What You Should Know About Whitening Your Teeth

Couple uses Sensodyne toothpaste to help their sensitive teeth

A bright, gleaming white smile can boost confidence – but some tooth whitening techniques can cause tooth sensitivity.i Before beginning a teeth whitening regimen, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist and look at various whitening methods, so you can choose one that’s right for you.

What to Know About Teeth Whitening

Woman brushing her teeth with sensitivity toothpaste

Healthy Teeth and Whitening

Across the range of products and methods available – including whitening gels, trays and strips – and depending on the type and extent of the stains you would like to remove, results can vary.i If you have sensitive teeth, here’s what to know about teeth whitening:

• Bleaches (peroxides) used in bleaching trays, whitening strips and gels can trigger sensitivity and may irritate gums.i

• Sensitive or painful teeth can be the result of cavities or other dental issues. Visit your dentist to get a dental assessment and check whether you have sensitive teeth or a cavity before you consider whitening your teeth.ii

I Have Sensitive Teeth, Can I Whiten Them?

There is often no reason why you can’t whiten sensitive teeth, as long as you choose your teeth whitening method carefully (in consultation with your dentist) and monitor the symptoms of sensitive teeth.iii Not all whitening techniques may be suitable for sensitive teeth. Products that contain stronger solutions of bleach or remain on your teeth for longer may produce sensitivity.i

A whitening toothpaste such as Sensodyne True White, which helps to gently whiten teeth over time while protecting the health of teeth, could be the best choice.

What Is the Best Tooth Color for Me?

The degree of whiteness you can expect from different teeth whitening methods will vary. A lot depends on the type and extent of the staining you are trying to remove.i Generally, it’s best to focus on restoring the natural color of your teeth to achieve your own ‘true white’. Talk to your dentist about the best product for you, even if you plan to use an at-home whitening remedy.

Which Is Best – Toothpaste or Bleaching?

When considering teeth whitening, you may be wondering whether to choose toothpaste or a bleaching method. Both have their pros and cons.

Bleaching – using whitening trays, gels or strips – involves using a bleaching agent (usually peroxide) to create a chemical reaction that changes the color of your teeth. This can result in a brighter white, but can also cause tooth sensitivity and irritate your gums.i

Rather than trying to change the colour of your teeth, whitening toothpastes contain abrasives (among other ingredients), which lighten teeth by helping to scrub away surface stains.v Some whitening toothpastes like Sensodyne True White and others in the Sensodyne range also contain sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) to help lift surface stains.

Does Sensodyne Whiten Teeth?

If you have sensitive teeth and prefer to steer clear of bleach, a whitening toothpaste such as Sensodyne True White could be your answer. Sensodyne True White is specially formulated for whitening sensitive teeth. Brushing with it twice-daily will gently lift surface stains to help whiten your teeth, while also providing ongoing relief and lasting protection from sensitivity pain.

Sensodyne True White also creates a shield over your teeth to help prevent new stains from forming, so you can use it to help maintain your brighter smile.

How Does Sensodyne True White Whiten Teeth?

Sensodyne True White’s non-abrasive formula contains ingredients carefully chosen to provide effective whitening for people with sensitive teeth. It contains potassium nitrate, to decrease sensitivity by calming the nerves deep inside the teeth, and fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel.v

For another gentle whitening option designed to help lighten sensitive teeth, try Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening.

Teeth Bleaching Sensitivity Tips

Woman using whitening strips on her sensitive teeth
• Use a straw for acidic drinks: Beverages such as wine, sodas, coffee and tea to help keep them away from your teeth, as they can cause discoloration and staining.vi

• Brush and floss daily: This will help remove stain-producing particles between the teeth and prevent plaque formation.vi

• Avoid tobacco: It goes without saying that if you are a smoker, quit now! Tobacco can stain your tooth enamel.vi

• Talk to your dentist: Ask them for recommendations on how to deal with teeth bleaching pain.

What to Know About Teeth Whitening – Next Steps

Man going to the dentist for teeth whitening

Even with sensitive teeth, a whiter smile can be yours. Choose a whitening method that will not cause tooth sensitivity, like Sensodyne toothpastes. Find out where to buy Sensodyne products.

Whitening Sensitive Teeth with Sensodyne

Sensodyne True White toothpaste products

If you have sensitive teeth and are looking for a toothpaste to help give you a whiter smile, consider Sensodyne True White. Brushing twice a day, every day, will gently lift stains to help whiten your teeth, while also providing ongoing relief and lasting protection from sensitivity pain.


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  1. Whitening (Introduction). American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/whitening. Accessed 03/04/20.
  2. Sensitive Teeth. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sensitive-teeth. Accessed 03/04/20.
  3. ADA Patient Smart| Tooth Whitening – MouthHealthy. 2013. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/ADA_PatientSmart_Tooth_Whitening.pdf?la=en
  4. Whitening (Treatment considerations). American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/whitening. Accessed 21/02/21.
  5. Toothpastes. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes. Accessed 03/04/20.
  6.  Why do teeth darken? Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10958-tooth-discoloration. Accessed 03/04/20.