What You Can Do To Brighten Your Smile!

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans believe that a smile is an important social asset and that an unattractive smile can hinder your career success. White and healthy teeth give you the confidence to smile without hesitation.

However, teeth whitening and sensitivity may seem impossible. Chances are that you’ve come across a range of teeth-whitening products and have several questions in mind. How does it work? Is it safe for sensitive teeth? Does it accelerate hypersensitivity?

This blog explains everything you need to know about teeth whitening. Read on to find out if whitening is right for you.

What Can You Do to Brighten Your Smile?

About 1 in 8 Americans struggle with teeth sensitivity. If your teeth are too sensitive for whitening, there is hope for a brighter smile! A reputable dentist may be able to help you. Here is everything you need to know.

Start With Dental Examination

You may experience mild to sharp pains and discomfort when consuming hot or cold foods with sensitive teeth. A dental examination will check for the following:

Your Gum Line

If your gum tissue has receded, it can expose the unprotected roots of your teeth, which can result in sensitivity.

Cracks and Crown Chips

If your tooth is chipped or cracked,  the soft dentin or pulp inside the tooth can be exposed, resulting in pain and sensitivity.

Tooth Enamel

Enamel loss is one of the main contributors to tooth sensitivity and dental decay. Your tooth enamel erodes and wears out as a result of acidic bacteria attacking it. When this occurs, your teeth become vulnerable to dental cavities.

If left unchecked, this can cause pain, infection,  sensitivity, and even tooth loss.

How Are Teeth Whitened?

At the dentist’s office, during the whitening procedure, a rubber dam is placed over your teeth to protect the gums. Then, a bleaching product is painted onto your teeth.

Next, a laser is passed over your teeth to activate the chemical. The laser speeds up the reaction of the whitening product and the discolouration disappears. The process takes about an hour to brighten your smile.

Tooth Whitening Ingredients to Avoid If You Have Sensitive Teeth

With so many teeth whitening products on the market, it’s hard to know what is safe and effective. Here are a few ingredients you should avoid if your teeth are sensitive:

Hydrogen Peroxide

Although it is highly effective and commonly used as a clinical whitening product, peroxide is too harsh for people with sensitive teeth.

It contains bleaching gels, may cause mouth infections, and damage nerves and tooth enamel. If you’re unsure whether hydrogen peroxide is safe for you to use, check with your dentist.

Sodium Chlorite

This whitening gel contains an undisclosed percentage of sodium chlorite. It can cause poisoning if ingested.

Citric Acid

Citric acid can erode the surface of the teeth and cause sensitivity. Applying this type of gel to your teeth, particularly over an extended period, is likely to harm your gums.

Home Whitening for Sensitive Teeth

If you’re looking for brighter, whiter teeth, you may consider over-the-counter whitening products.

However, before you purchase any teeth-whitening product, check the ingredients, consider the application time, and choose products made specifically for sensitive teeth.

Below are some recommended at-home whitening products.

Whitening Gels

These are clear teeth-friendly peroxide-based gels which you apply with a small brush directly to your teeth. Application instruction varies, depending on the strength of the ingredients. They’re highly effective and initial results can be noted within 4 months.

Whitening Rinses

These mouthwashes contain little peroxide and are suitable for sensitive teeth. Rinse your mouth for around 60 seconds, twice a day for three months to see a significant change in the colour of your teeth.

Home Whitening Strips

Over-the-counter whitening strips are also popular. They’re designed to mould to the surface of your teeth and contain little peroxide. Even better, they’re slim and virtually invisible.

Professional Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth

Professional teeth whitening is always the best option for sensitive teeth. Since your dentist already knows you and your teeth, you can be sure the treatment will match your unique needs.

In addition, some dentists may offer sedation to alleviate irritation when whitening is performed. In-office treatments offer longer-lasting results compared to at-home whitening.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are artificial dental restoration crowns placed over your natural teeth. There are two main types of materials used to fabricate veneers: resin-composite and porcelain.

Resin-composite veneers are made up of coloured restorative materials used to replace a decayed portion of your tooth structure. They’re durable, resistant to fracture, can fix minor flaws and large damage, and are less expensive than porcelain.

Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin caps that are fitted over your teeth to improve their appearance. They’re a popular treatment because they are strong, stain-resistant, and identical to natural teeth.

Consult your dentist to discuss the different types of veneers available and decide which works for you.

Maintaining Your Smile: Care Tips for Whitened Sensitive Teeth

Caring for sensitive teeth after whitening can be a daunting process. Here are essential tips to maintain a bright and healthy smile:

  • Brush or rinse your teeth immediately after eating food or beverages like wine or coffee
  • Avoid smoking or tobacco products as they contain dark tar that accelerates discolouration
  • Use a straw while drinking dark liquids to protect your teeth from stains
  • Add calcium-rich foods to your diet such as milk, cheese, winter squash, or almonds.

Teeth Whitening and Sensitivity: Final Word

Having the perfect smile is often easier said than done. For your teeth to look white and healthy, you need to practice good oral habits every single day.

If you have sensitive teeth and want to whiten them, stay away from treatments and products that contain harsh ingredients that may irritate your teeth and gums.

At Highbury Park Dental, we take pride in our latest dental technology and advanced teeth whitening treatments effective for the whole family. We offer affordable dental treatment so that everyone can have a beautiful smile and boost their confidence.

What are you waiting for?

Book an appointment today or contact us at 613-440-7040 to learn more about teeth whitening and sensitivity. Take on the world with a gleaming smile!