thesmiledr Dr. Mark Falco, Smile Design Studio
Shine A proper teeth whitening
job can be a very big
investment, so it’s vital to
protect it with responsible
care and regular cleaning
roper teeth care includes good hygiene and regular
dentist visits to maintain your newly whitened teeth
from unsightly staining. Home touch-up gels are often
dispensed with custom-ﬁtting trays by your dentist’s
ofﬁce to be used to occasionally boost the whitening
effect as time and age progress. Tougher teeth discolorations al-
ways require further home whitening utilizing these trays to con-
tinue moving the bleaching process to a more desired result.
The at-home method of teeth whitening works best for slight-
to-moderate discoloration and an immediate change is not re-
quired. A daily 15-30 minute application of bleaching gel within
trays will produce a desired result in 1-4 weeks, depending on the
degree of shade change sought.
P GEL TOGETHER
Bleaching gel is placed within custom-ﬁtted trays that ﬁt over
the teeth. Custom trays can only be produced from molds of your
existing teeth. This requires a day or two of fabrication after
molds are taken to deliver these trays to you for take home. This
at-home teeth whitening regimen will normally result in a 3-8
shade increase in brightness within a 2-week period of daily use.
The cost of this procedure can be about $150-600.
The “over-the-counter” method of at-home whitening can
produce varied results. Bleaching trays provided with gels that are
sold over the counter do not have as high a concentration of per-
oxides in them as the in-ofﬁce treatment. Since these trays are not
fabricated from molds of your existing teeth, variations in whiten-
ing may occur, with some areas of teeth whitening better than
others. Changes of 2-4 shades can result when used with a high
concentration of peroxide. This method works best for people
who have nicely colored teeth without heavy discoloration who
want to see more brilliance in their smile.
Whitening strips work without trays. They contain lower con-
centrations of peroxide and incorporate adhesives to stick over the
teeth. They are applied twice daily for 30 minutes. Only the tooth
surfaces covered by the strips whiten. Results can be 1-4 shades
lighter in about 2 weeks. Again, this works best on healthy and
minimally discolored teeth. The cost of these strips range from
$35-75. Whitening pens and other direct gel applications for teeth de-
liver peroxide in low concentrations that can lighten teeth 1-3
shades. This process, however, can take up to 4 weeks when used
daily. Healthy and minimally discolored teeth favor better results.
Usually these applications are used for touch-up treatment after
any of the previous methods have been completed. These products
range in price from $10-100.
Whitening toothpastes and rinses do not stay on teeth long
enough to actually whiten the teeth beyond one shade even when
peroxides are part of the ingredients. These products are used, at
best, to help maintain any whitening already ﬁnished.
DON’T BE SO SENSITIVE
All applications of peroxide gels or solutions to the teeth can
create mild sensitivity in a few cases that are very temporary in na-
ture. Too much gel, especially from higher concentrations that are
placed inside the bleaching trays, can cause mild and temporary