You have always dreamed of a celebrity smile. You see them all the time in magazines and you have admired the smiles in jealousy, while wondering: “Is it possible for me to have a whiter and more beautiful smile?” Well, it is—all you need to do is to visit your dentist.
There are two types of teeth whitening procedures: take home or in-office bleaching. Both procedures can give you whiter and more beautiful smiles, albeit temporarily, but it also comes with some post operative pain. Many people who refuse to undergo teeth whitening procedures are either afraid of it because of what they have heard about it; or because of what they have personally gone through in the past. It is often characterized as a sharp instantaneous pain sensation that sometimes hits straights to the head, when it does. It is not a great feeling and depending on the brand and strength of the whitening agent, the experience varies.
No Pain, No Gain
Is pain really automatic to all teeth whitening procedures? A funny way to console patients is to joke them and say: “No pain, no gain”, because what is a little suffering for optimum results right? Well, pain is not a guaranteed post operative experience in teeth whitening procedures. What is guaranteed is a better smile, but understand that not all patients suffer from sensitivity. This experience will depend on: solution concentration strength, patient threshold levels, patient teeth anatomy, degree of exposure and brand. The only things dentists are able to control are those pertaining to the whitening agent and the actual whitening process. They can choose a weaker brand, a brand with “kinder” formulation, and they can shorten the overall process (thus the exposure).
Unfortunately, regardless of the adjustments, there may be some level of discomfort to be experienced and if this happens, the following remedies may be done:
1. Take pain medication. The most straightforward remedy is to take pain medication. You may take any pain medication that works for you. A dentist will usually prepare a prescription for this, just in case you need it. Take it as needed.
2. Apply tooth mousse. Often available in the dentist’s office, your dentist can offer this and it works like a soothing lotion that you can apply to the teeth to help alleviate pain symptoms.
3. Apply Vitamin E oil. This is a common inclusion to certain teeth whitening brands and it may be dispensed to the patient or applied during treatment. At home, you may break Vitamin E oil capsule to extract it and apply it on your teeth.
4. Use sensitive teeth toothpaste. Sensitive teeth toothpastes work by clogging open pores of teeth. This may not instantaneously work, however, but some components will help alleviate pain.
The Silver Lining
However bad your experience may be, understand that none of this is permanent. With teeth whitening procedures, a component in the whitening activates the teeth by opening the pores, to let the bleaching component to penetrate. This also opens the teeth to stimuli, causing the sensitivity, but whatever reaction is completely reversible as pores deactivate and close after a few days. “No pain, no gain”, you basically try to endure the small consequence and just think of the end goal—that is a whiter smile.