I had Zoom whitening done about a year ago and the doctor gave me a tray and some gel to use at home for touch ups if I wanted. My teeth have retained their color and I’m still happy with them, but the stuff is just sitting around. My best friend has always wanted to try Zoom whitening, and I am thinking about giving her mine. I have four syringes left. That should be enough, I think. Is it safe for me to give her my kit?
Tina in Oregon
Your Zoom whitening take-home kit should not be shared. The first concern is the gel itself. Most of the time it’s good for about a year, but your dental office may have had it in stock for a while. There’s a chance that it has expired now, especially if you kept it in a bathroom or other warm environment. It should be clear, but if it’s cloudy or white, that means it’s no longer good. Of course, it still may be ineffective due to age, even if it’s not showing signs.
A second consideration is your friend’s oral health. It’s important to start with clean teeth, so that the gel can work properly. If she hasn’t had a cleaning in a while, trying to lighten her teeth now can lead to splotchy results. It’s also worth noting that the color of dental work won’t change. So, if she has fillings and crowns, those will remain the darker shade. It may not matter for back teeth, but it’s certainly a consideration if she’s had dental work anywhere that shows when she smiles.
Lastly, your trays were custom-made for you. You probably remember having impressions taken, and from those, a stone model was made that’s an exact replica of your teeth. The trays were made from that, and so they will not fit your friend. Even if she can get them on, they won’t be an exact match, which means she runs the risk of uneven whitening and possibly even sore gums from not being able to keep the gel off them.
The bottom line is that it’s a bad idea to share your Zoom teeth whitening kit. While it was a very thoughtful notion, it could leave her with bad results. It’s best if she visits a dentist and has a kit made especially for her, after having an exam and cleaning.