contains carbamide peroxide.
Buying directly from a licensed dentist ensures that you will get the best teeth whitening kit for your needs. You can also purchase it from online stores like Amazon, but it is best to consult with your dentist first to ensure you are a proper candidate.
The products work because they contain either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient. Opalescence is also a well-known, reputable, and dentist-approved brand.
Although inexpensive, these products must be used consistently and for a longer period to see results. In-office and professional-grade treatments like Opalescence provide quicker results but are often more expensive.
OTC whitening products are not ideal for those who want a quick fix. Opalescence is a better option in these cases (but treatment is more expensive).
The most common side effect of any whitening treatment is sensitivity. This effect can be uncomfortable but is generally mild. It also does not increase your risk for dental health issues.
Gum irritation can also occur if you misuse the products, but this is rarer.6 The risk is even lower with in-office treatment because your dentist covers your gums before brushing the gel on your teeth.
Lastly, if you overuse whitening products for an extended period, your enamel can become thinner over time.6 Enamel loss is irreversible.
Some potential side effects of teeth whitening include sensitivity, gum irritation, and enamel erosion.
Opalescence offers five whitening treatments:
Opalescence Go™ contains an effective hydrogen peroxide bleaching formula that is designed to go deep into your teeth and remove difficult stains. This system does not use an LED light, charcoal, or other ‘fads’ to whiten your teeth.
The kit comes with a comfortable, pre-filled UltraFit™ tray and the perfect amount of gel to give you a brighter smile. Opalescence Go is also compact, making it ready to use whenever you need it.
Opalescence Go costs between $60 and $80.
Available at dental offices
Opalescence PF is a great option if you want a more customized at-home whitening experience. Unlike Opalescence Go, you’ll receive a tray that is hand-sculpted to fit your smile. It also comes with five different gel concentrations, allowing you to whiten your teeth any time (even overnight).
Opalescence PF costs between $75 and $100.
Opalscence’s whitening toothpastes are the only treatments that can be purchased online. They cost between $20 and $25 for a three-pack. The toothpastes can be used twice daily for two minutes at a time. The choices include:
This toothpaste has been shown to lighten teeth up to two shades in just one month. It contains sodium fluoride (to help prevent cavities and strengthen enamel) and is safe for everyday use. The cool mint flavor freshens your breath and provides a deep clean.
The sensitivity relief toothpaste is the same as the regular toothpaste. However, it also contains maximum strength potassium fluoride to help relieve tooth sensitivity.
Specialty teeth whitening is ideal for patients with discoloration caused by dental conditions. For example, your teeth can become discolored from a root canal. If this is the case, Opalescence has a specialty treatment that can correct this type of discoloration.
‘Opalescence Endo’ whitening gel is designed to whiten root canal treated teeth from the inside out. This treatment may last between one and five days to achieve the desired results.
Opalescence has five different whitening options, including Opalescence Go, PF, Boost, whitening toothpaste, and specialty whitening. Opalescence Go and PF are at-home treatments, while Boost must be completed in a dental office. The whitening toothpaste is available for online purchase and is safe to use twice a day.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Opalescence:
How long you leave the whitening gel on your teeth depends on the product. For example, Opalescence Go can be used for 15 to 60 minutes a day, while the custom tray whitening can be used for 15+ minutes (sometimes overnight).
Opalescence Boost (in-office treatment) takes about 20 minutes per session. You’ll need two to three sessions to see dramatic results.
No. When used as directed, Opalescence whitening is safe to use. You may experience minor sensitivity and/or gum irritation, which is normal and typically nothing to worry about.
Opalescence Go comes with 5 to 10 applications, while the custom trays come with 7 to 10 applications. The Boost in-office treatment requires two to three sessions.
The whitening toothpastes should be used twice a day for two minutes (or after each meal). You can also use the whitening toothpaste in between in-office treatments to maintain brightness.
Opalescence is an effective and trusted brand used by many dental professionals. Other reputable brands of in-office whitening include Zoom, KöR, and Sapphire.
The only Opalescence whitening products you can buy online are the toothpastes. You have to visit a local dentist for a consultation to receive the custom or pre-filled whitening trays. Opalescence Boost is performed by a dentist.
In this article