Teeth Whitening and Sensitivity: Prevention and Treatment

Teeth Whitening and Sensitivity: Prevention and Treatment

April 4, 2023

The aesthetic dentistry procedure of teeth whitening is safe and effective. However, you may experience sensitivity after you receive the whitening treatment. Fortunately, while the sensitivity is temporary, it can cause discomfort for a few days after the process. Thankfully, you can adopt measures to minimize tooth sensitivity after the whitening process.

Reasons for Sensitivity after Whitening Teeth

Several reasons can make your teeth sensitive after getting them whitened by the Queen Creek dentist. Some examples are mentioned below for your reference.

  • The whitening ingredients can make your teeth temporarily permeable by exposing the soft dentin layer beneath the enamel, housing the nerves in your teeth.
  • Some teeth whitening trays can exert pressure on your teeth to temporarily make them sensitive.
  • The bleaching ingredient used during the dental procedure can cause irritation and sensitivity if they come in contact with your gums.

Preventive Measures before Brightening Your Teeth

Before considering whitening your teeth, you can take some preventive measures to ensure you minimize the sensitivity you might experience later. They are:

  • Brushing with Desensitizing Toothpaste: When you consider dental treatment to whiten your teeth, start planning ahead by using a desensitizing toothpaste to brush your teeth ten days before the treatment. The toothpaste helps block pain impulses from your tooth’s surface to its nerves. In addition, leave the toothpaste on your tooth’s surface for a few minutes before rinsing for maximum effectiveness.
  • Desensitizing Gel: You can apply a desensitizing gel to your teeth before your procedure. Before rinsing with water, you must leave the gel on the teeth for the recommended time.
  • Pain Medications: If you are apprehensive about the sensitivity of the whitening treatment, you can take over-the-counter pain medications before the procedure to help minimize sensitivity and discomfort. You can continue taking the medicines even after your treatment to alleviate the pain.

Practical Steps to Take after Whitening Your Teeth

The dentist Queen Creek, AZ, suggests taking the following steps after whitening your teeth to help you shorten the intensity and duration of any sensitivity you experience. They are:

  • Avoid Hot and Cold Foods and Beverages: during the initial 24 to 48 hours, your teeth will be most sensitive. During this time, you must avoid hot and cold foods and beverages and consider having lukewarm or room-temperature foods and drinks.
  • Acidic Foods and Drinks Are Best Avoided: Acidic foods and beverages like carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, et cetera can irritate your mouth to increase sensitivity. Therefore you must avoid these varieties as a precaution against pain.
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste and Gel: Continue brushing with desensitizing toothpaste or applying the gel during the initial 48 hours following your whitening procedure because it helps you cope with the sensitivity you experience.
  • Brush Gently: Using a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush gently and rinsing with lukewarm water helps minimize sensitivity.
  • Fluoride Products: Dentists offer fluoride treatment to whiten teeth at the end of your cosmetic dentistry procedure. However, also recommend using toothpaste or mouthwash containing fluoride to help remineralize your teeth and block the pain impulses to your oral nerves.
  • Drinking With Straws: Using straws for drinking liquids after the whitening treatment will prevent liquids from contacting your teeth and help minimize the sensitivity.

Professional Whitening Treatments Minimize Sensitivity

When you consider whitening your teeth, you must ensure you avoid over-the-counter products providing ill-fitting generic whitening trays that cause the bleaching gel to leak on your gums. In addition, you experience more sensitivity when you avoid professional whitening treatments from dentists that help minimize sensitivity by protecting the soft tissues of your mouth with cheek retractors and rubber dams.

Even if you intend to whiten your teeth at home to avoid in-office whitening treatments, dentists can dispense home whitening systems by taking your mouth impressions to create customized trays which they provide with bleaching gels and instructions on when and how to use them to whiten teeth without sensitivity. However, you must use the trays as suggested by the dentist instead of using them as you wish because they can cause sensitivity if overused.

If you desire instant results from the whitening treatment, an optimal option is to receive in-office whitening delivering results in approximately 60 to 90 minutes after examining your teeth, cleaning them, and whitening them to improve their color by 3 to 8 shades out of 16.

If your teeth have discolored to make you think you must whiten them, Alexander Family Dental provides safe and effective therapies to satisfy your goal. You can even have home whitening trays created by them to keep your teeth appearing brighter longer. Therefore if you want to learn more about the options for whitening your teeth, kindly arrange an appointment with them today.

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