Teeth whitening is an incredibly popular way of improving your appearance, restoring confidence and taking years off your apparent age. The benefits of teeth whitening in Dearborn are many and various, but it comes at a minor and temporary cost for some. Some people who receive teeth whitening report increased tooth sensitivity after the fact. Teeth sensitivity does not need to stand between you and whiter, brighter, more beautiful teeth. Here’s what you need to know about whitening-related tooth sensitivity and what you can do about it.
Why does whitening sometimes cause teeth sensitivity?
Bleaching materials in some whitening compounds can remove some minerals from the enamel layer of your tooth. Small and hollow channels called dentinal tubules run between the surface of your teeth and the interior of each tooth where nerves are located. When that happens, those tiny tubules are temporarily more exposed than usual. While those tubes are exposed, you’ll experience increased dental sensitivity. That increased teeth sensitivity is typically temporary. Within a few days of undergoing teeth whitening near you, the minerals on your teeth replenish themselves to again protect those tubules and the interior of your tooth from exposure and sensitivity.
What can you do to reduce post-whitening sensitivity?
If you have a history of experiencing tooth sensitivity and are undergoing professional chairside teeth whitening, let the staff at your dental clinic in Dearborn know about those prior experiences. One of the most important advantages of having teeth whitened by a dentist rather than DIY products is the dentist’s ability to adjust the intensity or type of bleaching compounds to account for sensitivity and address particular stains. Your dentist may even recommend some products or medications to use before or after your session to minimize any temporary discomfort you experience.
If you choose to whiten your teeth using kits purchased from a grocery store or drugstore, look for products with lower levels of the bleaching ingredient, hydrogen peroxide. Use products with 5% or 6% hydrogen peroxide levels and short application times. Products with a five-minute application time are the best option to minimize post-whitening sensitivity. Be sure to follow the products’ instructions precisely. When in doubt, ask your dentist for help rather than doing it yourself.
Use toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth a week or two before your teeth whitening appointment. Continue to use that toothpaste for sensitive teeth for a week or so after your whitening session.
While you should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush, the days and week after a teeth whitening session is especially important. A soft brush rather than a hard or medium brush will allow the minerals to reaccumulate on and in your enamel more quickly after whitening.
Fluoride helps to remineralize your teeth and to fill the dentinal tubules that may have become exposed during teeth whitening. In the days and weeks after undergoing teeth whitening near you, brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride.
Pay special attention to what you eat in the first week after getting your teeth whitened. In addition to avoiding food and drinks that will stain your newly whitened teeth, avoid foods that will exacerbate increased tooth sensitivity.
Foods to avoid to minimize tooth sensitivity include highly acidic, extremely sweet and very sour foods and anything too hot or cold. Stick to foods that are not too hot, not too cold, not too acidic, not too sweet and not too sour. It may be a boring diet for a few days, but it’ll help you avoid the worst teeth sensitivity.
Will your teeth be sensitive after undergoing teeth whitening? You can minimize that by following these tips and asking the staff at a dental clinic near you to perform the whitening for you. By following these tips, you can minimize teeth whitening costs.