Teeth Whitening Trays: How they Work, Cost, and Alternatives (2024)

A radiant smile can contribute to a more youthful and energetic appearance, a desire shared by many. Consequently, there is a high demand for teeth whitening techniques. Whitening, often referred to as ‘bleaching,’ trays have gained popularity as an effective method to maintain vibrant smiles.

Teeth whitening trays are suitable for both young individuals and adults, addressing various defects or stains on their teeth. However, it’s generally not advisable for use in children. A study indicated that 80% of Americans, particularly those aged 18 to 49, express the desire for cleaner and whiter teeth, underscoring the widespread interest in enhancing dental aesthetics.

What are teeth whitening trays?

Although teeth whitening can make teeth whiter, it is not a medical practice because it does not produce teeth that are healthier or stronger. It’s a bleaching process that employs personalized whitening trays that are placed over the teeth to restore your mouth’s brightness and freshness without the need for more expensive, generic cosmetic dentistry procedures. The fact that it may be completed without a dentist’s supervision is by far its greatest benefit.

How do whitening trays work?

To reduce natural stains and alter the natural color of teeth, proven tooth whitening products or bleaching trays rely on proven innovations (35% hydrogen peroxide for in-office power fading or 10% to 15% carbamide peroxide for at-home whitening).

A combination of surfactants, abrasives, anti-calculus agents, and low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are used in over-the-counter whitening products to minimize external stains and maintain whiteness following professional treatment.

What’s the timeframe to wear whitening trays?

You ought to wear them sparingly unless you have sensitivity problems. It’s crucial to use it consistently until benefits are apparent. Depending on how much whitening you want, several applications of teeth whitening are used. You should wear the trays for one to two hours a day, or even sleep with them in your mouth if you’re not feeling sensitive. But depending on the circ*mstances of each situation, some people would need a lot of wear, while others might simply need a little therapy to guarantee stains are gone.

More significantly, though, customers need to be prepared to use the tooth trays until their teeth have reached the desired level of whiteness. But in certain cases, it can take several weeks, and for large stains, it can take up to a year.

Dentists typically advise against using whitening trays continuously for a whole year. Instead, to get the desired result, patients are frequently told to try several therapy modalities. A few months with the trays on and a few months without them could be the format of the therapy cycle. Teeth can continue to be mineralized as a result.

Are whitening trays effective?

Yes, they sure are. Teeth whitening trays have become a convenient and relatively straightforward method to enhance your dental appearance, often yielding visible results within a few weeks. It’s crucial to seek a recommendation and confirmation from your dentist before using any tooth whitening tool.

To sustain the initial tooth whitening results, it’s advisable to incorporate daily flossing and rinsing into your oral care routine. Furthermore, it is essential to avoid acidic and tannin-rich foods and drinks, as they can contribute to staining.

What are custom whitening trays?

Many over-the-counter whitening tray products can be purchased without a dentist’s direct supervision. However, your dentist’s custom-fitted mouth trays are the safest whitening trays, per the study and analysis.

These are teeth- or mouthguard-like trays that are made especially to fit your mouth. This way, you may avoid the gum-irritating, tooth-whitening gel-leaking, and ineffective teeth-whitening that come with ill-fitting trays.

This teeth-whitening method involves filling the tray with a bleaching gel or paste that contains peroxide. After that, it is applied to the teeth for up to four weeks, for one to several hours each day.

How much do whitening trays cost?

Generally, the cost of whitening trays falls within the range of $150 to $600, varying depending on the dental healthcare services provided. These trays can be customized by your dental practitioner or purchased over the counter, depending on your preference and budget.

What are the alternatives to whitening trays?

Professional Whitening:

The safest and most effective method for teeth whitening is through professional dental services, especially for individuals seeking teeth whitening in Cypress, TX. While sensitivity may be experienced, professional whitening, administered by a dentist, ensures safe and optimal results. It is considered the best approach for achieving a brighter smile.

Whitening Strips and Gels:

These are small pieces of flexible plastic known as polyethylene, coated with a whitening gel containing around 60% hydrogen peroxide. To use, one strip is applied to the top teeth, and another strip to the bottom. The peroxide gel seeps into the teeth to lighten them. However, strips may have limitations, not reaching certain spaces or curved areas, resulting in a potential uneven whitening effect.

Whitening Toothpaste:

Designed to brighten teeth by eliminating surface stains, whitening toothpaste lacks peroxide and mainly utilizes dedicated abrasives. These abrasives polish the teeth and help dissolve stains by generating cleansing chemical compounds in the mouth. While effective for surface stains, they can’t change the natural shade of teeth or combat deeper stains.

Whitening Light Devices:

These systems include a whitening gel and a plate with an attached light. The application is simple, involving attaching the light to the plate and turning it on. The LED light typically remains active for 15-30 minutes, depending on the brand.

If you have ever desired a brighter smile, schedule an appointment with your dentist to explore the option of custom whitening trays. These trays can help restore the freshness and radiance to your teeth. Whether you are interested in custom whitening trays or other whitening procedures, a dentist can guide you in the right direction. Take care and prioritize your safety!

Teeth Whitening Trays: How they Work, Cost, and Alternatives (2024)


What can I use instead of whitening trays? ›

While there are many whitening options, some popular alternatives to whitening trays include: Whitening Strips: Instead of teeth whitening trays, you may want to consider using whitening strips, which are one of the easiest types of teeth bleaching kits to use.

What do whitening trays cost? ›

For in-office teeth whitening, it costs about $400-$700. The take-home tray is about $300-$500 and under $100 for over-the-counter whitening.

What is the most cost effective way to whiten your teeth? ›

What is the cheapest way to whiten your teeth? ​Using 1 part baking soda and 1 part water to create a paste to use on your teeth is considered the most cost-effective solution to whiten your teeth at home.

Are dentist whitening trays worth it? ›

The benefits of using custom whitening trays

A custom whitening tray fits well on a patient's teeth, which leads to improved whitening as their teeth are evenly immersed in the bleaching agent. The mouth tray also helps prevent the bleaching solution from getting into the person's gums during treatment.

Can I whiten my teeth without trays? ›

It is possible to use teeth whitening gel without a tray, but it may not be as effective or as safe as using it with a tray.

Which is better, whitening strips or trays? ›

Using whitening strips for 30 minutes daily can take up to four weeks to see a noticeable difference in tooth shade. Custom-fitted whitening trays filled with a peroxide gel are the next fastest option. Using the trays for a few hours each day for one to two weeks results in a few shades of whiter teeth on average.

How long do teeth whitening trays last? ›

Take-home teeth whitening trays

Typically, teeth whitening trays are used multiple times over the span of a couple of weeks. As far as how long the results from take-home trays last, the answer varies for everyone. In general, the results will last for six to eight months.

How long do whitening trays stay in? ›

Place a small amount of teeth whitening gel into the tray(s). Place the whitening tray(s) in your mouth carefully, making sure that it is seated all the way. Remove any excess gel from the gum tissue with your finger or dry toothbrush. Keep the tray in your mouth for 30-60 minutes.

What are the side effects of teeth whitening trays? ›

One of the most common side effects is tooth sensitivity, which can occur during or after treatment. Overuse or misuse of teeth whitening products can also lead to enamel damage, gum irritation, and discoloration. Additionally, some types of tooth discoloration may not respond well to teeth whitening treatments.

Can yellow teeth become white again? ›

What Can Be Done to Whiten Yellow Teeth? If you're looking for a radical change in the coloring of your teeth, you need professional-grade whitening to get the job done. Your cosmetic dentist can provide treatment that penetrates deep into the enamel and removes years of stains with a powerful bleaching agent.

Why is teeth whitening at dentist so expensive? ›

All of these whitening methods contain a variety of peroxide compounds, according to the British Dental Bleaching Society. But what makes professional whitening cost a bit more is the difference in the active ingredients found in the whitening agent.

How can I permanently whiten my teeth? ›

Dental veneers are a great way to permanently whiten your teeth, so no more white strips and no need for whitening treatments. A dental veneer is a thin piece of porcelain material that is placed on top of natural teeth. They are bonded to the tooth with a cement-like material to ensure a stronghold.

Is it safe to sleep with teeth whitening trays? ›

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 the teeth. You can wear the trays whilst sleeping (8 hours).

How often should you whiten your teeth with trays? ›

Wearing the trays once every 2 months will keep your teeth at a very stable colour indefinitely, however if you want to keep them at an even brighter white, you may want to wear the trays once a month. Whitening gel, for maintenance, is available from the practice.

Is laser teeth whitening better than trays? ›

Laser teeth whitening in-clinic really just treats the surface of the teeth, so this will give great results but they will not last. Home whitening with the dental grade gel and trays alone will whiten the inside of the teeth, but not so much the surface.

Can I use my night guard as a whitening tray? ›

The fit and material of night guards are made specifically for protecting your teeth, not for holding whitening gel. Using them for whitening could lead to uneven results and potential gum irritation due to the gel seeping out.

What DIY teeth whitening works? ›

A perfect tooth whitening solution! Take one tablespoon of baking soda and two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Mix both the contents, and you'll end up with a paste. Use this paste to brush your teeth regularly.

Can you put teeth whitening gel directly on teeth? ›

For example, you always need to brush your teeth before applying the treatment gel. Depending on the product, you may need to wear the tray for a few hours during the day or overnight. Your dentist might recommend using the mouth tray for about two weeks to get the desired results. Be careful not to swallow any gel.

What happens if you forget to put teeth whitening gel in the fridge? ›

The challenge with such instability, however, is that all whitening gels will begin degenerating immediately upon manufacture unless they are kept under constant refrigeration. If left at room temperature or exposed to warmer climates and hot shipping temperatures, the peroxide gel will lose potency.

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