Teeth whitening can help you regain confidence in your appearance. However, many people report their teeth getting slightly more sensitive after these treatments, which could make things uncomfortable.
If this happened to you, check out this short article to understand why it happened and how to manage post-whitening tooth sensitivity.
Why Does Teeth Whitening Make Your Teeth More Sensitive?
The process of teeth whitening involves exposing your teeth to a whitening solution that breaks down the surface molecules that make the stains and lifts the color of your teeth a few shades. The most common whitening agent is peroxide, but there are lots of other options out there as well.
In any case, this is a chemical process that can leave your teeth slightly more sensitive. The good news is that the process is not permanent, as long as it is done safely.
What’s the Safest Way to Whiten Your Teeth?
Professional teeth whitening is, without a doubt, the most effective and safest way to get your teeth whitened. The process will start with a consultation with a cosmetic dentist, who will determine if you're a good candidate.
If you are, the whitening process will then be tailored to your specific needs to ensure that, while you get great results, your teeth don’t get damaged in the process. People who already have sensitive teeth or weak enamel might not respond well to whitening treatments and could benefit from other cosmetic solutions like veneers.
How to Avoid Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening
Though it will only last for a few days, that heightened sensitivity can be frustrating since it will result in uncomfortable pain any time your teeth are exposed to something too hot or cold.
Here are some tips that can help you manage it:
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste before and after your whitening treatment.
- Take OTC pain medication such as Ibuprofen to manage your condition.
- Avoid foods and drinks with extreme temperatures.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks like sodas or oranges.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and don’t use too much pressure when cleaning your teeth.
- Apply a cold compress to your cheek occasionally to help relieve some discomfort.
What Happens If You Use an OTC Whitening Kit and Now Have Sensitive Teeth?
Over-the-counter whitening solutions may provide more convenience, but there’s a higher risk of patients misusing them or ending up with a solution that’s too harsh for their teeth.
If this happens to you, see a dentist as soon as possible for the right treatment, which could include anything from fluoride treatments to dental bonding.
Get Your Teeth Safely Whitened in The Dalles, OR
Dr. Jonathan Feller can help you access professional teeth-whitening treatments. Choose between at-home kits or in-office sessions and get great results safely.
Request an appointment at Columbia River Dental online or call us at (541) 296-2581 today.