It’s a question many patients ask. Sometimes, they’ve heard stories from friends or family, or read something on the internet – teeth whitening procedures have caused pain. Here’s the truth.
Teeth whitening sensitivity
First, teeth whitening procedures should not cause pain, whether sharp or not. Pain is a sign something is off, and you need to see your dentist to find out what that is.
Teeth whitening procedures that use hydrogen peroxide, which includes most home tooth whitening kits, can cause sensitivity in some cases.
• Sensitivity of the teeth and gums can occur if a tray or whitening strip is left on too long;
• At-home kits use standard size trays, which may or may not fit the gums well;
• When the tray is loose or leaves areas open, the gums can come into direct contact with the hydrogen peroxide solution;
• In addition to possible direct exposure to the hydrogen peroxide solution, an ill-fitting tray can be abrasive and cause irritation of the gums.
DIY vs professionally made kits
A DIY kit can only be made according to standard specifications, and can only use a relatively weak solution for whitening. That’s why the results can be disappointing.
• Your dentist takes a mould of your upper and lower teeth;
• The tray you use at home is custom-made, and should fit your teeth and gums perfectly.
Your dentist will provide complete instructions on how to use the tray properly, and is available for any questions, or if you encounter any difficulties. If your teeth are sensitive, it is strongly recommended that you see a dentist for any whitening procedures rather than trying to use a home whitening kit.
Taking care of your dental health
Maintaining a good daily dental and oral hygiene regimen is crucial not only to oral health, but overall health. Even if a procedure, such as tooth whitening, is classified as cosmetic dentistry, it doesn’t mean that the process isn’t to be taken seriously.
• Teeth whitening is safe, and should be pain-free, when instructions are followed carefully;
• Teeth and gums may become temporarily sensitive, but the feeling should pass within a short period of time.
After whitening your teeth, remember that it’s everyday maintenance that keeps your healthy, white smile looking great.
Looking for advice on tooth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, or any aspect of your dental or oral health? You’ll find the answer at Dr. Robert Axelrad’s Dental Office in Brampton, ON.
If you’re looking for a well-regarded and highly skilled dentist in the Brampton area, make an appointment with Dr. Robert Axelrad by calling (905)-791-3867. Visit our website to learn more about our dental services.