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How to Use and Care for Custom Whitening Trays

How to Use and Care for Custom Whitening Trays

Prior to using professional strength teeth whitening products and getting custom whitening trays, be sure to see your dentist for an exam to ensure that your gums are healthy enough to bleach your teeth. It’s important to know that crowns, veneers, and fillings will not bleach. If the shade of your natural teeth matches your existing dental work before bleaching, whitening your teeth will result in mismatched shades. Regularly receiving professional cleanings to remove tartar and plaque accumulation on the teeth will give you the evenest results from whitening.

whitening solution for custom whitening trays

Unique and inherent whitening potential – it’s believed that we each have a level at which our teeth won’t whiten anymore.  This varies from person to person and is controlled by our genes and determined by the value/hue of our teeth. We can only get the value color changed to brighter and whiter color/hue, which determines your final color and whitening results.

  • If you are in color range A, you can get to A1 as your lightest result.
  • If you are in category B, you can get to the highest B shade, B1.
  • If you are in category C, you can only get to the lightest shade of C.

Please look at your initial shade using this shade scale:

teeth whitening scale for custom whitening trays

Will my previous dental work whiten?

If you have dental fillings, crowns, or any type of dental work, those restorations will not whiten.

custom whitening trays

Steps for using custom whitening trays at home:

Opalescence™ 35% bleaching solution should only be used with custom bleaching trays from your dentist and applied for the prescribed time of 60 minutes. 

Teeth should be thoroughly brushed and flossed before bleaching. To load your custom bleaching trays, apply the bleach in small dots to the inside of the front portion of the teeth only. You should not use more than half of the syringe per application for both arches. Once you have inserted the trays, lightly tap the sides of the tray to allow the gel to contact your teeth. Do not eat, drink, or sleep while your trays are in your mouth. 

After 60 minutes, remove the trays and gently brush with a soft toothbrush and rinse your mouth with room temperature water to remove any residual bleaching gel. You may clean the remaining gel from your custom trays by gently brushing them with a soft toothbrush. Store trays in a cool environment in a container to avoid damage. Avoid using warm or hot water to clean them as this will warp your trays.  Avoid soaking your trays in mouthwash to avoid discoloration. After whitening, you should avoid tobacco products, coffee, tea, dark pop, red wine, etc for 24-48 hours.

The color of your teeth may appear uneven immediately after you remove your bleach trays. This is temporary and is due to the dehydration that occurs during whitening. The shade of your teeth may have a gradient color, with a darker shade closer to the gumline and lighter shade closer to the biting surface. This is normal and is a natural feature of enamel anatomy.

The longevity of your whitening results varies based on diet and lifestyle habits. Using a whitening toothpaste can help remove surface stains between whitening applications. You can touch up your whitening for a day or two whenever you feel that your teeth are starting to appear less bright. For most people, this is one or two applications of bleach every 3-4 months. Store leftover bleach in the refrigerator. 

Sensitivity after whitening is normal and temporary. Patients who have autoimmune diseases or chronic inflammatory disease may experience prolonged sensitivity symptoms after whitening. Patients who grind their teeth may experience more discomfort after whitening. You may take Tylenol or ibuprofen to help manage your sensitivity along with daily use of sensitivity toothpaste.

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What if you want super white teeth but not able to get there with just teeth whitening based on the limitations of your enamel?

Consider dental veneers, crowns, or replacing aged dental work. Doing so will create permanent whitening results. Dental veneers and crowns stay permanently white and do not stain.