Whitening Your Teeth at Home
Customizing Your Trays
While some dentists offer pre-made trays for a more economical option, custom trays are an effective way to tailor whitening treatment to your particular needs. Your dentist will first create impressions of your teeth. Then, lab technicians will use the measurements to fabricate whitening trays that fit comfortably and securely in your mouth. Once they are complete, your dentist will adjust the trays to ensure they fit properly and educate you on the best way to use and care for them.
How It Works
When you are ready to begin your whitening treatment, you can fill the custom trays with whitening gel using a syringe. Then, you can place the whitening trays over your teeth, so the gel evenly covers the surface. Custom trays help ensure the whitening agent remains on your teeth rather than your gums while the tray is in place.
At-home bleaching is a good option for patients who want an affordable and convenient way to whiten their smile.
The duration of your treatment will depend on the strength of the gel. Wearing the trays for the specified amount of time allows the oxygen molecules to penetrate your enamel and break down stains. Generally, most patients wear their trays daily over the course of a few weeks. The treatment time may last 15 minutes to one hour per day. Many dentists also offer an overnight option so you can whiten your teeth while you sleep.
Maintaining Your Results
Your dentist may advise you to perform teeth whitening treatments every few months, or whenever stains begin to reappear. You should only perform touch-up treatments with the guidance of your dentist. Over-whitening can cause permanent enamel erosion.
Benefits of Whitening at Home
At-home bleaching is a good option for patients who want an affordable and convenient way to whiten their smile. Often, over-the-counter products have lower concentrations of peroxide in addition to other chemicals that can lighten your smile. However, these can damage your teeth when used incorrectly and cause sensitivity. Dentist-supervised whitening treatments provide more predictable results.
In addition, your dentist has access to whitening gels with safer chemicals and can monitor the results of your at-home bleaching. As a result, you can achieve dazzling results and maintain the health of your teeth. At-home whitening is an excellent standalone treatment. However, it can also be combined with other cosmetic services for more dramatic effects.
Comfort and Convenience
When considering the best method of whitening for you, keep in mind that whitening at home will take longer than an in-office treatment. Typically, a bleaching procedure at your dentist’s office will take about one hour and offer immediate results. However, at-home whitening kits allow you to alter your smile at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home.