Your Step-by-Step Guide To Tooth Whitening

Most people long for a bright, white smile. The good news? Most people can afford to have pearly whites. There are multiple affordable tooth whitening choices on the market. How do you know which will work best for you? That depends on how much time and money you are wiling to invest in tooth whitening. Let's look at how some of the most common procedures work below.

Tooth Whitening Gels

You can buy bleaching gels to brighten your smile. These usually work in one to two weeks. Each kit comes with a non-custom tray. The tooth whitening process using gels is relatively easy, and goes something like this:

  1. Brush you teeth.
  2. Fill tray with tooth whitening gels.
  3. Bite down on tray.
  4. Allow teeth to sit in whitening gel for appointed time (may be overnight in some cases).
  5. Rinse mouth and repeat next session.

That's pretty easy. Some people find their teeth become sensitive after using a teeth whitening gel. Using a sensitive toothpaste may help relieve some of this discomfort.

Crest White Strips

White strips are also simple to use. All you have to do is peel the adhesive layer from the back of the strip and apply the strips, one to your upper and the other to your lower teeth. Make sure you don't apply the strip to your gum line, as this may result in irritation. Most crest white strips work in roughly 30 minutes. You can put them on and take a bath, watch TV or read for a short time. Some people even wear them on their way to work. After removing, just rinse your mouth out and you are ready to go!

Direct White

You can use a product like Direct White to achieve professional level results in just four days. The direct white process is a little more involved; as first you will have to make impressions of your teeth the company uses to create a custom model for your personal teeth whitening trays. To do this, follow the instructions below:

  1. Remove catalyst and base paste and mix together. You will need to do this for roughly one minute until well blended.
  2. Roll material into tray and press into tray so tray is fully loaded.
  3. Place tray over your upper teeth and press the tray firmly so material surrounds teeth. You don't have to bite down. You should hold the tray in place for two minutes.
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  5. Verify that the impression worked and then repeat these steps for your lower teeth.

Once you have made your impressions you'll send them back to Direct White, who will make custom bleaching trays for you. One you receive your custom impressions you are ready to begin bleaching. Here are the steps to follow when bleaching:

  1. Brush your teeth and floss, but do not use any mouthwash.
  2. Remove cap of treatment syringe and apply a small amount of gel into each tooth impression.
  3. Once you fill all impressions in the tray place the tray on your teeth and wear from one to three hours. Some clients wear the trays to sleep.
  4. Remove the tray after allotted time and rinse your mouth with water. Avoid using toothpaste immediately after removing trays.
  5. Rinse your tray after use and store for next time.

You should see results in as little as four days using this quick and easy procedure. Keep in mind that no tooth whitening procedure will permanently remove all stains. Direct White is very effective for brightening teeth. However, if you continue to engage in behaviors that discolor teeth, you may need to repeat the procedure several months down the line. This is definitely the case for white strips and gels, which are generally less effective than professional strength products. Here is a list of some common tooth discoloring substances:

As we age our teeth generally tend to discolor as well. Certain antibiotics, particularly tetracycline can also discolor teeth. Fortunately you can avoid some of these in many cases. If you don't want to give up your morning cup of coffee, you can still enjoy a white and bright smile. Just remember you'll have to perform annual maintenance to keep your teeth looking their best at all times.