How Custom Whitening Trays Can Help Improve Your Smile

teeth whitening trayIf you avoid smiling as often as you’d like because you’re afraid you’d be embarrassed by how yellow your teeth are, you’d be glad to know there are safe and simple options available to help you with your problem.

A common procedure used to whiten teeth is a bleaching procedure using custom whitening trays. The procedure is very effective and most important of all, costs significantly less than the typical cosmetic dental procedure.

Why Custom Trays?

Many over-the-counter whitening trays are available and you can use them without having to consult your dentist. However, they are not as effective, nor as safe, as the custom-fitted whitening trays made by dentists.

One risk that comes with the use of over-the-counter whitening trays is that the tooth-whitening gel may leak out of the trays. This can cause irritation to your gums. Also, the trays don’t fit specifically to your mouth, which means that it won’t be able to whiten your teeth as effectively as a custom-fitted one would.

What To Expect

Before the dentist can make your custom trays, your dentist will have to clean and treat your teeth of any existing dental problems. Once finished, the dentist can then proceed to creating your custom tray, or sometimes referred to as custom bleach splints or stents.

The process starts with your dentist taking an impression of your teeth, using the resulting mold to create the trays. This typically takes a couple of days, so you’ll be asked to come back again for a second visit after the dentist finishes taking the impression.

After finishing the custom tray, your dentist will then instruct you to wear the trays for up to four hours a day for a week, or two at most. You’ll also have to place small amounts of bleaching solution into the clear trays every now and then for optimal results.

During this time, you should notice your teeth start to whiten gradually and after completing the process, you should enjoy significantly whiter teeth than before. However, to maintain their look, you’ll need an occasional treatment every now and then.

As for side effects, the only problem commonly reported is minor tooth sensitivity throughout the process. However, the sensitivity usually disappears a few days after the whole whitening process is finished. If the sensitivity persists, patients are advised to go back to their dentists to check for the underlying cause.

Keeping Teeth Bright and Shiny

The best way to maintain the teeth’s brilliant and shiny look is to take proper care of it, which includes doing the following:

  • Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes each session. If you want, you can ask your dentist for advice on the use of whitening toothpastes.
  • Flossing daily.
  • Avoiding stain-causing food and drinks, such as coffee, carrots, blueberries and so on.
  • Visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleaning.
  • Abstaining from chewing or smoking tobacco.

If you’ve been wishing that your teeth were a little bit brighter and whiter, then it may be time for you to talk to your dentist about custom whitening trays to help give you that bright and shiny smile that you’ve always wanted.

If you are interested in custom whitening trays, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit for additional information regarding teeth whitening.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodville, and surrounding areas.

Proper Dental Implant Care and Maintenance

dental implantsDental implants are used in people who are missing one tooth or many teeth. It works basically like the natural root of the teeth, only that it’s made out of titanium. It is surgically placed in the jawbone, allowing dentists to mount either the replacement teeth or bridge onto the said area.

The main advantage of implants is comfort and durability, thanks to the quality of the material it is made of and how the surgical procedure all but ensures that the implant doesn’t come loose, unlike dentures. Also, unlike dental bridges, dental implants do not need to use the adjacent teeth as anchors, making them better for oral health in general.

Tips for Proper Oral Care with Implants

To be a candidate for dental implants the patient must have healthy gums and the necessary bone to support the implant. The latter is especially important, as without it, it would be near impossible to place the implants unless the patient opts for a bone graft procedure or a sinus lift.

Given the procedure’s high success rate, dental implants are considered the ideal procedure for those who are looking for a more durable means of replacing lost teeth.

Durable as implants are, however, they will not last as long if not properly taken care of and these few steps will help make sure that your implants lasts for a long time.

  • Establish a proper oral care routine at home. The ideal home oral care routine includes brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes each session and flossing AT LEAST once. If possible, try to rinse with a mouthwash as well, to further rid your mouth of plaque and bacteria. It is also recommended for patients with implants to use brushes with bristles thin enough to be able to slide in between the teeth. This feature allows these toothbrushes to clean the nooks and crevices around the implant, leading to a more thorough clean.
  • Abstain from alcohol and tobacco. Regular smoking can lead to the weakening of the bone structure and may also increase the chances of implant failure. That and the wide slew of health risks that come with smoking is more than reason enough to stay away from it. The same can be said for regular or daily consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid chewing on hard food. Most people have a habit of chewing on hard food items, such as candy, ice, bottle caps and others. Those with dental implants should avoid doing so as it can lead to the premature breaking of the crown and may even damage the implant itself.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Regular dental exams and professional cleaning every three to six months can help make sure that your teeth and gums, as well as the implant, are in good condition.

Just how long your implant lasts depend a lot on how well you’re able to take care of your oral health. Follow the tips above and you’re sure to enjoy a healthy, cleaner mouth and an implant that lasts for years, if not decades!

If you’re looking to replace your missing tooth with a dental implant, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodville, and surrounding areas.