Alafaya Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
A Great Dentist

How do I use professional teeth whitening trays?



Bleaching the teeth is accomplished by wearing bleaching trays with bleaching gel in them.  The trays are custom made of a clear flexible vinyl.  You will find that these trays are very comfortable to wear and sleep with.  You will be given a bleaching kit.  Your kit will be complete with everything you need to complete your bleaching session.  Touch up kits are available for future use.


The active ingredient in the bleaching gel is carbamide peroxide.  This carbamide peroxide gives off oxygen, which penetrates the teeth’s dentinal tubules to whiten the shade.  Everyone’s teeth have a natural biologic limit of how white they can get.  Once you reach this limit, no amount of bleaching will whiten them more.  Therefore, some will have a better result than others.  Custom made trays are the primary reason this style of bleaching works so well.  In addition to whitening teeth, the oxygen also deep cleans the teeth by removing microscopic debris from in between the crystals of the tooth structure.  


It is important to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly and properly clean your mouth prior to starting bleaching.  Once your teeth are clean start your bleaching right away, any delay can cause protein from your saliva to coat your teeth thereby inhibiting the bleaching agent from whitening your teeth as quickly.


Squeeze a drop of gel into each tooth on the inside of the outer walls of the trays.  This will be the front surface of the tray.  The syringe is pre-measured for each use.  Use this as a guideline for how much of a drop to put in each tooth, one line should fill one tray.  Be sure to place individual drops in each tooth, not a single streamline across.  This would be too much and create sensitivity.  If you’ve put too much bleaching material in, the gel will ooze out of the tray.  It will be trial and error the first few times you use it.  If you have gel oozing out of the tray, use your finger or a kleenex or Q-tip to wipe out the excess.  Do not suck and spit out the excess,  this will remove too much and the material will be wasted.  If you put too little gel in the tray, you will see through the clear tray with some open voids and the reservoirs not filled with the material.  That’s ok, don’t remove the trays,  just use A little more material at your next bleaching session.  You must wear the trays for a minimum of four hours.


In the morning, after removing the trays, brush your teeth and clean your mouth.  Cold or hot water may be uncomfortable at this time.  Then, clean the trays, with cold water.  You may use your toothbrush on them gently.  

Also, you will want to avoid things that stain our teeth while bleaching.  This includes but not limited to coffee, tea, red wine, blueberries, smoking etc...


Your teeth may become sensitive during the bleaching process.  Everyone does not get sensitivity.  We never know who may become sensitive.  If your teeth are sensitive you may take  Advil or Aleve to help this.  The sensitivity usually decreases after the first few days.  If your teeth are especially sensitive you may need to back off and skip a night of bleaching.  This is not recommended if you are not experiencing sensitivity, the bleaching system works best if you use it, consecutively day after day.  However, if your teeth are too sensitive it only makes sense to back off for a night.


You may notice that your teeth may start to look “funny”.  They may develop white spots and look chalky.  This is normal and will not harm the tooth.  The teeth may whiten at different levels depending on the original color variation in the tooth.  These white chalky areas will balance out during the first two weeks after you stop bleaching, and look normal again.

You may notice that the lower teeth do not whiten as quickly as the upper teeth.  This is because the lower teeth are smaller and the enamel is thinner, and the dentin shows through more easily.  The canine teeth are also naturally darker teeth to begin with, so they will be slightly darker when you finish whitening. 


Please note that existing veneers, crowns, bondings, fillings, or any other permanent restoration in your mouth will not whiten!!!   These may be a consideration for replacement after bleaching.



All natural teeth will darken with time.  It’s normal, slow process.  We recommend touching-up your bleaching every time you have your teeth cleaned for a few days.  This will help maintain your white teeth on a preventative level.  Remember to keep any unused bleaching material that you have left over, for this purpose.  We also have touch up kits available for future use.  The touch-up kits are inexpensive and even easier to use, with a one-hour wear time!


We know that you will be thrilled with your whitening results, but only if you comply with the above instructions.  If you have any problems or questions please call us right away

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