man having his teeth whitened

Does Teeth Whitening Hurt? Here's Your Answer

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Teeth whitening offers lots of benefits, from giving you a confidence boost to attracting a partner. But you’ve heard the rumors and are now wondering: Does teeth whitening hurt? In short, it depends. While GO SMILE products promise no sensitivity, some professional teeth whitening can cause irritation and pain and even come with side effects. Let’s explore what this means so you can choose the best whitening routine for you.

The Reason Teeth Whitening Hurts Some People

Standard teeth whitening has a reputation for causing some pain and discomfort in some individuals. However, while strips are often to blame, the cause of this pain is actually due to the formula and ingredients. More specifically, hydrogen peroxide, a whitening agent used in both professional dentist whitening routines and many over-the-counter whitening kits, can cause issues. 

While hydrogen peroxide is an entirely natural, teeth-whitening substance, some experience pain because the hydrogen peroxide concentration is much too high. While higher concentrations can achieve better whitening results, this is mainly what causes irritation after treatment or even after leaving the solution on for too long. The good news is that if you still want to whiten your teeth, there are alternatives!

Touch Up Your Chompers with a Teeth Whitening Pen

Teeth Whitening Side Effects 

As mentioned, a professional teeth whitening service can come with side effects. While it is rare, it’s worth mentioning so you can be more informed about the risks. 

With a professional teeth whitening service, also known as teeth bleaching, you can sometimes experience sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, as well as a mini shock-like sensation afterwards. While you can expect these sensations to go away after 48 hours or so, until then, it typically requires a topical desensitizing gel to alleviate the discomfort. 

While teeth whitening is completely safe and rarely dangerous, it has been known to cause issues in some. For example, some have experienced inflammation with cracked teeth or have exposed dentin, while others have experienced gum or skin burns from the bleaching agents. Of course, ingesting the bleaching solution can lead to irritation of the throat and stomach and, in extreme cases, even bleeding or distensions. Again, very rare, but worth noting.

Other than these side effects, avoid some common mistakes like getting your teeth whitened at an unauthorized beauty salon. They are not equipped to handle it safely or adequately. 

Pain-free Teeth Whitening Alternatives

woman preparing to use a blu teeth whitening solution

If you prefer an at-home teeth whitening routine over professional in-house bleaching, but are still worried about any pain, here are some easy solutions:

Find a low hydrogen peroxide solution – One trick to a pain-free teeth whitening experience is finding a whitening formula with a low hydrogen peroxide concentration or none whatsoever. GO SMILE teeth whitening kits and many of our products, such as our whitening toothpastes and gels, promise no sensitivity at all. 

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Reduce how often you use the treatment – Once you start using a teeth whitening kit, you can also reduce how often you use it, allowing your teeth and gums to get used to the feeling. Alternatively, you can hasten the process. With GO SMILE’s blue light technology, you can get whiter teeth faster. Discover the Glow on the Go blue light device that offers a zoom-level powered blue light you can carry on travels and even to work. 

Brush with a whitening toothpaste – For some who experience irritation, whitening toothpaste offers a wonderful alternative to rid yourself of stains daily. These types of toothpastes often have a low concentration, too. 

woman holding a go-smile toothbrush

Avoid stains in the first place – Maintaining your smile and choosing proper oral hygiene can reduce how often you use a teeth whitening kit. GO SMILE teeth whitening pens also prevent new stains from setting when you don’t have time to brush after drinking coffee or wine. One of the best ways to prevent stains is to keep enamel-eroding bacteria at bay, so be sure to check out any of our bacteria-killing blue light devices to keep your mouth healthy. 

Discuss with Your Dentist

Should you choose to use an over-the-counter, at-home teeth whitening kit, you still need to schedule a visit with your dentist beforehand to discuss. Your dentist can examine your mouth and overall oral health, making sure you are cleared and a whitening treatment is suitable for your needs. 

Even more advantageous? Your dentist can also give you a good cleaning, which will maximize your whitening kit’s results and make it much more worth it.