Teeth whitening or as others may call it, teeth bleaching is quickly becoming a common practice among people. One of the main reasons why people go through this process is for cosmetic purposes. Not only does it improve the appearance of teeth but it also boosts one’s self-esteem.
A common side effect of teeth whitening is sensitivity. Quite a large number of people suffer from it. This happens roughly between 24 and 48 hours after the procedure is done. Tooth sensitivity occurs because the products used to lighten the teeth have corrosive properties that irritate nerves in the tooth. It is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment first with your dentist before opting for the procedure. The dentist will examine your dental formula and advice you on the best possible way you can avoid or minimize tooth sensitivity.
Below are some of the tips on how to manage sensitivity before and after teeth whitening.
- A few weeks or days before the procedure, use a desensitizing toothpaste. They can easily be acquired from your local supermarket. Brush your teeth with the toothpaste three times a day. You can leave the toothpaste on your teeth for a few minutes after brushing. This is before rinsing your teeth. It ensures extra sensitivity protection. Do not forget to use a brush with soft bristles.
One can also opt for a desensitizing gel, paste or liquid. A small amount is applied to the teeth using a swab. It is then left for a stipulated amount of time.
You could also ask your dentist to prescribe some desensitizing formula before the treatment.
- A few hours before your treatment you could inquire from your dentist if they could prescribe some anti-inflammatory medication. This is still the medication you will continue taking after the treatment due to the inflamed gums.
- After the treatment, avoid hot and cold foods or drinks. This is because, as earlier stated, sensitivity will occur between 24 and 48 hours. The same applies to people that have not suffered sensitivity or any other form of dental problems before. The extreme temperatures in these drinks or food will hurt their teeth nerves inflicting pain. Consume foods that are at room temperature.
It is also advised to avoid foods that are acidic. Eating fruits like lemons and pineapples will not only hurt your teeth but may cause inflammation of the gum.
Another thing is to avoid air from getting into the mouth. If it is not too much to ask, have a cloth to cover up your mouth.
- Normally, it is advised to use a brush with soft bristles. In the case of teeth whitening, brushing with a soft-bristled brush is absolutely necessary. This should be done before and after the procedure. The soft bristles ensure your gums and the teeth surfaces are not irritated.
- A few hours after teeth whitening, brushing your teeth with a toothpaste containing high amounts of fluoride will reduce the sensitivity effect. Fluoride is a mineral that is highly recommended for fighting tooth sensitivity.
Apart from brushing, you could opt to do a fluoride mouthwash.
- Whether you used the zoom technology or a home teeth whitening treatment, give yourself time in between treatments. Whitening 2 times annually is what is recommended. Bleaching the teeth many times will injure the tooth enamel making them more sensitive.
- Another unorthodox manner of dealing with tooth sensitivity after whitening is to chew sugar-free gum. This should be immediately after the treatment. Get a pack and chew one at a time until the whole pack is through. These could be done at intervals of 10 minutes. It is believed that chewing helps alleviate tooth sensitivity.
- Seek medical attention if your sensitivity goes on for more than 48 hours. You could schedule a dental appointment so that the dentist could look for other possible underlying issues.
It is good to realize that not all stains can be removed by teeth whitening. Whitening toothpaste, for example, will rarely whiten discolored teeth. They will only get rid of minor stains. It is recommended to do extensive research on the type of teeth whitening that will work for you.