Do you find yourself hiding your pearly whites in photos? Unfortunately, your teeth can lose their bright, white sparkle over time. Fortunately, you’ve got options to get it back! A popular, affordable, and effective method of teeth whitening is custom teeth whitening trays. And we’ve got all the information you need to decide if they're for you.
How Custom Whitening Trays Brighten Your Smile
Did you ever play a sport that required a mouth guard? Custom teeth whitening trays are similar to mouth guards. Before placing them over your teeth, though, you fill them with a whitening gel that works to brighten your teeth. Some tray whitening systems are applied at your dentist’s office, some at home, and some both. But all of them start with a custom fitting from your dentist to create your trays.
The process of getting a brighter smile through custom teeth whitening trays is a pretty straightforward one.
- Your dentist will make impressions of your teeth to create moulds that make your whitening trays.
- Once you have your custom trays, you place a bleaching solution inside them and wear them for up to four hours a day for up to two weeks.
- You’ll notice a significant improvement in the whiteness of your teeth during that time.
There are two main reasons why custom trays are often a better choice than over-the-counter whitening trays.
- Fit and Comfort: Custom trays are made to fit you -- and only you -- so they fit snugly and comfortably around your teeth. On the other hand, over-the-counter trays are one-size-fits-all, which often means they fit loosely and are not as effective.
- Gum Irritation: When a tray doesn’t fit properly over your teeth, the bleaching gel leaks out. This gel can irritate your gums, resulting in pain and discomfort.
Even if your teeth are whitened with a custom tray, it’s still possible to experience tooth sensitivity. The greater the peroxide content in your bleaching product, the more sensitivity you are likely to experience. The sensitivity will usually ease within a few days after stopping use, and you should be able to tolerate colder food items (ice cream, chilled beverages, etc.) again quickly. If the sensitivity continues, visit your dentist.
Your bright smile is back -- let's keep it that way! Here are a few tips on how to preserve the effects of your teeth whitening. Brush your teeth twice a day with a whitening toothpaste.
- Use interdental brushes, floss, or water flossers to clean between your teeth daily.
- Limit foods and drinks that stain your teeth (coffee, tea, wine, carrots, blueberries, etc.).
- Schedule regular dental hygiene appointments.
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
Whether you use your custom teeth whitening trays at the dentist or at home, they are a proven and powerful way to get that photo-perfect smile.