Having sensitive teeth doesn't mean that you can't reap the benefits of teeth whitening. Although it's true that teeth whitening can cause some short-term sensitivity, there are ways to avoid being in pain after you whiten your smile. Here are four top tips that can help you get rid of stains without worsening your sensitivity problems.
1. Try Whitening Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
When most people want a whiter smile, the first option they try is a whitening toothpaste. However, some whitening toothpastes contain highly abrasive materials, such as silica, which can make tooth sensitivity worse. Look for a toothpaste that offers gentle whitening or is labeled as being suitable for whitening sensitive teeth. Toothpastes for sensitive teeth typically contain potassium nitrate, which blocks tiny openings in the teeth, called dentinal tubules. Blocking these tubules reduces the sensation you feel in your teeth when you eat very hot or cold foods.
2. Ask Your Dentist About Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is a safe option for the majority of people with sensitive teeth. If you let your dentist know that you struggle with sensitivity, he or she can use a desensitising agent during the teeth whitening process to keep you comfortable during and after the procedure.
3. Try a Take-Home Treatment
Another option is a take-home whitening treatment. Your dentist can give you trays that contain a lower concentration of whitening gel than is used in the in-office whitening procedure. At home, you can wear these trays to gradually remove stains from your teeth. Although slightly slower than the in-office procedure, take-home treatments can successfully give you a whiter smile without worsening your sensitivity.
4. Don't Assume Natural is Better
You might assume that a tooth whitening method that uses only natural ingredients would be better for your teeth than one that uses chemicals. However, this isn't necessarily the case, particularly if you have sensitive teeth.
Many natural tooth whitening home remedies involve using acids, such as lemon or lime juice, to bleach stains away from the teeth. However, dentists claim that lemon juice isn't very effective for whitening teeth and that the high acid content can damage the protective outer layer of the tooth, which could lead to more sensitivity. When you have sensitive teeth, it's more important than ever to stick to approved whitening products and professional treatments, as the natural approach can leave you in pain.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.