Whitening Strikes: The Perfect Smile May Cause You Pain

Armen Hareyan's picture

(NC) - With white teeth being the new status symbol of youth and beauty, both men and women are fighting over bathroom counter space and flocking to dentists and drugstores in the hopes of achieving celebrity-white smiles.

Before over-the-counter strips and gels were made available to consumers seven years ago, whitening treatments were done primarily by dentists. Today, the latest technology is making a 100-watt smile more accessible, affordable and easier to achieve. In fact, in the last year alone, over-the-counter tooth whitening treatments have risen 15%.

"What most people don't realize is that regular exposure to many whitening treatments can lead to increased tooth sensitivity," explains Janet Watson, Vice-President, Marketing at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

Sensitive teeth, or dentin hypersensitivity as it is technically known, is generally triggered by cold or hot foods or beverages, sweet, sour or acidic items and/or over zealous brushing. Although everyone's experience is unique, the pain generally comes on rapidly, feels sharp and intense and lasts for only a short amount of time; however, the pain often returns when triggered.

The new, at-home whitening treatments need to be repeated to maintain a white smile however, the "no pain, no gain" mentality need not apply when it comes to getting whiter teeth.


Instead, use toothpaste that helps combat and prevent tooth sensitivity. Complement your whitening treatments with a medicated toothpaste designed to treat the pain of sensitive teeth, while also helping to achieve a whiter smile, such as Sensodyne-F Whitening and Tartar Control Toothpaste.

In addition, it is important to make yourself aware of what can leave teeth discoloured. For example, red wine, clear tea, black coffee and smoking all contribute to staining teeth.

Following these tips will put you on the path to a glistening smile and help you take a bite out of sensitive teeth.

For more information on tooth sensitivity, call 1-800-250-8866.


- News Canada