Over the years, due to a variety of factors – staining foods and drinks, certain medications, tobacco use, fluorosis, the natural aging process, etc. – our teeth tend to become more yellow. Fortunately, if you’ve been dreaming of a whiter smile, you can achieve it through either at-home or in-office teeth whitening treatments. Today we’re focusing on what you need to know about teeth whitening at home. You might be surprised at how quick, simple, and convenient the process really is.
What You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening at Home
Although drugstore teeth-whitening products are available and make big claims about their abilities to whiten and brighten your smile, it is always best to consult a dentist and use a professional product. Not only will this help protect the health of your teeth and gums, but also you will receive a customized plan that addresses your specific needs.
The at-home teeth whitening treatment available at Wilkinson Dental is safe, effective, and convenient. However, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by your dental team to prevent uneven whitening or irritated gums. To get started, follow these steps:
- Floss your teeth and brush them gently. Nothing complicated here, especially since you should already be brushing and flossing your teeth daily. This step ensures that your teeth are clean and ready for the application of the gel.
- Place a thin line of whitening gel into each custom-designed whitening tray. Try to avoid dispensing an excessive amount of whitening gel, as it could get messy.
- If you are sensitive to peroxide, apply a thin amount of petroleum jelly to the gums adjacent to the teeth that will be whitened. This will protect your gums from the peroxide in the whitening gel.
- Insert the whitening trays. Allow any excess gel to extrude. If a lot of excess material comes out when you insert the trays, you may be applying too much gel. Remember this for next time.
- Allow the trays to work their magic. The gel should remain on your teeth for at least 45 minutes and may be allowed to sit for up to 2 hours. However, sensitivity is common. You may need to cut back on the time if the trays bother your mouth. If you’re using the 32-percent formulation, we recommend that you wear the trays once per day for two weeks or until you achieve your desired shade of whiteness.
- Clean the trays thoroughly and brush your teeth again. You must clean the trays after each use and set them out to dry. Be sure to brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush afterward as well. You may also wish to rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Store the whitening gel in the fridge. This ensures a longer shelf life. The ideal storage temperature is at or below 75° F. Do not store the gel in the freezer.
After your initial whitening treatment, the maintenance is up to you. Talk to your dentist about how you can best maintain your brighter, whiter smile.
Teeth Feeling Sensitive?
It’s common for teeth to feel sensitive after using a teeth whitening treatment. If you experience this, try using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth both before and after bleaching. For example, Sensodyne is a great option. When using the toothpaste, brush and then spit the excess toothpaste into the sink. Do not rinse with water.
Warnings to Keep in Mind
When trying teeth whitening at home, heed these warnings:
- Keep out of reach of children.
- If irritation (redness, swelling, soreness, etc.) of the gums or the mouth occurs, discontinue use and consult a dentist.
- Products containing peroxides are not recommended for children under the age of 16 years.
- Only use the product for more than 14 days if you are under the supervision of a dentist.
- Avoid swallowing the product.
- Keep the product away from your eyes.
- Avoid contact with the product on gums and/or salivary flow.
- Product is not intended for injection.
Looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist to whiten your teeth? If you live in or near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!