Teeth whitening – is it safe and am I suitable for it?

Teeth whitening is by far one of the most popular dental treatments. Many of our patients are interested in it as a way to remove stains and bring life back to their smiles. So in this post, we’ll answer some of your frequent questions about teeth whitening.

Is teeth whitening safe?

When performed by a trained professional, teeth whitening is safe. Years of research has shown that professional teeth whitening treatments have no adverse effects on your teeth or your gums.

However, many people reject professional teeth whitening treatment and opt for cheaper DIY whitening kits instead. We do not recommend these kits because they can contain dangerous levels of bleach. It’s also not safe to get your teeth whitened by a non-professional, because they could cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums.

So remember: always get your teeth whitened by a trained dental professional.

Will teeth whitening me make my teeth sensitive?

Some people do experience sensitivity after whitening treatments, especially when eating cold or hot foods. However, sensitivity usually goes away within two days after the treatment.

What can I do about sensitivity?

If you do experience sensitivity after a whitening treatment, there are a few things you can to alleviate it:

  • If you’re whitening your teeth at home using a tray, then try wearing the tray for shorter periods. This will reduce the amount of time your teeth are in contact with the bleach and therefore should reduce your sensitivity as well.
  • Another option is to simply stop whitening your teeth for a few days to allow your teeth to rest. The sensitivity should go away 1-2 days after you last whitened them. After a couple of days have passed, you can start whitening again.
  • Use a toothpaste that’s designed for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain fewer abrasive ingredients than other toothpastes and some also contain potassium nitrate, an ingredient that helps soothes sensitive teeth.
  • Ask your dentist or pharmacist about a fluoride product such as a fluoride tray. These products help to demineralise and strengthen your teeth.

Is everyone suitable for teeth whitening?

While most people are suitable for teeth whitening, there are some people for whom teeth whitening isn’t recommended.

  • People with particularly sensitive teeth should avoid dental bleaching because it can worsen their sensitivity problems even further.
  • People with gum disease or other dental problems may also be unsuitable for dental bleaching. The dentist may recommend that you wait until your dental problems are treated before you start a course of teeth whitening.
  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should avoid dental bleaching. This is because no-one knows the effects of teeth whitening treatments on these women and their babies. While studies have shown that teeth whitening is safe for adults, there have been no studies into whether teeth whitening is safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Therefore, it’s best to play it safe and wait until your baby is older.
  • People who have crowns or caps on their front teeth might want to avoid teeth whitening. This is because crowns, cap and other dental work can’t be bleached. Therefore, any teeth whitening treatments would make your dental work more visible.

If you’re interested in getting your teeth whitened, then make an appointment with us by calling 01384 637835 – one of our dentists will be happy to talk to you about it. You can also read about our teeth whitening services by going to www.bensondental.co.uk/teeth-whitening.


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