Last Updated 11/16/2012
- Log into your email account every morning - and if you're like most people - you'll find you're suddenly inundated with tempting local and online discounts on all sorts of goodies. From Groupon, to Living Social, to NYC's yipit.com, or to a thousand other daily deal clones - the “daily deal” business is ginormous and growing, in spite of the fact that the larger companies are becoming more careful with their screening and targeting techniques.
Teeth Whitening is a Competitive Business
Since dentists, spas, salons and other entrepreneurs all may offer teeth whitening services; the field is crowded. That's why many providers have quickly jumped onto the "daily deal" bandwagon to attract new customers. Also, teeth whitening prices (like the field itself) are rarely standardized and not subject to legal overview, so it's fairly easy for any service provider to discount them.
And this is where the idea of purchasing a discount coupon/code or whatever for teeth whitening services becomes tricky. Teeth whitening costs usually depend on the service provider, the brand of teeth whitening used and the competitive landscape in their city or region. If a price seems to "good to be true" it probably is.
When is a Teeth Whitening Deal a Good Deal?
Let's remember the basics of teeth whitening first; you're putting a bleach formula into your mouth that's strong enough to change the color of your teeth. This isn't a "snap" decision–or rather it shouldn't be. Before a dentist recommends teeth whitening - he or she will look at several different factors, including your level of sensitivity and the general condition of your oral health. These are important because they can affect both the choice of the process to be used - and the ultimate success of any whitening effort.
Additionally, any dental service provider that knows his or her stuff understands the chemical process of teeth whitening - and that the whitening gel that's used is the key to good results with minimum sensitivity. And whitening gels - because they're not regulated - are where a lot of "daily deal" practitioners save money. Whitening gels need to be pH balanced, well-made and fresh. Their main ingredients are either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide - which are chemicals that break down over time resulting in less whitening power and a more acidic base. So, cheap gels may be cheap - but there's a good chance they won't whiten as well - or they may aggravate people with sensitive teeth and gums. Is that a deal you're willing to make?
Don't be discouraged though - If your dentist has already told you you're a good whitening candidate, it's possible to find some great daily deals out there. But you might want to consider these 4 points when evaluating the offer:
1. Who is offering the service? For the very best in teeth whitening, go to a dentist. But if that isn't to your liking, at least make sure that the provider who's offering the service has a good reputation. Check out Yelp, see how long they've been in business. Read a testimonial. Check them out.
2. Is the price too low? Find out what reputable teeth whitening processes cost. Remember, teeth whitening is a largely unregulated field and service providers may purchase their materials from anywhere in the world. Don't let anyone put bleach into your mouth until you know where it comes from and when it was made.
3. Talk to friends and research online. In the daily deal field, immediacy is everything. You'll want to jump on that $39 deal right away - but take 5 minutes and call a friend. That might be all the time you need to recognize that what you thought was a great deal - could actually be a painful experience - or a rip-off altogether.
4. Lots of "no-name" companies or processes participate in daily deals - so here's the best rule of thumb - if you've never heard of the "brand" and the price is too good to be true - don't do the "deal."
We want everyone to have white teeth - that's our business. But we want our readers to enjoy good overall health as well. Don't make the mistake of trading one for the other - just to save a few bucks. That won't make anyone smile.
To view online teeth whitening brands featured on Groupon, visit our official Groupon whitening product listing page
Reviewed by Dr. Alan Zweig
Dr. Alan Zweig runs a private dental practice in Beverly Hills, CA. With over 30 years of experience in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Alan Zweig is a teeth whitening veteran. He’s been trusted by major celebrities, business leaders, and patients from over six different continents.