Tooth whitening trays are one method of whitening your teeth at home. Dentists recommend dentist-dispensed take-home whitening kits because they contain a higher percentage of bleach for better results.
The dentist will take custom molds of your teeth and create fitted application trays made of flexible plastic. Fitted trays ensure bleach stays in close contact with the teeth for best results, they prevent saliva from diluting the bleach, and they minimize the amount of bleach that can leak out and possibly irritate the gums. Over-the-counter trays do not fit the teeth precisely, leading to leakage of bleach and sensitive gums.
Tooth bleaching products are either stored in syringes and added to trays before use, or pre-loaded into the trays. A dentist can also adjust the bleach concentration and give you a desensitizing agent to use before or after application. Kits often provide enough gel for one two-week treatment per year, plus enough for a few touch-ups in between.
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