If you don’t use a teeth whitening tray properly, you could irritate – even damage – your gums. Here’s how to properly use a teeth whitening tray, and other tips you should know about this popular teeth whitening method.
Using a teeth whitening tray is an “at-home professional whitening system,” meaning your dental office takes impressions of your teeth to fabricate a custom-fit tray for you to keep and use at home.
It’s one of the most popular teeth whitening methods, along with gel strips and professional whitening. The main benefit of using a teeth whitening tray is that you have it for as long as you take care of it – unless you have major dental work or changes to your mouth.
It’s also great because you can use it at your leisure – say, if you need a quick tune-up for a family photo or wedding, you can pop your tray for a few consecutive nights before your event to boost your glow.
However, if you use the whitening tray incorrectly, it can cause some damage. Here are some tips and tricks on how to properly use a teeth whitening tray.
A teeth whitening tray could either be purchased at the store or at your dentist’s office. While store-bought trays are cheaper, they aren’t custom-fit to your mouth, which can be uncomfortable and, ultimately, cause the solution to damage your gums.
Have your dentist’s office mold a tray for you – it will be a sure fit, and if you have no major dental work, you can reuse for life.
If there’s food stuck on or in between your teeth, the gel won’t whiten there.
DO NOT put more than the recommended amount of solution in your tray. More solution WILL NOT make your teeth whiten faster. It will only cause the solution to overflow and burn your gum tissue, which is painful.
While your gum tissue will eventually heal – it’s not permanent damage – it definitely hurts! Be careful!
Eating red marinara sauce during weeks in which you are whitening will only slow down the process. Stick to white foods like potatoes and rice to see the best results.
This whitening method, unlike a 90-minute, in-office method, requires a bit of commitment. You could be using your tray from 2-3 weeks to see the results you’re looking for. Patience is key.
Talk to your dentist before choosing a teeth whitening method – he or she can help you navigate the process and decide which method is best for your needs.