Are you pressed for time, but eager for white teeth? Certain products for white teeth yield results when they're applied for just a few minutes each day. Are your teeth sensitive? Never fear. Look for products designed to release a limited, specific amount of hydrogen peroxide with each use. A controlled dose of whitening ingredient makes white teeth a realistic option for individuals with teeth that are sensitive to whitening products. Want white teeth with minimal mess? Look for products with a peroxide gel that wipes off quickly and easily. No matter which product you choose, your commitment to white teeth will pay off with a brighter smile.
White Teeth and Sensitivity
Some individuals experience tooth sensitivity after using products for white teeth. But this sensitivity is usually temporary, and it can be alleviated by using products for white teeth that have lower amounts of hydrogen peroxide.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association in 2002, 100 adults were randomized to use either a hydrogen peroxide gel to promote white teeth or a placebo gel. After four weeks of use, 54% of individuals in each group reported mild tooth sensitivity; while 10% of the white teeth product group and 2% of the placebo group reported moderate sensitivity. In addition, 4% of the white teeth product group and none of the placebo group reported severe tooth sensitivity. But the sensitivity decreased over time. No cases of severe tooth sensitivity were reported in either the white teeth product group or the placebo group after the second week of the study, and no moderate sensitivity was reported after four weeks. Individuals with some evidence of gum recession at the start of the study were significantly more likely to report tooth sensitivity than those with healthy gums, the researchers noted. The results suggest that, when using products for white teeth, mild tooth sensitivity is common, but it is usually transient, and improves with time.
Maintain Your White Teeth
Your busy schedule need not prevent you from enjoying the confidence that comes from white teeth. Keep these points in mind to help you maintain your newly white teeth:
- Sip. If you drink cola drinks, sip them through a straw to minimize the contact of the drink with your white teeth.
- Rinse. Rinse your mouth as soon as possible to minimize the risk of stains if you drink coffee, tea, red wine, or cola, or eat foods that are likely to stain your white teeth.
- Brush. Brush your teeth with a whitening toothpaste once or twice a week while using products to promote white teeth, and use standard toothpaste for daily use.
- Floss. A complete oral care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing will help maintain white teeth, no matter what teeth-whitening product you choose.
For best results with any product that promotes white teeth, be sure to follow a routine of good oral hygiene, including twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing. Make sure to read the instructions on your products for white teeth—some suggest that you don't brush your teeth immediately before applying the product.