The Real Cost of a Fabulous Smile

By Judith Sjo-Gaber - 2011-11-10T22:59:46Z

Photograph by Vika Valter/Getty Images

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Daily Dental Care

Do-It-Yourself

While less-expensive products also aim to keep your whites brilliant, they might be less effective. "The battery-operated brushes don't have the 'oomph' of rechargeable ones," says Dr. Elliot Davis, a general dentistry practitioner in New York. "They also may not remove food and other debris as well, and that can irritate gums and create sensitivity."

$9: Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro Whitening battery-operated toothbrush

$10: Duracell Coppertop AA alkaline batteries, two replacement batteries for Spinbrush, 24-count pack lasts one year

$14: Spinbrush Pro Whitening replacement brush heads 2-pack, buy two packs annually

$26: Crest 3D White Advanced Vivid Enamel Renewal Fluoride toothpaste, six tubes annually

Do-it-yourself running tally: $140

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