Creating a brighter smile is something you may relish greatly, but there's a bewildering array of whitening treatments to choose from. If DIY whitening is your cup of tea, using a home teeth whitening kit might do the trick.
There are two main kinds of at-home whitening kits on the market: over-the-counter and professional kits. Over-the-counter kits can be purchased from retailers. You generally don't require a dentist's prescription to buy one of these. Simply shop, buy, and use.
Professional home whitening kits, on the other hand, are customized kits obtained from dentists. They are slightly pricier than over-the-counter alternatives but cheaper than the average in-office procedures.
Continue reading to learn about the steps involved in getting your home whitening kit from a dentist.
Getting A Pre-Whitening Dental Exam And Cleaning Done
Before attempting to whiten your teeth, your dentist will ask you to come in for a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth to detect any oral health problems that need to be addressed first. They'll also perform an in-office cleaning of your teeth to get rid of any excessive buildup of plaque and tartar that may prevent you from achieving the desired shade of white.
Creating Impressions Of Your Teeth
To ensure that the trays, which are similar to mouth guards, included in your home whitening kits will fit securely and comfortably when worn, your dentist will need to create impressions of your upper and lower teeth.
This can be achieved in one of two ways: using an FDA-approved dental putty or taking digital impressions of the teeth. These will then be taken to an offsite specialty lab to fabricate the trays. This part of the process may take several days or even weeks depending on the lab used.
Getting Your Kit
Once your teeth whitening trays are ready, you can pick them up from your dentist. During this visit, the dentist will give you instructions on the proper use of the kit. For example, you'll need to use enough of the peroxide-based whitening gel included in your at-home whitening kit to achieve optimal whitening results.
Your dentist may recommend follow-up visits to help you keep track of the treatment process.
Despite their popularity, home whitening kits may not be right for everyone. Visiting your dentist beforehand will help you to establish if you have any pre-existing conditions that may prevent you from using these teeth whitening products.