How to Use Teeth Whitening Trays

In Canada, 75% of adults visit the dentist once a year. Dental decay has decreased significantly in the last 40 years, which has caused a shift in dental concerns for patients.

For example, many are now focused on the quality of their smile. This includes how their teeth are shaped, aligned, and colored.

For the last issue, teeth whitening is a very accessible and affordable option.

Are you interested in getting whiter teeth? Then keep reading. Here, you’ll learn how to use teeth whitening trays so you get the brightest and whitest smile possible!

Types of At-Home Teeth Whitening Trays

Before we discuss how to use at-home teeth whitening trays, let’s first explore the types available. In general, you’ll have the choice of over-the-counter or custom-made whitening trays.

Read on to find out more about each type.


Over-the-counter teeth whitening trays can be found on the shelves of drugstores and other retail locations. You might see these advertised as teeth bleaching kits.

All you have to do is go to one of these locations to pick up a kit and it’s as simple as that. You don’t need to consult with a dental professional to use these.

These kits typically contain flexible trays and the whitening agent (usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). Consumers can then follow the instructions on the kit to whiten their teeth at home.


On the other hand, you can get custom-made teeth whitening trays from a dentist. You’ll have to make an appointment and they’ll do a thorough exam of your teeth, including taking an impression of your mouth and teeth. The custom trays are made from this impression, which ensures that they’ll fit perfectly.

Once these trays are ready, you can pick them up at a second appointment, where the dentist will explain how to use them properly. You can then take them home to use.

Why Are Custom-Made Trays the Better Teeth Whitening Method?

You might think that over-the-counter teeth whitening trays are preferable to custom-made ones. After all, you don’t need a dental appointment, which means you’ll not only save time but also some money.

However, we strongly recommend that if you want to whiten your teeth at home, you should get the trays custom-made by a dental professional. There are several reasons for this.

First of all, dentists have access to much stronger peroxide trays, which means they’ll be a lot more effective than over-the-counter trays.

Also, without the care of a dental professional, you might use over-the-counter trays incorrectly. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, enamel erosion, and uneven teeth whitening.

How to Use Teeth Whitening Trays

Now that you’re convinced that custom-made trays are the better teeth whitening method, the next step is to learn how to use these trays. While your dentist will certainly go over these instructions with you, it’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with them before you even go for your appointment.

Below are the steps on using professionally-made teeth whitening trays.

Make Your Teeth as Clean as Possible

Before you use teeth whitening trays, it’s best to clean your teeth as possible first. This ensures that nothing is stuck on or in between your teeth, which can result in uneven whitening.

So right before you use your trays, make sure you brush and floss your teeth thoroughly.

Prepping Your Trays

Your dentist should’ve already done this, but quickly check that the trays fit your teeth. Wipe down the tray if it’s gotten wet, as any moisture will reduce the efficiency of the gel.

Now take the whitening gel and fill the tray just halfway. Do not fill it up all the way. You’ll only need around 0.5 ml of gel per arch.

Inserting Your Trays

After you’ve applied the whitening gel, insert the tray firmly against your teeth. Some gel might ooze out; this is normal.

To get rid of this excess gel, hold the tray in place with 1 hand while you wipe away the gel with either your finger or a tissue. Try not to move the tray around for too long.

Wearing Your Trays

The exact time you should wear your teeth whitening trays will depend on several factors. Here are some of them:

  • The original condition of your teeth
  • If you’ve whitened your teeth before

Because these factors are so personal, for this part, you’ll need to closely follow the directions of your dentist.

In general, if you’ve never whitened your teeth before, you should wear your tray for about 30 to 60 minutes for the first time. If you’re comfortable with it, you can increase the wear time slightly if you don’t experience any sensitivity.

Removing Your Trays

Once the wear time is over, remove the tray carefully from your teeth. Get a glass of water and thoroughly rinse your teeth of the whitening gel. You can then continue with regular brushing and flossing.

If you find that your teeth are too sensitive, you can use desensitizing gel. The instructions for using this gel are generally the same as using the whitening gel.

Taking Care of Your Trays

You’ll want to take good care of your trays so they don’t get dirty. You can scrub them with either your toothbrush or Q-tips. All you’ll need is cold water to do this.

When you’re not using your teeth whitening trays, you should store them in the holders they came in. Make sure to keep your trays in a cool and dry place.

As for the whitening gel, you can keep it in the refrigerator.

Get the Smile You Deserve

Now you know about the different types of teeth whitening trays, as well as why you should get professional custom-made ones. While over-the-counter whitening trays may be slightly more convenient and cheaper, the long-term ramifications to your dental health just aren’t worth it.

So do the best thing for your teeth and see a dentist about personalized teeth whitening trays. Not only will these get you the best results, but they’ll also keep your oral health at its best!

Do you need teeth whitening in Georgetown? Then get in touch with us now! We’re currently taking new patients.

Halton Village Dental Dental

At Halton Village Dental, we are a team of caring, experienced dental professionals. At our community-focused practice, your comfort & satisfaction come first.

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Since your comfort & health are our top priorities, Halton Village Dental’s staff is glad to assist you in any way.