Preventing sensitive teeth when whitening

If your confidence has taken a hit at the hands of stained, discoloured, or yellowed teeth, you may have considered teeth whitening to brighten up your smile.

Teeth whitening – be it at-home or in-practice treatment – is the quickest way to remove surface stains and improve discolouration.

However, regardless of whether your treatment is performed by a professional or not, you may still experience some sensitivity during your course of teeth whitening.

You know what they say – beauty is pain. But it doesn’t have to be.

Luckily, there are some ways you can steer clear of sensitive teeth when whitening, and here, our experts at Revitalise explain how.

What causes sensitive teeth when whitening?

Most teeth whitening products, especially those provided by dentists for both at-home and in-practice use, contain hydrogen peroxide – the bleaching agent that works to remove stains and improve discolouration.

This soaks through your tooth enamel and exposes the nerves in your dentine (the dense, bony tissue that sits below the enamel), and as a result, some sensitivity when brushing your teeth or drinking hot or cold drinks is to be expected.


Preventing sensitive teeth when whitening - Revitalise Dental Centre


Can I do anything to prevent sensitive teeth when whitening?

Feeling some sensitivity when whitening teeth is completely normal – especially within the first 24-48 hours of starting your treatment.

However, there are some things you can do to ease any pain or discomfort you’re experiencing:

Take a pain reliever before you begin whitening

Taking an over-the-counter pain relief medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, before you apply your whitening treatment (or go to the dentist for your whitening session) can help reduce any sensitivity you may feel during the procedure.

Cut back on whitening sessions

If you’re whitening your teeth every day and experiencing a lot of sensitivity, there’s no harm in spacing out your sessions to every other day, or simply shortening them to give your teeth a bit of a break and alleviate your symptoms.

Limit hot and cold drinks

Drinking very hot or cold drinks can make sensitivity feel much worse, so you should try to avoid them as much as possible while you’re undergoing your course of teeth whitening treatment.


Preventing sensitive teeth when whitening - Revitalise Dental Centre


Use sensitivity toothpaste and/or fluoride mouthwash

Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth works wonders when teeth whitening, so if you’re struggling, it’s definitely worth looking into switching up your toothpaste while you undergo your course of whitening treatment.

Fluoride products may also help before, during, and after your teeth whitening treatment, as this will help strengthen your enamel and reduce any discomfort you feel.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush

Of course, a toothbrush with softer bristles will be much gentler on your teeth, and using one will help ease some of the teeth-whitening sensitivity.


Preventing sensitive teeth when whitening - Revitalise Dental Centre


Ready to achieve your dream smile?

Teeth whitening is one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of your smile, and by following our top tips, your treatment should be a breeze!

To find out more about teeth whitening, for more tips on preventing teeth whitening sensitivity, or to book a consultation with our experts, give us a call on 01872 480 124.


About the author


Jason Smithson is an internationally renowned cosmetic and reconstructive dentist formerly of London’s Harley Street Medical District, he is now based in St Agnes, Cornwall where he offers dentistry, dental-education and medico-legal expert witness services. World-class crowns, veneers and direct composite resin artistry are delivered with uncompromising standards bespoke to the patient’s individual requirements. He is considered to be the ‘Dentist’s Dentist’ and regularly treats other dentists; many of whom travel from throughout the UK to see him. Dr Smithson is an ‘In Demand’ presenter and is perhaps the most prolific in the UK. He is considered by his peers to be an authority on aesthetic dentistry and has presented to audiences on every continent over the past 10 years. He is a true innovator and pioneered the use of Dental Operating Microscope in teaching Direct Resin Artistry to other dentists in the UK; he is the author of numerous articles and a book on crowns in aesthetic dentistry. Visit Jason's Website

Connect with Jason Smithson on LinkedIn.

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What our Clients say

Marion visited Revitalise to reclaim her smile with a complete implant treatment. In this video, she explains how the staff at the practice put her at ease and why she recommends Revitalise to everyone she meets.

Client: Marion
Treatment: Complete mouth secured with implants

“The minute I met Martin, I just knew he was so calm and relaxing. So then we had a discussion and Martin said what he could do and it had to be what our pocket could afford as well and we went ahead with it. The experience I had at this dentist was unbelievable, it was a journey I loved every minute of.”

Client: Dee
Treatment: Dental Implants

“There’s always smiling, handshakes, hugs and plenty of tea and coffee. They looked after my husband who was there for the day. They do the sedation and Hayley looked after me. Obviously I was unaware of exactly what they were doing, but they always make you feel so comfortable. Although you’re nervous, I don’t think I could’ve gone and got the same treatment anywhere else.”

Client: Carolyn
Treatment: Dental Implants

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