While having stained teeth may not be due to improper dental hygiene, it can still be embarrassing. At-home or professional teeth whitening can help lighten your stained teeth and give you a brighter smile, but if you have sensitive teeth, you may be worried about going ahead with this. After all, sensitive teeth can become quite painful during even standard dental cleanings. Fortunately, there are doable whitening options for sensitive teeth.
The important thing to consider if you have sensitive teeth is the option of professional teeth whitening systems. While it is possible to buy a home tooth whitening system at the store, you can’t be sure that these systems will not harm your sensitive teeth. But if your dentist is overseeing the teeth whitening process, you can be confident that they will take all steps to ensure that this process moves forward without harm or discomfort to you. While it may be more expensive to have your teeth professionally whitened, the added cost is more than justified by avoiding the alternative of the pain that can come with home teeth whitening systems.
Why Whitening Products Make Tooth Sensitivity Worse
All whitening products contain hydrogen and carbamide peroxide. The amount varies between at-home and professional treatments, but any amount can irritate your teeth and cause either temporary or long-lasting sensitivity. Irritation occurs when the peroxide penetrates the tooth enamel to the soft layer of dentin where the nerve is located or reaches the gums. Other factors such as peroxide concentration, ill-fitting teeth trays, or not using them as prescribed can also affect the degree and duration of sensitivity.
Talk to Your Dentist Before You Start Whitening Sensitive Teeth
It is very important to deal with the dental health problems already causing your tooth sensitivity, such as gum disease or cavities, before beginning a whitening program. Thankfully, most dental health problems are easily treatable so you can begin a tooth-whitening program once these issues have been resolved.
Let’s look at the 4 most popular options for getting a whiter smile when you have sensitive teeth.
1. Professional Whitening Treatment
Professional tooth whitening performed by a dentist might be the best option for those with sensitive teeth. While professional whitening is the most expensive, it allows a dentist to monitor the process and ensure that your teeth remain safe throughout. They can also use gels and desensitizers to help reduce sensitivity while they whiten your teeth. In-office whitening is typically the most effective at removing stains and is long lasting compared to other whitening options.
Another avenue is purchasing a professional whitening kit from your dentist, which is typically less expensive than in-office whitening.
How Professional Teeth Whitening Works
For in-office whitening, your dentist will insert a teeth retractor into your mouth to help expose the teeth everyone sees when you smile. They will then apply a resin to your gums to prevent the peroxide from irritating them, which can cause increased sensitivity. Your dentist will then apply a bleaching gel, which will remain on your teeth for between 15 and 30 minutes. In less than an hour, you can walk out of your dentist’s office with a brighter smile.
If you choose to use a professional whitening kit, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and send them to the lab to make your teeth whitening trays. You will then receive trays and bleach that are approved for at home use. Typically, trays are worn for about an hour daily for two weeks.
No matter the option you choose, be sure to follow the maintenance routine recommended by your dentist to get the most value out of the whitening treatments.
2. Porcelain or Composite-Resin Veneers
If your teeth are severely stained, or your dentist determines that your teeth cannot handle whitening, then veneers may be the next best option. While porcelain veneers require a healthy amount of tooth enamel, composite-resin veneers require less, making them a better option for those who have sensitive teeth due to decreased enamel. Your dentist can help decide which veneers are appropriate for you.
How Veneers Work
For porcelain veneers, your dentist will attach custom-made shells over each individual tooth. Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains, very durable, and will match the size and shape of your natural teeth.
Composite-resin veneers are a tooth-colored material that is bonded to each tooth rather than a shell that covers the tooth. They are not as strong as porcelain veneers but are more easily repaired and cost less than porcelain veneers. Discuss with your dentist the different types of veneers best for you.
3. Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening
At-home tooth whitening kits and other over-the-counter whitening solutions are the most cost-effective options. However, many of these applications can easily irritate sensitive teeth and gums if not used as directed.
When choosing between whitening toothpaste, gels, strips, rinses and over-the-counter whitening trays, be sure to read the labels for warnings about sensitivity. There are many whitening products that are specially formulated to work with sensitive teeth, so look for these choices when looking for an over-the-counter whitening treatment.
Some whitening products may cause more discomfort than others. Test a few options to find the best choice for you. Products like whitening trays and strips may cause more irritation if your sensitivity is due to gum-related issues because the whitening gel is more likely to come in contact with your gums. However, if you have cracked or worn teeth, all whitening products may cause some irritation. Discontinue any products that cause pain or discomfort.
4. Maintaining Your Whitened Smile
After you get your teeth whitened, there are steps you can take to prolong the effects of your new brighter smile:
●Brush or rinse immediately after you eat staining foods like coffee, tea, wine and tomato-based products.
●Use a straw to protect your teeth from staining liquid.
●Eat more foods that help fight stains and keep your smile brighter including chewy tooth-healthy foods like apples, celery, yogurt and cheese.
Whiten Your Teeth With LIVFRESH
Yes indeed, a whiter smile is possible even if you have sensitive teeth! Especially when you use the right dental gel and whitening products. You don’t have to go far to find them - LIVRESH has just what you need right in our online store. Check out our dental gels and whitening products and start your journey towards whiter teeth today.