Your whitening kit consists of the following:

1 or 2 snugly fitting custom trays, that hold the bleaching gel in close contact to your teeth,

Syringes of 36% carbamide peroxide bleaching gel,

A container to hold your trays.

For maximum comfort during the whitening process, it is best to lighten one arch at a time.  We generally recommend
that you lighten your upper teeth first.  When your top teeth have lightened sufficiently, you can begin the bottom.  
This also provides a reference to the color change.

How much bleaching gel do I use?

Place a small pea-sized drop of gel on the part of the tray contacting the fronts of your teeth.  When you insert the
tray, a small amount of gel should ooze out, which you can remove with your finger.  If a lot extrudes, you are using
too much.

How long should I wear the tray?

Using your tray overnight, to bleach while you sleep is most effective.  If you find this uncomfortable, then about two
hours use per day, changing the solution every hour is also effective.
After use, rinse your tray under lukewarm, (not hot) water, and store in the container.

How long will the entire process take?

Most people will see a noticeable change in color within 2 weeks.  Some must continue bleaching for up to 6 weeks.  
Whitening is most effective for teeth yellowish in color.  Whitening is somewhat less effective for teeth with a brownish
hue, and least effective for gray teeth, and those with tetracycline type bands of color.  These tooth colors will require
a longer treatment time and although significant lightening will generally occur, they may never reach a really
sparkling white color.
Remember, the degree of whitening and the speed at which it will occur is directly proportional to the amount of time
the gel is in contact with your teeth.  Just stay on the recommended schedule.

Is the color change permanent, and how can I maintain the new lighter color?

The bleaching process will actually lighten the color of your tooth enamel, rather than simply remove surface stains.  
This color change will last many months, and sometimes up to two years, then gradually darken.  To maintain your
new lighter color, you must have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year, then repeat the bleaching procedure for 1
or 2 sessions within 24 hours.  Two or three touch-ups per year immediately following a cleaning should keep your
teeth whiter indefinitely.  Your syringes of bleaching gel should last for a number of touch-ups.  More gel is available
at a nominal cost.   

Are there any side effects?

Transient sensitivity to cold is very common.  It always subsides upon completion of bleaching.  A tingling sensation in
the gums is less common, and an overly tight tray might impinge on your gums and need adjustment.  Increased
salivation during the first few days of use is common as well.

Bleaching Hints:

Store your bottle of bleaching gel upside down in your medicine cabinet.  It is very thick and will be easier to dispense.

Do not refrigerate your bleaching gel during daily bleaching sessions.  Only refrigerate when you won’t be using your
gel for several months.

If cold sensitivity is a problem, switch to a desensitizing toothpaste such as Sensodyne while bleaching.  You can also
try bleaching sessions every other day until the sensitivity diminishes.

Please schedule an appointment approximately 2 weeks after you start bleaching so we may check your progress,
and evaluate any side effects.

If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, do not bleach your teeth.  While there are no studies to show that it
is in any way harmful, there are no studies to show that it is not.

Copyright 2003 Mark H Freedman, DDS revised 2015
May not be reproduced in any way without written permission.
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Instructions for Teeth Whitening Using Home Trays
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