Tips For Using At-Home Whitening Trays

If you want whiter teeth, then your dentist may give you a few options when it comes to professional whitening treatments. The dentist can provide an in-office treatment or you can be provided with trays and a gel to use at home. For many people, the at-home treatments are much more convenient and while the whitening trays may seem fairly self-explanatory, there are a few tips you should follow to make sure the whitening is as successful as possible.

Use a Small Amount of Gel

If your teeth need to be whitened several shades and you are in a hurry to whiten them, then you may decide to place a large amount of gel in each whitening tray. However, this is not something that will enhance the whitening. The whitening gel will oxidize and push out stains, but adding more gel to the tray will not make the whitener any stronger than it already is. If you add too much whitening gel, you can create significant sensitivities, though. Both the enamel and the gums can hurt if too much gel is used. 

Each whitening tray only needs a small amount of gel, and about .5 ml is suggested in most cases. This is about one-fifth of a teaspoon in each tray. Place the gel in the very front of each tray. You do not need to move the gel, because it will reposition itself when you insert them.

Place the Trays Firmly in Your Mouth

Once the small amount of gel is placed in each tray, place the trays firmly in your mouth over the top and bottom dental ridges. Use your hands to press the trays in place so the whitening gel moves around the teeth. Once you press the trays over the teeth, the whitening gel will help to suction the trays to the teeth, so you can let go. 

After the trays are positioned, look for whitening gel that has been forced out of the trays. Use a cotton cloth to wipe the gel away so the gums are not burned during the whitening treatment. Also wipe away any gel that has gotten on your lips, tongue, or the other soft tissues of the mouth. 

When the whitening treatment is over, use your fingers to gently pry the trays loose along the back lip of each tray. Immediately wash the trays and also rinse the teeth. Brushing after whitening is also suggested to remove gel residue. For more information about whitening, contact Smudde Family Dentistry Dr. Meredeth Gray.