Home tooth whitening is similar to having it done in the dental office except the concentrations are much weaker and need to be applied to your teeth over a longer period of time.
Take-home whitening gels are made of 10 − 35% carbide peroxide which breaks down into a weaker active hydrogen peroxide solution. They are usually provided with a customised bleaching tray that fit closely over your teeth. The picture to the left shows a person with take home bleaching trays on their teeth.
The whitening gels are applied to the inside of the bleaching trays for a period of 15 min – 45 min depending upon the concentration of gel. We will always provide you with a desensitising gel as a precaution in case you experience sensitivity after a few days of whitening.
We do not recommend overnight whitening as you are more likely to swallow the gels whilst sleeping. We normally achieve excellent results for our patients from modern take-home kits that do not need overnight application.
If you are considering a take-home whitening kit then it is imperative that we examine your teeth and gums to identify the following before we start:
- Cause of discolouration – Is it the discolouration related to your diet, reflux disease, poor brushing habits or something else? Some medications are known to discolour teeth and will need a longer time to whiten them.
- Presence of fillings – If you have any type of fillings, crowns, implants or other dental work present on your front teeth then understand that they will NOT lighten up in colour. Be prepared to replace front fillings in the future if a mismatch in colour occurs (i.e. Teeth get lighter in colour but the fillings stay the same).
- Lifestyle and medical conditions – Do you suffer with reflux disease or are a heavy coffee / tea drinker or smoker? These are just some of the things we need to consider before we commence tooth whitening. If these habits cannot be changed then you will need to maintain your whitening program more frequently.