Teeth whitening treatments, including in-home whitening strips or trays and laser whitening treatments (or zoom whitening), are great options for stain removal and whitening your teeth. But it can also cause high levels of teeth sensitivity or pain for some people. This pain is often due to dentin hypersensitivity.
Usually, you will experience sensitivity for a few hours or a day, depending on the strength of your enamel – the outer layer of your teeth – and the type of teeth whitening treatment.
Luckily, there are pain-relieving measures that you can take to reduce sensitivity and pain following a teeth whitening treatment. However, it’s even better if you consider the following tips to reduce or prevent any discomfort after the whitening procedure.
What causes pain after teeth whitening?
It’s a common misconception that teeth whitening only affects the outside of the tooth. The sensitivity you experience after teeth whitening is linked to how teeth whitening works.
Teeth whitening is a delicate procedure – often best performed by professionals. It affects the inner part of your tooth. The primary whitening agent is a hydrogen peroxide gel. This agent penetrates the tooth structure, oxidizes the staining compounds present in dentin (the sensitive, inner layer of your tooth), and whiten your teeth. This complicated procedure gives you that brighter, happier smile.
Tips to Reduce Pain after Teeth Whitening
There are several ways that you can reduce pain and sensitivity following a teeth whitening treatment. Some of them are:
1 Cut down the regularity of teeth whitening treatments
One way to instantly reduce teeth sensitivity after teeth whitening is to increase the time between your whitening treatments. Start taking a break from using whitening trays. If you use whitening trays twice a week, use the tray once per week.
2 Use sensitivity solutions
We commonly give our patients a desensitizing toothpaste with two times the amount of fluoride in it than regular toothpaste, which reduces sensitivity.
It’s best if you use it two weeks before your scheduled whitening appointment. Using potassium nitrate in your whitening tray can also reduce sensitivity. Make sure to talk to the dentists about your plans to whiten so they can equip you with the necessary materials.
3 Avoid particular food and drinks for sometime
Consuming foods and drinks that are too hot or too cold can impact your teeth and gums’ sensitivity. You also need to avoid alcohol and acidic food and drinks if you have recently whitened your teeth. Avoiding these types of food and beverages can instantly decrease sensitivity or related pain.
If you want to have long-lasting effects on your teeth whitening treatment, you may want to know what types of food to eat and what foods to avoid after teeth whitening.
4 Not to brush your teeth right after whitening
After teeth whitening, brushing your teeth can further open pores of exposed dentin, which can further breed sensitivity. Also, try avoiding highly acidic bleaching agents, as it can damage your enamel.
No matter which whitening method you choose, we recommend our patients to schedule a dental consultation before they undergo teeth whitening. Your dentist will educate you through the whitening procedure, suggest a method that would be best for you, and discuss which products to use to reduce sensitivity and related pain.
ROYALTY DENTAL ASSOCIATES – SPRING CYPRESS ROAD