Navigating Teeth Whitening When You Have Sensitive Teeth

Using whitening products -- either at home or in an office -- on sensitive teeth can be risky because the effects of the products on the tooth enamel can make sensitivity worse. At the same time, though, it is still possible to get whiter teeth when you have sensitive teeth. Using a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth and not using more whitening products than are necessary are basic ways to help keep your teeth from smarting. But you can help them out a little more by remembering a few things:

Choose More Normal Shades

Blinding-white teeth are not normal. Normal teeth usually have a bit of color to them, often in the yellow or gray range, and this color can increase as you get older even if you avoid anything that could stain your teeth. The less whitening you need to do to reach the shade you choose, the less sensitivity you'll likely have to worry about. Of course, this changes from person to person, but in general, try to choose a more normal shade for your teeth instead of going for the really bright white coloring.

Try to Get Test Teeth

Sometimes you can get temporary teeth, almost like temporary veneers, made in the color you want, so you can try walking around with that color. You can see how natural or unnatural you look when you smile with that particular shade. These temporary teeth can save you a lot of trouble because -- if it turns out you don't like the shade -- you haven't done any real damage to your teeth, and you haven't increased the sensitivity.

Consider Veneers

Speaking of veneers, you may want to look into getting these instead of having chemical whitening done. With veneers, you do need to be sure of the shade you choose -- those temporary teeth are crucial here -- but you're not really doing much to the enamel other than putting the veneer on top of it. That can be a delight when you have sensitive teeth and may be a better choice overall for you.

Talk to a cosmetic dentist from a company like Cherry Hill Dentistry LLC who has experience dealing with sensitive teeth to see which procedure might work best for you. He or she can also help you develop coping strategies for your tooth sensitivity that make the pain a lot less frequent. You can still get a whiter smile when you have sensitive teeth; you just have to be careful and choose the right procedure and the right series of strategies to keep your teeth safe.