If you have sensitive teeth, the dentist is probably a huge source of anxiety. Luckily, you’re not alone.
In fact, 1 in 8 Americans has sensitive teeth. Although this is not a visible condition, that doesn’t make it any less real. If you have sensitive teeth, you know how much it affects your daily life. You may even avoid certain food altogether, especially for temperature or acidity.
Dentists have discovered that sensitive teeth happen when enamel or cementum wears away, exposing nerves on your teeth. It’s certainly a real condition, and the worst part of having sensitive teeth is that the field of dentistry has yet to develop an adequate treatment for it.
Still, having sensitive teeth doesn’t need to deter you from beneficial procedures like teeth whitening. Check out these facts about sensitive teeth whitening treatments to put your mind at ease.
Sensitive Teeth Whitening at Home
If you’re brave enough to try whitening your own teeth at home, make sure to speak with your dentist first. They can make sure you don’t have any outlying dental issues that can aggravate your tooth sensitivity. Also, your dentist can help you make sure the kit you’re using is actually effective before you go through the trouble.
Make sure the kits use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in them, otherwise they won’t be able to take care of the discolorations on your teeth. The kits should yield a result that’s a couple of shades lighter.
Of course, if you have sensitive teeth, the process is a bit more difficult. You may need to work up to the full treatment time advertised on your kit. You will want to keep the product on your teeth for a fraction of the time so you can gauge how your teeth feel before you go full throttle.
To prepare your teeth, use special toothpaste for sensitive teeth for at least a full week before the treatment, and continue using it throughout. You can also avoid hot or cold foods for this time to play it extra safe.
Ten to fifteen percent of people who whiten their teeth at home stop the treatments early because of their tooth sensitivity, so it’s important to follow these precautionary steps.
Additionally, products without peroxide chemicals will cause you less potential pain. However, as previously stated, the whitening kit will be less effective without them.
Sensitive Teeth Whitening with a Professional
Still, no matter how much prep work you do for a home whitening kit, the safest option is to make an appointment with a dental professional.
A dentist will be able to evaluate your teeth and decide which method of whitening is best. They can also tell you if whitening is not a good idea.
A dentist can also administer some topical pain relief to help you during the sensitive teeth whitening process. The most effective topical medicine is usually not available to those working outside the medical profession, but it’s something you’ll wish you had if your teeth start acting up.
Whatever you do, don’t try to cut corners and seek out whitening services from anyone besides a licensed dentist. Although some businesses may offer a teeth whitening service as a simple beauty routine, they have the potential to do some serious damage to your teeth. This is especially dangerous if your teeth are already sensitive.
You can always purchase an official teeth whitening kit from your dentist, but again, no professional will be there to assist you if something goes wrong.
In the dental office, most teeth whitening treatments take only 30 minutes. It’s much faster than using a teeth whitening kit that you apply for days. A more efficient and professional experience is worthwhile.
Keeping Your Teeth White
Finally, if you keep your teeth whiter, that means you’ll have to undergo less whitening treatments overall. Check out these 5 methods of keeping your teeth white.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Coconut oil pulling has been met with some controversy in the past, but it really does whiten your teeth. It loosens all the gunk stuck to your enamel. Actually, its bacteriostatic properties will leave you with fresher breath as well. For sensitive mouths, the best part of this method is that it’s completely painless. Just make sure to oil pull before you brush your teeth, or your mouth will be slimy for the rest of the day.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Following that hippie remedy is apple cider vinegar. Any Google search will show you that apple cider vinegar can be used for virtually everything, and teeth whitening is included in the list. The acidity in the vinegar will eat away those unwanted stains on your teeth.
Activated charcoal is a quick and easy way to keep your teeth fresh. It looks terrible, but don’t be fooled. Although it might make your mouth black initially, you’ll wash it off to find your teeth whiter than ever. However, like whitening treatments, this should be avoided if you have crowns.
If you haven’t heard of it, vitamin K2 is being touted as the next great miracle cure. It’s already known to be effective for clearing up dark circles under the eyes, so how about the teeth? The composition of the vitamin helps keep the stuff behind your enamel (the dentin) strong. This is especially important because it’s very difficult to whiten dentin once it yellows.
Avoiding White Stains
If you can manage it, stay away from tea, coffee, cola, and cigarettes. These products are a huge source of the discolorations people try to get rid of. If you avoid them, you avoid the headache — but if you just can’t give them up, at least be consistent with brushing your teeth after using any of the four.
Doug Lewis Dentistry
Deciding on a dentist you trust can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. At Doug Lewis Dentistry, Dr. Doug Lewis and his staff maintain high patient reviews across dozens of reviews. Dr. Doug Lewis himself has 5 out of 5 stars from 43 reviews on Google.
Patients of all ages, from 18 to 80, trust Doug Lewis Dentistry to handle their sensitive teeth whitening with care. Check out our teeth whitening treatments and set up an appointment today!