One week before bleaching:
- Apply sensodyne toothpaste or fluoride gel in the bleaching tray every evening. This will desensitise the teeth before commencing bleaching treatment.
- If sensitivity should arise when bleaching, place sensodyne or fluoride gel into the tray and sleep over night with the tray in place.
- If teeth are frequently sensitive when bleaching, alternate nights placing sensodyne or fluoride gel one night and whitening material next.
What to expect during your bleaching
Your dentist has given you a bleaching kit to take home with you together with your bleaching trays. It is essential that you follow the instructions given by your dentist and the manufactures instructions in wearing the trays and applying the bleaching agent.
How long should I wear the trays for?
This depends on the amount of lightening that you desire and the original shade of the teeth. If your teeth are quite dark or very yellow/grey/tetracycline stained it will take longer to bleach your teeth. If you are not experiencing any sensitivity you may wear the trays for at least 1-2 hours and even sleep with the trays in your mouth. It is very important to remove all the excess material around the gums or the palate prior to sleeping with the trays.
The darker your teeth, the longer your teeth will take to get lighter. Tetracycline stained can take up to 6 months or one year to bleach the teeth. Some teeth can whiten after one month. If you cannot wear the trays for a few days because of your hectic schedule, it does not matter. Bleach your teeth according to your own schedule. Some people put the trays in after dinner and wear them while watching an hour of TV or doing the dishes. Then if everything is fine they replenish the trays and sleep with them in the mouth.
What do I do if I have sensitivity?
Sensitivity is the most common side effect of home bleaching. In fact many patients suffer from sensitive teeth anyway. This occurs usually around the necks of the teeth where the gums have receded. If you are experiencing any sensitivity you should stop bleaching your teeth for a few days. You can resume after about 3-4 days. If the teeth become ultra sensitive you can place sensitive toothpaste into the bleaching trays for an hour a day. That will usually stop the sensitivity. Alternatively you can rub the sensitising toothpaste into the gum margins with your finger 5 times a day for a few days.
If you are at all concerned contact your dentist. You may notice new white spots occurring on the teeth while you are undertaking the bleaching treatment.
These white spots were already present on the teeth before the bleaching. As the teeth become lighter these spots become more visible. Do not worry. As the whole tooth itself becomes lighter these spots will fade. You may notice these white spots immediately after bleaching session or in the morning if you have been wearing trays for the whole night. Some teeth may appear banded with lighter/whiter areas. Again these…
How will my teeth feel?
Normally the teeth feel very clean after the bleaching procedure. The bleaching materials also have an indirect effect on the gums in helping them heal or improving the health of the gums. This is how the technique was invented as it was first used to heal gum irritation during the orthodontic treatment.
What about my smile?
Your smile will appear brighter as a bonus. It is very rare, but sometimes the teeth do not lighten at all. If this happens and you are wearing the bleaching trays as recommended, you may need to try a different bleaching product or a slightly higher concentration of the bleaching material. Discuss this with your dentist.