What are Custom Teeth Whitening Trays? – Let’s Find Out

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures, especially among adolescents and adults. Many people choose to try teeth whitening by using home whitening kits. Looking at the increasing demand for teeth whitening, many manufacturers have tried to make unique products.

However, bleaching with custom whitening trays is one of the best methods of teeth whitening at home. Custom teeth whitening trays are usually fabricated at a dental office but the procedure can be performed at home without the supervision of the dentist. (1)

The American Academy of Cosmetic dentistry recommends the use of custom teeth whitening trays as they are the safest and most effective tools for teeth whitening at home. Some of the benefits of custom teeth whitening tray includes –

  • It is custom made. Therefore, it fits well on the dental arch of each patient
  • The whitening gel does not leak out of the trays as it usually does in iff-fitting whitening trays
  • Minimizes the risk of gum irritation
  • As the bleaching gel stays on the tooth surface, the whitening efficiency is better than other products (2)
  • The custom whitening trays are made in line with the bite of the patient promoting comfort
  • They do not slip out of the tooth surface


As mentioned above, most fo the custom teeth whitening trays are made by a dentist’s assistance. However, before starting the procedure, the dentist usually cleans the teeth using an ultrasonic scaler to remove the plaque, calculus, and food debris. The custom-fitted trays are made in the following way –

  • After teeth cleaning the dentist records the impression of each dental arch using a rubber or polymer material
  • A mold is made using the impression to replicate the dental arch of the patient with the exact shape and size of the teeth and gums (3)
  • The trays are then molded over the model. This may take a couple of days to complete.
  • The trays are trimmed, and the edges are smoothened
  • The dentist then gives instructions to the patient on how to use the whitening trays and gels at home.

Teeth whitening procedure using custom-fitted trays –

  • A small amount of the bleaching gel should be applied on the clear trays
  • Place the tray with bleaching gel on the teeth and keep it on for about four hours per day for one to two weeks.
  • The whitening procedure with custom-fitted trays is an occasional treatment. Therefore it should not be used for more than the required time
  • Remove the trays and rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water
  • Clean the trays with a brush and water

Side effects

Although custom teeth whitening trays are one of the safest and effective methods of teeth whitening at home. However, there are a few risks or side effects associated with the use of custom teeth bleaching trays –

  • Patients may experience a small percentage of tooth sensitivity, especially to cold food and beverages during teeth whitening with custom-fitted trays at home. However, the sensitivity may disappear within 2-3 days of treatment completion (4)
  • The custom-fitted tray minimizes the risk of gum irritation. However, the patients who do not follow proper instructions tend to apply a large amount of bleaching gel in the trays, which may lead to overflow of the material to the surrounding tissues.

With a little care and alertness, while using the custom teeth whitening tray, patients can take advantage of the fruitful results of teeth whitening at home.


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