Teeth whitening is an extremely sought-after treatment in cosmetic dentistry because your smile is the first thing people notice about you. Whiter teeth are so high in demand that toothpaste companies make whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and other whitening kits that can be used at home.
At-home whitening kits you can pick up at the grocery store have the appeal of convenience, but they aren’t nearly as effective as those your dentist can customize for you. If you’ve been thinking about talking to your dentist about whitening your teeth, the fear of a painful experience might be holding you back. Here’s what you can expect when you start treatments.
Is Pain During Teeth-Whitening Normal?
Whitening treatments aren’t usually painful, but they can create tooth sensitivity. Teeth that are extremely sensitive to hot and cold are very common during and after whitening, but the results are usually temporary. Any discomfort shouldn’t last longer than 24-48 hours after a treatment.
If you experience sensitivity or pain that lasts more than a week or gets progressively worse, you should notify your dentist right away. This could be a sign of a more serious issue like cavities or receding gums.
Pain associated with teeth whitening is due to the active whitening ingredients that are being applied to your teeth. Store-bought whitening strips contain high amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is the most common culprit. Hydrogen peroxide is extremely effective in achieving a whiter shade on your teeth, but when it’s used in high concentrations the chances of feeling pain during and after whitening treatments are high.
Many professional whitening treatments also use hydrogen peroxide because of the dramatic results, but your dentist can help recommend a treatment plan that’s right for you. If you’re concerned about pain and sensitivity, they might recommend a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide or a shorter application time.
Discomfort doesn’t impact every person who undergoes whitening treatments, but it’s not uncommon especially for those who purchase store-bought kits. The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize any pain or discomfort that might come with whitening treatments. We recommend taking these precautions before, during, and after you whiten your teeth:
- Make sure you are using a professional whitening kit and follow your dentist’s instructions carefully.
- Use a toothpaste made specifically to help with sensitive teeth.
- Whiten your teeth less frequently and for shorter periods of time if they get too sensitive.
- Avoid hot or cold drinks.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever before treatments to reduce sensitivity while whitening.
Get Whiter Teeth with Oak Hills Dentistry
At Oak Hills Dentistry we offer customizable teeth whitening services that can help you find the perfect shade of white for your smile. We have two different whitening systems that deliver excellent results and can be done at home with minimal office visits. Contact our office in Layton, Utah to get started on the smile of your dreams today!