There are a number of reasons why an individual may want to whiten their teeth. From wanting to look and feel more confident to simply trying to improve the overall appearance of their smile, there are countless benefits that come with having a whiter and brighter set of pearly whites. But is teeth whitening painful?
What is teeth whitening?
Tooth whitening is a dental procedure that uses bleaching agents to remove stains and discolouration from the surface layer of the tooth enamel. The bleaching agent typically contains either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in high concentrations and works by breaking up the molecules that cause staining on the enamel. This helps reveal brighter, whiter teeth without causing any damage to the enamel.
How does teeth whitening work?
The process starts with a consultation with your dentist to determine which type of treatment will be most effective for you.
During this time, your dentist will evaluate your oral health and make sure you do not have any underlying conditions that could affect results or cause sensitivity during treatment.
Once they have determined which type of treatment is appropriate for you, they will create customised trays specific to your mouth’s shape and size so that the bleaching solution stays on the surface of your teeth for optimal results.
Afterwards, you’ll return for follow-up visits where your dentist can make any necessary adjustments until you achieve desired results.
What are the various types of teeth whitening treatments available?
At-home whitening kits
At-home whitening kits are a great option for people who want to whiten their teeth in the comfort of their own homes. These kits usually include products, such as trays, gels, pastes, strips, and even LED lights, that will help you get the desired results in your own home. As long as you adhere to the instructions and use the products as directed, at-home whitening kits can be an effective way to whiten your teeth at home.
Take-home whitening trays
Take-home whitening trays are another option if you prefer not to do an at-home kit but don’t want to go through with professional treatments either. They come preloaded with a bleaching agent that is customised by your dentist specifically for you and your smile. The trays are worn overnight or during designated periods throughout the day, depending on what the dentist prescribes for you. Results vary based on how often they are used and how long they are worn each time they are used, so it’s important to stick to the schedule prescribed by your dentist if you want to achieve maximum results from this type of treatment plan.
In-office whitening treatments
In-office whitening treatments are typically done by a professional dentist in a controlled environment where they can monitor your progress and ensure that your treatment is safe and effective. These treatments usually involve using powerful bleaching agents that can quickly remove deep stains from your teeth while providing fast results in just one session. In-office treatments are often more expensive than at-home options, but they typically provide much better results in less time.
Laser teeth whitening
Laser teeth whitening is another popular option for those looking for fast and effective results. During this treatment, a special laser light is used to activate a bleaching agent on your teeth which helps it penetrate deeper into the enamel for faster results. Laser teeth whitening does not involve using any harsh chemicals or abrasives on your teeth which makes it an ideal choice for those with sensitive gums or enamel erosion issues.
Is teeth whitening painful?
Teeth whitening can be an effective way to brighten and whiten teeth, but one of the common questions is whether it is painful or not. Generally speaking, teeth whitening procedures are relatively painless, although some people may experience mild tooth sensitivity during or after the treatment. In these cases, it’s important to follow any advice provided by your dentist when having a professional teeth whitening procedure. Be sure to ask questions if you feel uncomfortable throughout your teeth whitening treatment, as most dentists are more than happy to help make sure you’re comfortable and safe during the process.
How to manage tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening?
Here is how to manage sensitive teeth after teeth whitening.
Avoid hot and cold foods or beverages
The first thing to do is to avoid foods and beverages that are particularly hot or cold after you’ve whitened your teeth. These extreme temperatures can exacerbate the sensitivity and make it even more uncomfortable than it already is. Try sticking to room-temperature food and drinks for a couple of days until the sensitivity has subsided.
Brush gently and floss regularly
It might seem counterintuitive, but brushing too hard when your teeth are sensitive can actually make them even more sensitive! To minimise discomfort, brush lightly and use short strokes instead of long ones when brushing around sensitive areas of your mouth. It’s also important to floss regularly—this will prevent any plaque buildup from getting worse, which could lead to additional pain or discomfort.
Use desensitising toothpaste
Another way to deal with tooth sensitivity after whitening is to use desensitising toothpaste twice a day for several weeks after whitening. This type of toothpaste contains compounds that block sensations in the nerve endings of the teeth, reducing their sensitivity significantly. Be sure to follow the directions on the package carefully to get the best results.
Transform your smile into something brighter and more beautiful at My Local Dentists
If you’re looking for a way to transform your smile, then tooth whitening may be the right choice for you. At My Local Dentists, we offer in-office whitening treatments that are designed to suit your individual needs. Our caring dentists will make sure you are informed of the process and that any potential discomfort or sensitivity is addressed before, during, and after your treatment.
Please contact us today to book your consultation.
Tooth Whitening: What We Now Know
Teeth Whitening Options and Safety