Are you certain that you want to whiten your teeth but want to do so at home? Then a teeth whitening kit should be your pick.
These kits are either professional or over-the-counter normal use kits.
The concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide is higher in the professional gel rather than those found in your grocery store.
Hence, this makes them more effective.
However, they will also be more pricey but still less than an in-office dental procedure.
This article discusses their use and which ones should you buy.
What is a Teeth Whitening Kit?
If you thought about whitening your teeth you must have come across these options of whitening systems:
- Whitening Toothpaste
- Teeth Whitening Strips
- Mouth rinses
- Whitening Gel
- Whitening Pen
A kit includes mouth trays that fit into your mouth as well as strips, gel and toothpaste.
If your dentist makes the tray then they take the impression of your mouth and make a custom fit tray that fits exactly in your mouth much like a retainer.
These custom-fit dental trays come with a whitening solution that contains a peroxide base.
This is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide with a much higher concentration than the peroxide found in over-the-counter gels.
Furthermore, since they are fit to your mouth, the solution only touches your teeth.
Hence, it prevents any contact with the gingival area as the gums are very sensitive.
You can buy these over-the-counter or you can get your dentist to make you a custom fit.
While it is better to get a custom fit tray as the gel will be in proper contact with your teeth, and it is also not likely to get into reach your sensitive gums and cause irritation, some over-the-counter systems are good too. More on that later!
Custom-fit trays also ensure that saliva does not leak and dilute the bleaching solution.
Hence, you need to choose if you want to buy a mouth tray from your store or you will like your dentist to make it for you.
If you want the latter, you will follow the procedure below!
The Procedure and Use of At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit
You may be tempted to buy a mouth tray from a nearby store but if it does not fit you will waste a lot of solutions.
Moreover, there is always the risk of the solution going into other parts of the mouth and damaging them.
Hence, go to your dentist and begin by:
- Taking Impressions of Your Teeth
Your dentist uses dental putty to cover your upper and lower teeth.
This takes the impressions of the teeth and is safe to use.
They are then sent to a lab and the trays arrive in a week’s time.
- Recording the Original Shade
Your dentist will record the original shade of your teeth at this moment.
This will help make a comparison after the whitening and let you see the progress.
Since the process occurs gradually and the difference appears subtly, it is good to record the initial shade as you can visibly see a difference.
- Trays Arrive
Once the trays arrive in your dentists’ office they will show you how to use them properly.
This involves applying the solution, wearing the trays properly and dispensing the solution.
The bleaching solution will be in a syringe or preloaded into the plastic trays.
If they seem fit, they will also give you a desensitizing agent to use before and after you wear the trays.
This can help with tooth sensitivity.
- Clean Teeth Before Use
When you begin using it, first remember to brush your teeth and floss as well as rinse using mouthwash.
Toothbrushing and flossing help to keep your teeth squeaky clean which gives better results.
Keep using it for at least two weeks.
Wear them for at least an hour per day. However, ask your dentist if you can also wear them overnight.
You should avoid eating food, drinking colored beverages and smoking while you have them on and also till half an hour after you remove them.
After two weeks, you will visit your dentist again.
They will check your progress and compare it to the original shade of your teeth to see improvement.
They can also touch up with the whitening solution to fill in any missing parts.
Whitening kits do not only contain plastic trays but also other systems.
A popular one is the use of whitening strips.
They contain a low concentration of bleaching solution in thin plastic strips that go over the teeth and cover them.
They easily fit on the teeth and you can keep doing them while doing other work.
Use them twice a day for 30 minutes each and keep using them for about 2 weeks.
As strips do not fit as well as custom trays, they are not as effective.
The saliva can reach the strips and dilute the peroxide bleaching and whitening agent.
Moreover, they can cause sensitivity and irritate gums.
Also, some strips may not fit your smile entirely and can rather slip not covering every tooth.
While choosing strips, be careful to not use chlorine dioxide but peroxide strips as they could harm the enamel.
Other systems include:
Whitening Rinses are just like using mouthwash but claim to whiten teeth alongside freshening breath and cleaning plaque.
They contain a little quantity of peroxide that can lighten the shade of your teeth.
Use it just like a mouthwash and swish it around for 2 to 3 minutes inside the mouth.
Do this before brushing at least twice a day.
You may see minor whitening results in a period of 12 weeks.
Actually, the product is not in direct contact with your teeth.
Moreover, the time it stays in your mouth is much less compared to an hour for mouth trays and 30 minutes for strips.
Hence, you may not see as drastic results using a mouth rinse.
These gels are clear and contain a peroxide base.
You can apply them directly using a brush.
Use them at least twice a day for two weeks to see any results.
The results may appear in a few days though, they can last as long as 4 months.
Toothpaste can help remove the surface teeth stains and whiten your teeth up to one shade.
They cannot remove any deep-set stains but these polishing agents can lighten those on the surface.
Also, since they are slightly more abrasive than your normal toothpaste, your doctor may not recommend it for whitening. Especially how its use does not show great results.
Now that you know all of the products in a kit, let’s know what are the best ones to buy.
Which Teeth Whitening Kits Should You Buy?
1. Crest 3D White Whitestrips with Light Teeth Whitening Kit
Crest’s Whitestrips are a popular product in the market to keep stains off teeth.
In fact, it can remove up to 14 years of stains to give you a brighter and whiter smile.
What’s better is that this kit has a new addition to blue light.
This blue light helps to penetrate the solution in the strips through the tooth enamel.
Wear the strips for about 60 minutes to let the hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent work on your teeth.
Then apply the blue light for 10 minutes to achieve better results.
Only after 10 applications, you will start seeing a noticeable difference that can last up to as long as 3 years.
2. Glo Brilliant Teeth Whitening Kit
While you can get custom fit mouth trays such as the Zoom At-home whitening kit, there are also good over-the-counter options.
One of these is the Glo Kit that uses Guide Light Optics to combine LED light and warm heat to accelerate whitening.
It just takes up to 8 minutes to get rid of stubborn stains from coffee, red wine and tea.
You can get up to 5 shades of whiter teeth in just 5 days.
3. Dr. Collins All White 22 Percent Bleaching System
If the fit of the mouth trays is an issue then you can get these “boil n bite” trays.
You can mold them to some extent to fit the shape of your mouth and cover your entire teeth.
Pour the solution on the trays and wear them for at least 60 minutes a day.
These are some of the options for you to get over-the-counter kits.
The best ones are still those that are custom fit to your mouth.
You can get teeth whitening if you do not have sensitive teeth and gums.
As long as your teeth have a yellow hue, you will see good results with any of these teeth whitening products.
Though, brown teeth may not respond as well to these kits.
Similarly, white spots, black and gray lines and hue may have no effect due to the at-home bleaching.
Hence, if you need instant results then you should choose to go for professional in-office teeth whitening treatments from a cosmetic dentist.
The procedure takes less than two hours and you can immediately achieve up to 8 times whiter shade.
Also, remember that these teeth whitening kits may not be effective against discoloration due to injury and medicines.
Therefore, if you want to target the dentin, a dental whitening procedure is your safest bet.
However, these kits are good enough to clean surface stains and make you smile more confidently.