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Sometimes the results are clearly visible—other times, not so much. Regardless, over a billion dollars are spent yearly on over-the-counter teeth whitening strips. Yet, on this quest for whiter teeth, many are left with tooth pain and sensitivity. 


If you have ever experienced this after using whitening strips, you are not alone. Having a brighter, whiter smile can boost your confidence and make you feel good, but it can also hurt.


Here is why whitening strips could be hurting your teeth. 

How Do Whitening Strips Work? 

Whitening strips can be bought over the counter at most places that sell oral healthcare products. You bring them home and place the thin plastic strips on your teeth, based on the specific directions given. 


These strips are left on the teeth from a few minutes to overnight, depending on the type, claiming to provide you with teeth that are shades lighter. This is all thanks to the peroxide within the strips that bleach your teeth.  


This may be repeated routinely. 

What Causes Sensitivity After Using Whitening Strips?

Peroxide is effective at bleaching teeth, but it can also be quite harsh and aggressive. It goes right for your stains, working its way underneath them through the tiniest cracks in your enamel. 


You put on the strips, bombard the teeth with peroxide, then remove them. The effects of the peroxide may remain for a little while after — and then the sensitivity will set in. Eating or drinking anything that is hot or cold can cause pain and discomfort. 


This is common and will dissipate over the next couple of days. 

Tips for Reducing Pain After Whitening

There are a few things you can do to help reduce the pain you feel after using whitening strips, including:


  • Avoid anything hot or cold after treatment until the sensitivity wears off
  • Use desensitizing toothpaste as this will help to fill in the tiny spaces and reduce the pain and sensitivity you feel
  • Consider using a straw to reduce the impact of the temperature sensitivity since it will bypass your teeth while also reducing your risk of future stains. 


Of course, talking to your dentist and seeking a different, more professional option for teeth whitening is always a great idea. 

Need a Better Whitening Solution? 

Professional teeth whitening solutions from your dentist are safer and provide you with greater results. At Schaus Dental Studio, we offer in-office and at-home bleaching that can brighten your smile in the fastest, most effective manner. The results are stunning. 


To learn more, contact us today at 763-525-0306. Or, request an appointment online. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does teeth whitening cost? 

There are many different options for teeth whitening. The cost of treatment will depend on the type you choose. On average, professional teeth whitening treatments can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000. It is best to consult with your dentist. 


How can I permanently whiten my teeth?

Traditional teeth whitening treatments are temporary as they are still susceptible to staining. Veneers, crowns, and cosmetic bonding are more permanent ways to whiten teeth. 

Feeling good about your smile is so important. This is why when it is looking a little lackluster, it is not uncommon for patients to invest in a professional teeth whitening treatment. After all, it is the only way to get your teeth many shades lighter in just one short visit. 


Knowing what to do after whitening your teeth - especially what foods to avoid - will play a role in just how long you get to enjoy your results. 

What Causes Teeth to Stain? 

There are many different reasons why teeth stain. Some are the result of a patient's own choices and others are the result of things outside of their control. Let’s look at a few.

  • Dark or brightly colored food and beverages, such as coffee, tea, red wine, berries, etc.
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Certain medical conditions/diseases and medications
  • Dental trauma


Keep in mind that there are different types of staining that occur within teeth. Some stains are very responsive to whitening treatments, such as the discoloration that comes from drinking too much coffee. Other stains, such as the dark spots from decay inside a tooth will not change at all. 

What Foods Should You Avoid After Whitening? 

As soon as you complete your teeth whitening treatment, you will want to implement a few changes to the foods and beverages you are willing to consume — assuming you’d like to keep your stellar results. 


Those that should be knocked off the menu include:

  • Dark-colored and/or acidic beverages. Do not consume beverages like soda, tea, coffee, red wine, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, and more.
  • Sweet, sugary foods. Bacteria are highly attracted to sugar. Eating too many sweet treats can lead to staining — some you may eventually not be able to remove. 
  • Colorful foods. Whether naturally colorful or through the use of dyes, brightly-colored foods should be avoided, such as beets, berries, ketchup, chocolate, curry hot sauce, and more.   


Not sure if a food or beverage could stain your teeth? Ask yourself what would happen if you poured it onto a white shirt. Would it stain? If so, avoid it. 

How to Care for Teeth After Whitening

If you have put forth the time and money for a professional teeth whitening treatment, then there is a good chance you would like to enjoy the results for as long as possible. To do so, you will need to learn how to properly care for them. 


Brush your teeth two to three times per day. The less time you allow staining debris to remain on your teeth, the better. Brushing after eating is ideal, but when you are unable to do so, make the effort to rinse with water after eating to keep your teeth looking their very best. 


Flossing daily is important, too. 


Finally, be sure to have routine professional cleanings with your dentist every 6 months. Discuss if there is an at-home option for professional whitening that you can do in the interim if your teeth need an extra boost. 

Teeth Whitening Treatments at Schaus Dental Studio

At Schaus Dental Studio, we understand that our patients will smile more and feel more confident in life after having a teeth whitening treatment. And, for convenience, we offer both in-office and at-home teeth whitening options. 

To learn more or to get started, contact us today at 763-525-0306. Or, request an appointment online.

Teeth whitening is fast, effective, and affordable. As a non-invasive cosmetic dental treatment, teeth whitening may range in price from $75-$1,000, depending upon the type of whitening you select. Read on to learn about different options for whitening your teeth.

In-Office Whitening at the Dentist

If you’re looking for the fastest way to create a brilliantly bright smile, in-office teeth whitening is your best bet. Completed in approximately one hour, the professional-strength teeth whitening gel is applied to the surface of your teeth. During a typical whitening session at the dentist, the gel is rinsed and re-applied up to three times. In-office dental whitening typically costs between $600-$700.

Custom Tray Teeth Whitening Kits

Custom trays are a popular way to whiten teeth. A digital scan is taken and trays are fabricated that fit very accurately to your teeth. The results you can expect and the cost of whitening with custom trays depends on which specific system you are interested in. The price varies from $400-$1,000. This way of whitening is popular as the trays tend to fit over time so it’s easy to get more bleach gel and touch things up in the future.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits

Take-home whitening kits available from your dentist also use a dental-grade whitening gel. Professional basic teeth-whitening kits are typically less than $100. These are very popular as they are the most economical way to professionally whiten your teeth and are available to take home the same day. Whitening at home may take several weeks to reveal your brightest smile.

Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips, Gels, Toothpaste

You can also buy products over-the-counter at the supermarket or a pharmacy that can help lighten your teeth. Some options include whitening toothpaste, strips, and mouthwash, but the results of these vary greatly. Whitening products made by leading dental products manufacturers such as Crest Whitestrips are generally safe to use, but will not give you the results of a dental-grade product. These are typically the cheapest whitening products available. 


Products that are widely advertised on social media may or may not work, and they are often more expensive than the professional-strength take-home kit you can buy at the dentist.  They may not be especially safe. Use caution with any product you order online.

What to Know About Teeth Whitening and Sensitive Teeth

As many as 40 million adults in the U.S. will experience sensitive teeth at some point in their lives. If you have sensitive teeth, it is important to talk with your dentist about the potential for increased sensitivity from whitening. They may recommend that you begin using a special toothpaste designed for sensitivity before your whitening treatment. They may also recommend that you apply a desensitizer before your treatment.

If you choose to whiten your teeth at home, you need to exercise caution and only leave the whitening agent on your teeth for the recommended time. Falling asleep with a whitening agent on your teeth, for example, can increase sensitivity. 

Protecting Your Gums While Whitening Your Teeth

The soft tissues of the gums can become easily irritated if the whitening agent comes in contact with them. At an in-office whitening treatment, the dentist or hygienist will protect your gums and lips before starting your treatment. 

If you’re using a take-home kit you need to make sure that the whitening agent does not come in contact with the gums.  If it does, wipe it off immediately with a damp, soft cloth.  If you feel a burning sensation in your gums, remove your trays and rinse your mouth with water.  

Schedule an Appointment for Teeth Whitening in Golden Valley, MN

If you’d like to learn more about teeth whitening, schedule an appointment at Schaus Dental Studio today. Dr. Paul V. Schaus will be happy to help you select the type of whitening treatment best for your goals and budget. To schedule an appointment, call 763-525-0306

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

7575 Golden Valley Road Suite 240 Golden Valley, MN 55427
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