Professional teeth whitening is one of the most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry. Unfortunately, many people are afraid to try whitening treatments because they worry that the procedure will make their teeth more sensitive. If you long for a whiter smile but have sensitive teeth, follow these tips to remove stains without making your sensitivity worse.
Ask Your Dentist About In-Office Whitening For Sensitive Teeth
Professional teeth whitening sometimes causes sensitivity because it unblocks tiny openings called dentinal tubules. Opening up these gaps allows fluid to flow into the tooth, exposing the sensitive inner part of the tooth to stimuli such as hot and cold. Thankfully, cosmetic dentists are developing methods of tooth whitening that use desensitising agents, such as fluoride gel, to block the tubules back up after the bleaching gel has removed stains. Ask your cosmetic dentist what steps they take to prevent sensitivity resulting from their in-office whitening treatments.
Try Gentle Take-Home Whitening Treatments
As well as whitening teeth in their offices, cosmetic dentists can also prescribe take-home whitening trays that you wear for an hour or two to whiten your teeth. Ask your dentist whether you can have a take-home tray that contains a lower concentration of bleaching gel. You might need to wear the trays for longer to achieve the same whitening results, but the extra time investment will be worthwhile if it prevents you from developing sensitivity.
Use a Whitening Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth
Whitening toothpastes produce slower results than professional whitening treatments, but they can be very gentle on sensitive teeth. Choose a whitening toothpaste that is designed to remove stains from sensitive teeth to give yourself the most comfortable whitening experience. Toothpastes for sensitive teeth contain ingredients that block dentinal tubules, such as potassium nitrate. Avoid whitening toothpastes that include silica, which is an abrasive material that can wear away tooth enamel and make sensitivity worse.
Beware of Natural Teeth Whitening Methods
If you have sensitive teeth, you might be tempted to try one of the many natural whitening remedies that abound online. Unfortunately, many of these natural methods are worse for sensitive teeth than commercial whitening products or professional teeth whitening techniques. In particular, you should steer clear of natural whitening methods that involve using lemon juice. According to dentists, applying lemon juice to your teeth can make them more sensitive, as the citric acid weakens and erodes the enamel. Stick to whitening products that have been tested and approved as safe.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!