Ever wanted to know what teeth whitening is really like? Our very own little guinea pig (*cough receptionist cough*) Kiara, details her experience with our take home whitening and has a few tips for you along the way.
So you’ve read pretty much everything there is to know about whitening; you’ve done your research on the best products, the best prices, the risks and the results and you’re feeling pretty confident you want to do it but you’re still not sure? Well that was exactly how I was feeling. I lost track of how many times I’d asked Dr Sara about the whitening or how many times I’d quizzed her on the best and safest products and methods but even with the professional advice I still had my doubts.
Fast track a few months and it was time for my dental check up (yes we get our teeth checked too) and Sara suggested we take the impressions. Now this was a touchy subject for me. Grab a cuppa, it’s story time (although if you don’t want to hear about my traumatising impression taking experience at my orthodontist then skip the next paragraph).
Several years ago I had to have impressions taken at my orthodontist and long story short, it wasn’t the best experience. They shoved two big trays, full of impression material, into my mouth and left me sitting there by myself having an internal freakout as I tried to convince myself that I wasn’t going to choke to death and that they would surely be back soon. Honestly, everytime someone walked past I tried desparately to make eye contact with them. One look at my face at that point in time would have told anyone that I wasn’t enjoying myself. Eventually they came back to take the impressions out, which by now were fairly set so it felt like they were going to rip my teeth out with the impressions.
Anyways, as you can probably understand I wasn’t exactly looking forward to having more impressions taken but Sara was great. She did one tray at a time, holding it in place for a minute or so before taking it out without me feeling like my teeth were being sucked out with the impression. It seems like such a minor thing but for me, Sara had made a bad experience a good one so I feel like it’s definitely important to share with you, especially if you’ve experienced something similar.
So after the impressions were taken and my check and clean was finished, it was up to me to do the rest, which was making the bleaching trays.
Now I should point out that for anyone else you wouldn’t be the one making the bleaching trays. We make them for you so all you have to do is sit back and relax and we’ll do the rest. If you want to see how the trays are made then check out our Instagram for all the behind the scenes action.
Only slightly excited…kidding I was definitely excited to start as I had a holiday coming up so I wanted to get some results before I left. My teeth were naturally pretty white to start with but I wanted to focus on my incisors which were slightly yellowed. After brushing and flossing my teeth, I started off by putting tiny drops on the incisor teeth of my top bleaching tray and a few of the teeth on the bottom tray. In went the trays and there they stayed for 30mins.
After taking them out I preferred to rinse really well (obviously, who wouldn’t) and then use my tooth brush with a bit of water to just brush away any residue. Voila! Night one done.
I’d be lying if I didn’t wake up the next day expecting to see instant results but it takes time. Patience is a virtue. But anyways, I just repeated the same process, no problem.
By now, my teeth were starting to get a little sensitive. Sensitivity is a weird feeling. You hear about it and think it can’t be that bad and then once you’ve experienced it…well…you just know. Basically for me, it was like a sharp kind of throb now and then. Luckily though I had started using the sensitive toothpaste so it was only really on the third day that there was any real sensitivity.
I decided to take a night off because my gums were feeling sore (note: don’t put too much of the gel in to avoid getting it on your gums…it can hurt. I learnt the hard way…).
Side note: a friend of mine, as well as Sara, had both commented on how my teeth were looking quite white. *Cue happy dance*
My teeth had already whitened quite a bit. I was finding that the 30mins was a bit too long so I just did the top tray for 15mins on this day because my bottom gums were still sore and when I had put the tray on them the stinging told me it was a “nope not happening” type of situation.
After another night off I put both trays in again but this time I put the gel on all of my top teeth (the ones you can see anyways) and most of my bottom teeth, leaving it for 15mins.
At the moment, I’m pretty happy with how they’re looking so I don’t think I’ll keep going for the time being. Plus I’m pretty stoked that I’ve gotten such a good result in a week! Overall the experience was really good. Yes I did get a bit of sensitivity and some stinging gums but that was an easy fix with sensitive toothpaste, a night off and better technique.
My only thoughts about the at home whitening kit for other people would be that it does take time. Now keep in mind that whilst you’re whitening your teeth, you’re supposed to stay away from “staining foods” such as tea and coffee, red wine and beetroot. For me that was easy, I don’t drink tea or coffee and I don’t have red wine either but for those of you who enjoy a glass of red with dinner and a coffee or two to get through the day, you may have other thoughts on having to deal without these staples for a week or so.
One thing that I did like about the whitening was that I could control it. I liked that I could customise it to me, only whitening my incisors and then the rest of my teeth to achieve an even, white smile.
Overall, I would definitely do it again and would 100% recommend it to anyone, but my advice would be to have a check up first because not everyone will be able to start whitening or achieve the results they see on tv or social media.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Fillings, crowns, veneers and dentures won’t whiten no matter how hard you try.
- The natural shade of your teeth will determine how white they end up. For example if your teeth are naturally greyish, then don’t expect to see them as white as snow
- Less is more so don’t over do it with the gel and stop whitening if you have any continuing discomfort