At-Home Teeth Whitening 101

Interested in whitening your teeth from the comfort of your own home? At-home whitening trays, custom-made by your dentist will do exactly that. The price of getting pearly whites at home will set you back anywhere between $300-$1,000. 

Your dentist will prescribe custom-made trays filled with a carbamide peroxide solution for at-home bleaching. It is usually recommended that patients wear the trays while sleeping for best results. New York cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS advises, “At home whitening treatments are effective but one should be cautious when bleaching teeth on their own. At-home treatments used indefinitely can lead to overbleaching and permanent damage to the enamel, and can be harmful to gums.” The severity of the staining will determine how long the trays need to be worn. Yellow staining is usually improved in one or two weeks; brown stains can take four to six weeks; blue or gray stains (usually from tetracycline medications) may require six months to a year of wearing the trays every night.

In general the same care that is required for in-office bleaching procedures holds true for take-home whitening treatments. Although there won’t be sensitivity issues, you should continue to avoid foods and drinks that stain—red wine, berries, soda and coffee, among others—and use a whitening toothpaste to help maintain results and prevent discoloration from returning. Once the desired result has been achieved, Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS recommends patients continue to wear the trays once a week for three months, then once a month or as needed to maintain the results.

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