Cost and Financing of Teeth Whitening


Whitening can range from a few dollars for toothpastes, to $20-$40 for bleaching strips, up to $200-$800 for professional, in-office procedures performed by your dentist.

The whitening methods below are arranged in order of effectiveness, from least to most effective.  If you pursue in-office whitening, make sure to ask your dentist about any deals that may be available. Also note that the American Dental Association recommends consulting your dentist before you undertake at-home whitening with gels or strips.


Level of effectiveness

Whitening toothpaste


Active ingredient:
sodium fluoride 0.24%


 $1-$15 per tube
 Slightly effective

Baking soda

Generic as effective
as brand-name

$1 per box
Slightly effective

Listerine Quick
Whitening Strips

56 strips


Moderately effective,
on discoloration


Crest 3D Whitestrips

28 strips


Moderately effective,
on discoloration

take-home mouth trays

Price is reduced when purchased
alongside in-office whitening

multiple trays

In-office whitening
(without high-energy

May or may not include take-home
trays. Ask your dentist.


Highly effective

Zoom in-office procedure

Includes high-energy light
and take-home trays


Highly effective



Many dentists accept special dental payment programs, such as Unicorn Financial Services, CareCredit’s Dental Fee Plan, ChaseHealthAdvance, and Enhanced Patient Financing. Shopping around can result in substantial savings. A checklist of questions you should ask lenders includes:

  • Do you offer a period (such as one year) of interest-free financing?
  • How long do I have to pay off this loan?
  • How does my credit rating affect the rate you can offer me?
  • Does my income level affect my financing rate?
  • Besides the expenditures we have discussed, are there other potential costs involved in my financing agreement?
  • Are there any sign-up fees?
  • How long does the credit-check process take?

Dentists also commonly offer interest-free payment plans themselves, so be sure to ask.

Find a dentist in your area, or read more about the causes of teeth discoloration and types of teeth whitening procedures.

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