Bleaching Your Teeth at Home or the Dentist?

Custom tray dentist supervised home bleaching is an easy, safe, and cost effective technique to whiten and brighten most teeth. It has been used since the late 1980’s and has few side effects. Home bleaching is more effective and has significantly fewer side effects than the heavily advertised light/laser in-office bleaching systems.

SIDE EFFECTS include transient tooth sensitivity and gum tenderness. Over-filling of your bleach trays may lead to a sore throat or nausea. Most side effects are dose dependent: If you are unable to tolerate the side effect simply decrease either the amount of bleach you are using, the frequency of bleaching, or the amount of time you are bleaching. If your bleaching tray is physically irritating your gum due to over-extension or a rough edge use a sharp cuticle scissors to carefully remove the small offending piece of the tray. An emery board can also smooth a rough edge.

BLEACHING WILL reduce the amount of color (hue) in your teeth and increase the brightness (value) of your teeth resulting in a “whiter, brighter” smile. Bleaching is most effective on yellow/brown stains, the “stains of age.” Bleaching can be effective on the more difficult and intense blue/gray stains, but these stains do not bleach as well or as quickly as yellow/brown stains.

BLEACHING WILL NOT CHANGE the color of porcelain crowns or white fillings which may become more noticeable and may have to be replaced to match your new whiter shade. Bleaching is not entirely predictable. Some color inclusions in your teeth may become more intense and require additional treatments to improve esthetically. The thinner biting edges of your front teeth may become more translucent (clear) and appear grayer or bluer.

BLEACHING CAN BE REPEATED. Save your trays! They can be used with a fresh “Touch-up Kit” to remove new stains every year or two. Touch-up Kits are inexpensive and can be obtained at our office.

MONITORING is vital. Dental bleaching whitens the hardest substance (dental enamel) your body creates. A post-bleaching visit will allow Dr. Kaes to monitor your results and side effects, answer questions, and recommend follow-up care. Do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions. Our entire staff has bleached.

INSTRUCTIONS: Brush and floss prior to bleaching. The bleaching gel will not penetrate dental plaque. Place a small amount of bleach in each tray, a matchstick head sized dab per tooth. If you get a strong taste in your mouth you have used too much. You can use a cotton swab or tissue to remove excess bleach emerging from the edges of the tray. After removing the trays you can rinse or brush to remove the bleaching gel.

Our standard prescription for bleaching: Bleach for 30 minutes, remove/clean/rinse/reload, use for another 30 minutes once a day for 3-10 days until you are satisfied with the result. Again, don’t hesitate to call the office if you have any questions or issues bleaching.

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