Teeth whitening has become a popular procedure in dentistry due to its cosmetic benefits. Although it is safe and painless, it is normal to experience some degree of sensitivity after treatment.
Fortunately, this sensitivity is temporary and resolves within a few days. However, it still may cause you some discomfort initially. Our dentists share helpful tips and remedies that can help to reduce sensitivity after teeth whitening.
Why Does Sensitivity Occur After Teeth Whitening?
Professional teeth whitening treatments involve the use of prescription-strength whitening solutions. Typically, these solutions contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that perform the bleaching action to reduce staining and discoloration.
These whitening gels may make your enamel more permeable for a temporary period, exposing nerve endings. Due to this reason, you may experience sensitivity in your teeth after a whitening treatment.
Furthermore, whitening gels can also cause gum irritation. So for a few days, you may find it difficult to consume foods and drinks at hot or cold temperatures.
Tips to Prevent Sensitivity Before Whitening Treatment
There are a few measures that you can take before the whitening treatment to reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity. These include:
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste: Start brushing your teeth with a desensitizing toothpaste 7 to 10 days before the treatment. It helps to effectively block the channels that transmit pain from the external surface to the inner nerves.
- Use a desensitizing gel: These gels are available over-the-counter or on prescription. Apply a gel layer on your teeth before the whitening treatment and leave for the recommended period. Rinse with water afterward.
- Take painkillers: Taking common painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to reduce sensitivity and discomfort before whitening treatment.
Tips To Manage Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening
Following the guidelines mentioned by our dentists after a whitening treatment, you can minimize the risk of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. Some useful tips are discussed below:
- Watch your diet: Your tooth enamel is very sensitive for the first 24-48 hours after whitening. Avoid the intake of very hot or very cold foods and beverages. Also, avoid acidic and spicy foods for some time.
- Keep using a desensitizing toothpaste: Apply a thin layer of desensitizing toothpaste over your teeth and leave for a few minutes. Brush your teeth gently afterward and rinse with water. It helps to reduce post-whitening sensitivity.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: Brushing your teeth too hard after whitening treatment can increase sensitivity. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean your teeth.
- Use a desensitizing gel or fluoride varnish: If you have extreme sensitivity, our dentists will prescribe a desensitizing gel to apply on teeth. Another alternative is fluoride varnish application which replenishes enamel, providing immediate relief.
- Rinse your mouth with saline water: Add a pinch of salt to lukewarm water and mix till it dissolves. Rinse your mouth with the solution once or twice a day. It helps to soothe gum irritation or sensitivity.
If you experience severe pain or discomfort after teeth whitening, it is better to visit our dentist at Sima Family Dental immediately. To learn more about teeth whitening, call us at 281-457-6444 to book an appointment.