Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

4 Teeth-Whitening Tips for People With Sensitive Teeth

by Brett Clark

If you have sensitive teeth, you might worry that professional and at-home teeth whitening treatments could make the sensitivity even worse. While it is the case that sensitivity can temporarily increase after a whitening treatment, there are some tricks you can use to reduce the discomfort and enjoy the benefits of a whiter smile. Follow these four tips for whitening your sensitive teeth.

1. Choose Whitening Toothpastes Carefully

Many whitening toothpastes are made with abrasive substances which are designed to scrub the stains from your teeth. Unfortunately, if your teeth are sensitive, exposure to these harsh materials can cause discomfort.

Whitening toothpastes for sensitive teeth contain gentler whitening agents that slowly whiten teeth without increasing their sensitivity. They also contain a desensitising substance, such as potassium nitrate, which treats tooth sensitivity while the other ingredients in the toothpaste work on giving you a whiter smile.

2. Ask a Cosmetic Dentist About Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth

When you want to whiten your teeth, the best option is usually to go to a dentist that offers cosmetic dental care. Dentists with years of experience in providing teeth whitening know how to reduce discomfort for people with sensitive teeth. Tell your dentist if you are worried about sensitivity, as they might suggest using a densensitising agent to reduce the amount of discomfort the procedure causes.

3. Whiten Teeth With Take-Home Trays

Many people opt for in-office teeth whitening because it delivers quick results. However, another treatment is available for people with sensitive teeth. Cosmetic dentists can provide trays that contain a gentle whitening gel, which you wear at home to gradually restore your teeth's natural whiteness. You will need to commit to wearing the trays for several hours, but the lack of sensitivity after the treatment could make up for the fact that it takes longer than in-office whitening.

4. Natural Is Not Necessarily Gentler

Some people assume that natural methods of whitening teeth will be gentler on their sensitive teeth than professional whitening provided by a cosmetic dentist. However, natural tooth whitening remedies often involve applying strong acids, like citric acid, to the teeth. Acids from fruit, vinegar and other natural sources can damage tooth enamel, leading to an increase in sensitivity. If you want to whiten your already-sensitive teeth without pain, it is best to ask your dentist for advice instead of taking a chance on a natural home remedy.