26 Sep Tooth Whitening & Sensitivity
How to Avoid Sensitivity When Whitening Teeth
Tooth whitening is the safest, most conservative cosmetic procedure available in modern dentistry. Dentists love the fact that they don’t need to cut the teeth and patients love the great results they can achieve, usually in just a couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, around 80% of patients will experience some degree of tooth sensitivity during their whitening treatment, so it’s important to have the right products on hand before you start.
General tips for anyone thinking about tooth whitening
- Get a dental examination first. It is important that your general dental health is in order before moving on to cosmetic treatments.
- Your dentist will take impressions and make custom whitening trays which fit snugly over your teeth, high quality trays are crucial to getting a good result.
- Ask to be shown how to load the gel into the trays. Most patients will try to use far too much gel, this wastes money, could harm your gums and won’t speed the process up.
- Start using a de-sensitising toothpaste for about a week before you begin whitening. Continue to use this during the treatment and for about a week afterwards.
What if I already have sensitive teeth?
- Don’t worry, you can still do some whitening! You will have to put in a little more work to keep the levels of sensitivity manageable during the treatment, but it’s certainly possible.
- Mention your sensitivity to your dentist, pointing out any individual teeth which are a particular problem.
- Start using a de-sensitising toothpaste if you don’t already do so.
- For one week prior to using the whitening gel, fill your whitening trays with Tooth Mousse (made by GC) and wear for 15-30 minutes each day. This product is made from milk proteins which can help repair areas of damaged tooth structure and reduce sensitivity.
- When you begin the whitening process, wear the trays with Tooth Mousse for up to 30 minutes immediately prior to each whitening session.
- Once you have finished whitening your teeth, continue using Tooth Mousse daily for a week.
A few words of warning
Professional tooth whitening is very safe and highly successful, but illegal, unregulated tooth whitening continues to be a problem in the UK. Only dentists and other suitably qualified healthcare professionals are legally allowed to prescribe tooth whitening gels and it is illegal to provide these gels to patients under 18 years of age (except in some exceptional circumstances). Unregulated tooth whitening is dangerous, whether it is found online or on the high street, your health could be put at risk by using the wrong products or by using them incorrectly. By going to a dentist for tooth whitening, you can be confident that you are receiving the correct materials in safe but effective concentrations, and that if you do experience any unexpected problems you can seek professional help and advice.
Keep brushing, keep smiling and remember if you require further information on teeth whitening in Edinburgh please do give us a call at Stafford Street Dental Care on 0131 225 7576
Dr Calum Imray