Teeth whitening is a great way to rid your teeth of discoloration and improve their cosmetic appearance. Whether you have a special event coming up or you’re not happy with the coffee stains that have made a home on your tooth’s enamel, professional teeth whitening can make a huge difference.
An in-office teeth whitening treatment can lighten your teeth by up to 10 shades in one hour. If you’d rather whiten your teeth from home with take-home kits from the dentist, this is a convenient way to whiten your teeth gradually over a few weeks.
However, teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity as a result of the bleaching agents wearing away your enamel, leaving the whitening treatment on for too long too often, or due to increased pressure on your tooth’s pulp.
In this blog from New Essence Dentistry, we’re going to give you tips on how to reduce tooth sensitivity after whitening, so read on to find out more.
Fluoride treatments and desensitizing toothpaste or gels can be applied to the teeth to provide immediate relief from discomfort. These work best when you use them before getting your teeth whitened instead of after.
When you clean your teeth post-whitening, use a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth. These kinds of toothpaste block the pain signal that your tooth sends to the nerves.
If you don’t have access to desensitizing gels, you can take over-the-counter pain-relieving medication like ibuprofen to relieve pain and discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity. This discomfort may last for a few days to 2 weeks.
In the meantime, you can reduce the amount of sensitivity you feel by avoiding things that trigger tooth sensitivity, such as extremely cold, hot, or acidic foods and drinks.
Believe it or not, you actually should not brush your teeth after you get your teeth whitened. Your teeth are in a very sensitive state in which the dentin has been exposed, which is what causes tooth sensitivity.
By brushing your teeth soon after a whitening treatment, the peroxide-based treatment can damage your enamel and further open the pores which would make sensitivity worse. Instead, brush your teeth before the whitening treatment and wait at least a few hours after the treatment to brush again.
Sometimes tooth sensitivity can be caused by overuse of whitening treatments or improper use, such as leaving the bleaching agents on for too long. When using take-home whitening trays, follow the instructions provided to you by your dentist to the T.
If you get regular teeth whitening treatments, try reducing their frequency. When using whitening trays, you can use them once per week instead of twice a week. You can also reduce the length of time you leave the whitening trays on. If you have naturally sensitive teeth, you should reduce the frequency and length of your treatments.
The bleaching agents in teeth whitening treatments are highly acidic, which can be damaging to your enamel and be a cause of sensitivity. To restore the pH in your saliva, try rinsing with a pH-restoring mouthwash to neutralize the acid. This will protect your teeth from erosion and acid exposure and may reduce sensitivity.
Contact us at New Essence Dentistry today to find out if teeth whitening is right for you. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeron Winslow in Sacramento and walk out white teeth up to 10 shades lighter after one appointment.