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Educational series on how to use teeth whitening gel with custom fitted trays

When you first get your custom whitening trays it can be a bit confusing as to how much gel is required per application as well as where to apply it in the trays so let’s take a moment to learn how use the teeth whitening gel sparingly so that you maximize the value of your teeth whitening gel purchase.

How to use teeth whitening gel With Custom Trays:

When applying the whitening gel to your trays keep in mind that whitening the back side and bottom of each tooth is not very important, in fact I would argue it’s a waste of your money and advise against it. In addition you want to minimize the gel’s contact with the gums due to minor stinging sensation. If you look at the photo below you will see that I enlarged a view of one of the front tooth impressions which has a drop or “blob” of gel applied to it. This “blob” is actually about 1/3 the size of a pea (assuming I am accurately visualizing the size of the average pea). Any amount larger than that I have shown will induce whitening gel overflowing beyond the tray and into your mouth.

Adjust the gel potion for each tooth based on the size of the tooth’s surface

Okay, so you can see how much I put on the front tooth but as the tooth’s surface gets smaller you should adjust the portion size accordingly. Just try and imagine how much gel would be required to cover the surface if the “blob” was spread and that is the amount you will need.

Strategy for inserting the tray onto your teeth

When inserting the tray into your mouth, you should attempt to run your teeth across the back side of the tray so when the front surface of your teeth come in contact with the surface of the tray it presses into it versus drags down into it. A downward drag will push the gel to the bottom of the tray thus limiting the amount that comes in contact with the front surface.

The gel does not taste bad, in fact it has a refreshing minty taste but the more contact it has with your gums and other skin like surfaces in your mouth, the greater the stinging sensation you will experience. Don’t be alarmed when you remove the trays from your mouth because you will see a gum discoloration that looks unnatural. Rest assured this will fade in a few hours. This is not a health concern and does NOT require medical attention.

If you have any further questions please email

Erin Stelbrink

Erin Stelbrink is a Registered Dental Hygienist with 5+ years of experience as a licensed hygienist and oral health care professional. She holds a passion for researching and acquiring awareness of the latest technologies and methods for providing valuable health care service and clinical treatment. Have more questions? Email Erin at