Ask An Expert: Whitening For Sensitive Teeth

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If Cameron Diaz and Anne Hathaway have one thing in common, it’s that we can’t stop staring at their mega-watt smiles. Their bright, white teeth make us realize just how important it is to keep our smiles in tip-top shape…and that often involves whitening or bleaching.

The real question here is whether to whiten your teeth at home or not. Sure, it can be a lot more convenient to do it yourself, but is it really the safest and most effective way?

Agoura Hills, CA, cosmetic dentist Jonathan Ziv, DDS, recommends bleaching your teeth in-office to minimize the potential for sensitivity. “My thirty plus year’s experience is that home tray bleaching has the most potential for sensitivity over in-office dentist supervised bleaching, like BriteSmile or Zoom or Kor. With home trays the bleach solution is free to migrate and irritate sensitive gums and gumline root recession areas. In-office bleaching, if properly performed and supervised, protects those sensitive areas from exposure to the bleaching chemicals.”

Plus, a dentist is able to do a full set of X-rays to see a patient’s potential for sensitivity. He or she can also evaluate the degree of success that a patient will see after a whitening treatment.

Of course, if you would rather whiten your teeth from home, a good option to reduce sensitivity is the Bling JagerWhite Gel ($219). Its formula contains 30 percent carbamide peroxide blended with potassium nitrate, and is colored blue to help you see exactly where you’re applying it.

Hopefully these answers will help you make a better informed decision when it comes to whitening your teeth. Keep sending us those questions on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll keep getting you expert advice.

Related Links:
Are You Whitening Your Teeth Too Much?
Do Whitening Toothpastes Work?

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