There is nothing like a white smile. It conveys to the world good health and confidence. There was a time when dazzling white smiles were only seen on the red carpet, but no more. Today there are literally hundreds of tooth whiteners available on the market. These products range in price from several dollars up to hundreds of dollars. You can have teeth whitening done by the dentist in his office in about one hour, or you can buy a teeth whitening system from your dentist to use at home. In office laser tooth whitening can cost $600.00 for one session. If you don’t have a bundle of money to spend and you don’t have to see the results immediately, then whitening your teeth at home may be for you. The most popular in home teeth whitening systems are tray based systems.
Your dentist will perform a thorough examination of you teeth and gums before starting your teeth whitening treatment. He’ll want to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy, which will help to cut down on potentially painful side effects. If you have receding gums you are at more of a risk to suffer from gum tenderness when using a tray treatment.
You will need to decide if you’re going to whiten both upper and lower teeth. If you only have one dental tray made the price is much lower than if you have two made. It’s best to go ahead and whiten both at the same time. You don’t want to have a set of brilliant white top teeth and dingy yellow bottom teeth – not a good look. Your dentist will also advise you that any dental restorations you may have will not whiten. If there is an obvious noticeable difference you may have opt to have the restoration replaced once the desired level of whitening has been achieved.
In order to help you see your progress your dentist will determine your current tooth shade on a chart. This way when you return for a check up you’ll be able to see how much whiter your teeth are. Your dentist will take an impression of your upper and lower teeth. These impressions will be turned into clear soft flexible plastic trays. These trays will be trimmed so they cover each tooth, but not the gum line.
When you see your dentist and are given the trays, generally a few days after the impressions are made, the dentist will make sure the impressions fit well and are comfortable. He or she will give you the 10% carbamide peroxide gel to use in the trays. They’ll also show you how to put the gel in the tray and how to avoid getting excess gel on your gums.
Your dentist will give you instructions on how long to wear the trays. Some dentists recommend not wearing them for longer than four hours to minimize potential gum tenderness. Some people are able to wear them overnight. It is suggested that if you can’t wear your tray for at least four hours you don’t. Less than four hours is a waste of the gel.
Studies have shown that the effects of the tray based teeth whitening can last from one to three years although some people do occasional touch ups to help keep their teeth as white as possible.