Whitening Trays: A Quick Guide

Whitening Trays

Let’s face it, not every type of teeth whitening tray does the same thing, in fact, each are very different! We get asked daily: ‘Which Whitening Tray Should I Use?’ – so we’ve provided a quick overview of current whitening tray options.

Presently, whitening trays can be classified into four categories: Preshaped, Thermoforming, Pre-Filled, Custom Fit

Preshaped

Price: $40-80 (including gel) Fit: Poor

Are mouldable plastic trays which are moulded to your teeth by warming the tray in water and then shaped by pushing/sucking the tray over your teeth. Thermoforming Bleach Trays are one of the most common trays used by online whitening retailers. Teeth Whitening Gel is then applied to the trays and placed in your mouth to complete the whitening process.

They are a cost-effective tray option and are usually supplied in packets of two or three – one for your top and bottom teeth and one spare. The effectiveness of these trays is highly dependent on how well you ‘mould’ the tray to your teeth and the quality of the tray purchased – usually the price is a good indicator in reflecting the quality of the Thermoforming Tray.

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Tips:
  • Be cautious for overly cheap options – this usually reflects the quality of the material used.
  • Purchase a spare set of trays as it can take a few attempts to get a tight, suitable fitting tray.
Pre-filled Trays

Price: $20 – $150 (10-treatment box) Fit: Average – Good

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Are essentially the middle road when it comes to Teeth Whitening Tray options. The prefilled tray combines the ‘mouldable’ idea and contains whitening gel that is ‘in built’ into the tray. This option is great for those who are looking for total convenience, do not have whitening trays and require a whitening option that is ready to use straight out of the box.

The pre-filled trays are placed into your mouth for the recommended wear time. Like Thermoforming Trays these are readily available, and the whitening result depends heavily on how well the tray is moulded to the teeth. For this reason, usually dental professionals do not recommend Prefilled whitening trays as a suitable tray option. Pricing can fluctuate heavily depending on the brand; however, it is reasonable to expect about $8-15 per upper and lower treatment – long term this can become costly.

Saying this, due to increasing popularity Ultradent developed Opalescence GO! – a very effective option combining Opalescence Whitening Gel with Prefilled UltraFit Trays which seamlessly adapt to your teeth in response to your mouth’s ‘warm environment’. This product is popular, has a strong following, is backed by Opalescence’s Worldwide reputation, and takes the ‘risk’ out of purchasing one of the many unverified, online whitening products.

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Tips:
  • Check to see whether the trays mould to your teeth or are one-size fits all – steer clear of the latter.
  • Although convenient, crunch the numbers, in the long run you may pay more for each individual treatment.
Custom Fit Trays

Price: $200+. Fit: Excellent

This option is what your local dental practice offers, usually as a Take Home Whitening Kit i.e. with whitening gel and possibly a Tooth Desensitiser. Custom Fit Trays are fabricated from an imprint (impression) of your teeth providing the most accurate fit. This tray option tends to be the most expensive as each of your trays are 100% customised to your mouth and constructed using specialist dental laboratory equipment. In turn, this provides a safer, more effective whitening result and experience whilst limiting gel leaking into your mouth and onto your gums.

Whitening gel is applied to each of your trays and placed into your mouth for the recommended wear time. Custom Fit Trays can not only be used for teeth whitening treatments but with other professional products such as GC Toothmousse, Pola Soothe, UltraEz and Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief Toothpaste to assist in cavity and sensitivity prevention.

Unfortunately, due to the specialist and professional nature associated with fabrication they are only available from your dental practice with prices ranging between $250-$500+. Fortunately, The House of Mouth allows customers to take imprints of their teeth within the comfort of their own home and post them back to us. From here, your trays are fabricated and sent back to you with your choice of whitening kit (if so desired). It’s simple with all-inclusive packages starting at $229.

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Tips:
  • If visiting the dentist specifically for this option, confirm whether you must meet certain criteria before whitening e.g. they may require a check-up and clean first.
  • For at home options – be mindful of the time between placing your order and receiving your Custom Fit Trays. If possible, expedite your order with express shipping to reduce such issues.
The Verdict

There are many Teeth Whitening Tray options which differ greatly in price, availability, and effectiveness. Always do your research remember that not all options are the same despite many online retailers making claims they are. The take home points:

  • A tighter fitting and more customised whitening tray will result in more effective and safer teeth whitening.
  • Reputation is key – Always choose a professional whitening brand, gel, and tray product. It pays to do some research before simply jumping on in.
  • Seek professional advice – Whitening is not one size fits all. discuss your whitening options with a dental professional to determine a whitening product suited to your individual needs.

Check out our ‘Help Me Choose’ and ‘Virtual Consult’ tools to determine whether you are a tooth whitening candidate and to obtain guidance in selecting a gel.

Alternatively, Contact Us and one of experienced team members will be happy to assist.

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