Julia asked: “Some of my patients do not want to wear whitening trays during sleep. Is the daytime wearing of the trays adequate? What do I tell my patients?”

Thanks for this question, Julia. 

This is something that many dentists deal with, and yes, there is a massive difference between the effectiveness of daytime and nighttime wearing of trays in the KöR Whitening System.

First, let me address this question regarding whitening systems other than KöR….

You’ve no doubt heard about the multiple studies that have shown whitening gel in conventional “average” whitening trays only stays active for 20-35 minutes.  I’ve discussed the science behind these studies a few times recently in other blog posts, so I won’t bother discussing “why” here.

Given these studies, wearing conventional whitening trays during sleep seems to be somewhat of a waste of effort.  You’d get just as much whitening activity wearing trays for shorter periods during the day.

However, the way I designed KöR-Seal whitening trays results in providing a seal that helps keep whitening gel inside the trays, and most importantly, keeping damaging saliva and sulcular fluid out of the trays.  This results in a full 6+ HOURS of whitening (with some whitening activity out to ten hours) compared to only 20-35 minutes of activity in typical whitening trays.  I’ve recently discussed the science of this in recent blog posts also.

So, as you can imagine, when using the KöR Whitening system, nighttime whitening is many times more effective than daytime whitening.  Frankly, you’d never achieve the same result with daytime whitening.

So ask yourself, “Why is it that some patients are apprehensive about wearing whitening trays during  sleep?”  I’ll tell you exactly why…

When thinking about whitening trays, patients have a mental image of something large and bulky, like a sports mouthguard.  They don’t think it will be comfortable.

They also worry that the yucky gel will run into their mouth when they’re trying to sleep.

If you’re already a KöR Whitening provider, you have received multiple photos to show your patients.  Among those photos is a photo (with retractors in the patient’s mouth) that I took of a patient wearing KöR-Seal Whitening trays.  The KöR-Seal trays fit so precisely that it’s difficult even to see the whitening trays in the photo.

So here’s what I do:  I show this photo to the patient before discussing nighttime wearing of the trays.  And I say, “You can see how comfortable the whitening tray is.”  Most commonly, the patient responds, saying, “What whitening tray?”

I then point out what they’re looking at in the photo.  I tell the patient that I often have patients that tell me that the trays are so comfortable that they forget they even have the trays in their mouth when they wake up in the morning.  I’ve also had several times where patients have told me that they’ve started eating breakfast or having a cup of coffee without realizing the trays are in their mouths.  They always laugh when telling me that.

I also point out the seal at the rim of the whitening trays in the photo, and I explain that the seal prevents the gel from running out into their mouth.

After I’ve explained all of this, the patients don’t even question wearing the trays during sleep.

I hope this information is helpful.

Very best regards,


Dr. Rod Kurthy

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