take home teeth whiteningInstructions for Whitening Trays

Take home whitening trays are a relatively inexpensive, safe and effective means of whitening and lightening your teeth. Although this whitening process can be very effective, the results are somewhat unpredictable and may not yield the degree of lightening desired. Dark gray or brown tetracycline stained teeth do not respond as well to take home whitening. Please be aware the color of crowns and silver (amalgam) and composite restorations (tooth-colored fillings) will not be affected by the bleaching procedure. Also note that teeth are naturally darker along the gum line, may require more time to lighten than the rest of the tooth surface and usually remain slightly darker; acceptable results can usually be attained in two to four weeks. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important before and after whitening to maintain a healthy smile.

Patient Instructions

Night-time Use:

  • At bedtime, brush and floss teeth, then rinse mouth well with water.
  • Put a pea-sized dot of the whitening treatment on the cheek-side part of the tray that will touch first front eight teeth.
  • Dry your teeth as much as possible.
  • Insert tray over teeth and allow the excess whitening material to run out of tray.
  • Gently wipe any excess material off the gum tissue. Rinse mouth and expectorate contents as necessary.
  • Wear the loaded whitening tray during sleep every night for two to three weeks. (The gel is active for two hours.)
  • After the prescribed time, remove the tray. Brush and rinse the residual gel from the teeth and inside of trays.
  • Avoid any dark liquids for at least two hours after removing your trays (such as coffee, tea, sodas, dark juices, red wine, etc.) and as much as possible while bleaching.

Day-time Use:

  • Brush and floss teeth. Rinse mouth well.
  • Put a pea-sized dot of the whitening treatment on the cheek-side part of the tray that will touch first front eight teeth.
  • As much as possible, dry off the enamel of your teeth.
  • Insert tray over your teeth. The excess material will run out of the tray, but this is normal.
  • Rub off excess whitening material that may remain on the gum tissue. Rinse out your mouth and spit out any excess.
  • Patients should wear the tray with the whitening material for two to three weeks, for about two to three hours. Remove tray for meals.
  • After two to three hours have passed, remove the tray. Brush your tray and your teeth. Be sure to rinse out any gel that remains.
  • After removing the trays, avoid drinking dark liquids for two hours. Coffee, tea, soda, red wine and juice should be avoided as much as possible throughout the whitening treatment.

Sensitivity or Gum Irritation:

If significant discomfort occurs due to tissue irritation, ulceration or tooth sensitivity, please follow the instructions below:

  • Bleach every second or third day. Use the tray during the day for one to three hours; use fluoride treatment or sensitivity toothpaste in your custom tray after you remove it. You may also brush your teeth with sensitivity toothpaste. Discontinue bleaching if your teeth become excessively sensitive. Food and juices high in citric acid can cause sensitivity.
  • Some patients have noticed temporary discomfort to the gums, lips, throat or tongue. Should any of these symptoms persist more than two days or progressively get worse, call Willowdaile Cosmetic and Family at 919-479-5800. These side effects will usually subside within one to three days after treatment has stopped.


  • Bleach teeth while pregnant or lactating.
  • Eat or drink while wearing your custom trays.
  • Use tobacco products while wearing your custom trays.
  • Use household products, products from the internet or unknown sources to whiten your teeth.
  • Expose the bleaching gel or trays to heat and/or sunlight as they will distort and not fit.
  • Freeze the bleaching gel. The bleaching gel can be refrigerated after completing all treatments.

Should the trays be lost or destroyed, there will be a charge for replacement. For questions about teeth whitening treatments in Durham, North Carolina, ask our dentists, Dr. Vincas Sidrys and Dr. Matthew Garcia, at any time during treatment.