We all want a bright white, healthy smile, and there are a multitude of products on the market to help us get there. But what works best and how do they get the job done? Here are some things to know before choosing your whitening option.
How Teeth Whitening Works
All whitening products use Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) in some form, be it pure or in a less broken down state known as Carbamide Peroxide, to achieve their goal. This oxides the molecules that help to form stains under the surface of your enamel. The stronger the concentration of H2O2, the faster your teeth will whiten.
Not everything will whiten equally. We typically see the best results on yellow/brown extrinsic staining. This kind of staining works from the outside in, and usually comes from things like smoking, red wine, and coffee. Intrinsic stains and gray staining tend to be less receptive to whitening. Also immune are any restorations your dentist has performed. Whatever color those fillings are, that’s where they’ll stay!
Side Effects of Teeth Whitening
Whitening is completely safe! The only real risks associated with the use of these products are teeth sensitivity and gingival irritation, which should cease upon discontinuation of use. If you’ve experienced sensitivity in the past, it’s a good idea to begin using sensitivity toothpaste (we like Sensodyne) 1-2 weeks before you begin using your whitening product. Varying the duration and frequency of treatment, while often resulting in a longer whitening process, can also help keep sensitivity at bay.
Teeth Whitening Options at Strobel Dentistry
Custom Whitening Trays
We’ll take impressions of your teeth to fabricate trays that fit you perfectly. The trays come with four syringes of bleaching gel upon delivery and an additional four over the course of your first year. Initial whitening with these trays typically takes 2 weeks. A lengthier option, but ultimately what we find to have the longest lasting effects.
Our most comprehensive option, KöR involves two weeks of overnight whitening at home, an intensive in-office session, and a monthly maintenance program thereafter. This ensures a more permanent white by fully flooding the stains with bleaching agents and restores teeth to their youthful ability to whiten easily. Recommended for patients with particularly tough whitening cases, patients seeking ultra white or those with stains from certain medications, KöR’s patented custom trays and constantly refrigerated gel = dazzling results!
This all-inclusive treatment is recommended for a patient suffering from internal stains. Done only in conjunction with our KöR whitening, it begins with a 2-week session of at home whitening using custom fitted trays. That is followed by a session of microabrasion, which uses a rough paste to help remove deeper stains from the teeth. Immediately after we perform a KöR in-office treatment, and finish with additional gel for at home touch-ups.
This 90-minute appointment using Opalescence gel will give you the most immediate, noticeable whitening effect of any of our options. These results don’t last quite as long as more gradual whitening achieved with custom trays, but this option is perfect for last minute whitening needs.
Using Custom Whitening Trays At Home
Tooth Whitening at Home
- The gel is effective for 18 months from the date of delivery
- Trays should be brushed with toothpaste and rinsed thoroughly after each use
- Trays should not be soaked in hot water to avoid warping
- Each syringe should last 2-3 full mouth applications
- When trays are put on, a very small amount of gel should extrude out of the trays. This gel should be wiped away with your toothbrush so that it does not cause discomfort.
- Crowns, bridges, veneers, and fillings will not whiten
How to Use Your Whitening Trays
- Sensodyne or comparable sensitivity toothpaste should be used starting 1 week prior to whitening and continued while whitening is being completed to decrease the risk of sensitivity.
- After whitening, rinse your teeth with warm water. DO NOT brush immediately after whitening to help decrease sensitivity – wait 30 minutes.
- Avoid drinking/eating for 30 minutes after whitening. Especially drinks that cause discoloration (i.e. Coffee, soda, wine)
- You can leave your bleaching trays in for 30 minutes a day. If you have NO sensitivity at this interval, you may increase to up to 1 hour a day. Try to complete whitening treatments once a day for 2-3 weeks.
- If you have had problems with sensitivity in the past, you will be asked to leave your bleaching trays in for 15-20 minutes for the first application. If you experience sensitivity, complete whitening treatment every other day for the next 3-4 weeks for 20 minutes/application. If you have no sensitivity for 24 hours, increase the amount of time to 30 minutes for your next application and try to whiten every day.
Our Replacement Policy
If you lose trays made at our office or they no longer fit due to extensive dental work, you can have new whitening trays made for $75 each within 5 years of being made.