Professional whitening gel gives better and longer lasting results to over the counter products as the gel is higher strength and reaches deeper into the tooth to get the yellow out. The gel is applied by the patient at home into custom made trays and worn for a specified amount of time determined by the dental provider, usually just an hour a day, for 1 to 2 weeks depending on the amount of whitening desired. If time is not a factor, whitening just the upper teeth first, and not whitening the lower teeth provides a basis for comparison of the tooth color and progression of the whitening process. Of course, it is fine to whiten both upper and lower teeth at the same time, and when you reach the desired shade, discontinue use of the gel.
Whitening teeth is a safe procedure. Any type of whitening process may cause temporary tooth sensitivity. If you already have sensitive teeth, discuss this with your dental provider as they have special tips and instructions that may help to decrease the amount of sensitivity you experience when whitening. As the old adage goes, “no pain, no gain.” But remember the sensitivity is temporary. Avoiding very hot and cold beverages, and using a desensitizing toothpaste while whitening will decrease the amount of sensitivity. Just be sure to make an appointment with your family dentist or general cosmetic dentist for a whitening evaluation first! Happy whitening 🙂