If you’re looking for an alternative to professional teeth whitening in a dental office, then do-it-yourself at-home whitening might be right for you. There are dozens of home whitening options available for every budget and temperament – whether professionally dispensed, store-bought or sold on the Internet. Many teeth-whiteners are pre-mixed and ready to use; others require mixing at home.
However, there are pitfalls to whitening your teeth at home. For example, if you have an underlying condition like tooth decay or gum disease, you could end up enduring extreme pain depending on the concentration of peroxide used.
The best bleaching results come from dentist-dispensed take-home kits – particularly those that are used over extended periods. These kits contain bleaching compounds that are stored in syringes and contain higher percentages of bleach than over-the-counter products. They are added to the trays just before use and consist of custom-fitted application trays made of a flexible plastic material.
Custom trays offer several benefits:
They help ensure that the bleach stays in contact with the teeth, for maximum whitening.
They help prevent saliva from coming into contact with the bleaching agent (which can dilute its strength).
They minimize the amount of bleach that can dribble onto (and potentially irritate) the gums.