The Smart Side of Beautiful

Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth: It's Possible!

by Nicole C. Bridge
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As you know, there are plenty of whitening options available these days if you're thinking about adding that special sparkle to your smile. But there's always the worry that there could be side effects like sensitivity. Before you take the plunge, here's when you need to know when it comes to teeth whitening for sensitive teeth.

How Does Whitening Work?

When scanning the different options, it helps to know how each one works. You can whiten teeth two different ways: with bleaching products or non-bleaching products. Bleaching uses peroxide to change the natural color of the tooth by lightening both surface and internal stains. Non-bleaching products usually just focus on lifting surface stains.

The American Dental Association (ADA) says that sensitivity is the most commonly reported side effect either during or after peroxide-based teeth bleaching. Sometimes you'll feel the sensation at the beginning of a bleach-based whitening treatment, because the hydrogen peroxide penetrates through the enamel, reaching the layers beneath it and stimulating your nerve endings.

The bleaching agents can also irritate the gums and the soft tissues in the mouth, especially if the trays used for the whitening agent don't fit very well. So just make sure you're paying attention to what your mouth is telling you. A great smile goes along way, but there are ways to avoid the discomfort.

How Can You Avoid Sensitivity?

The amount of bleaching agent you're using can be one of the causes for sensitivity. Professional treatments, which involve higher concentrations of bleaching agent, can potentially cause more irritation than over-the-counter products like whitening toothpastes such as Colgate® Optic White® Toothpaste, that's enamel safe and formulated for daily use.

Don't let worry of a painful mouth keep you from pursuing your boldest smile. Follow these tips and ask your dentist about teeth whitening for sensitive teeth to stay healthy and beautiful.

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