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How to Minimize Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening
Regardless of the type of teeth whitening procedure you choose, you may experience a bit of sensitivity after the procedure, even if you have a healthy oral routine and strong enamel. When dealing with sensitivity, it is good to be proactive, especially if you have a history of teeth sensitivity. The best way to guard against sensitivity is to take necessary measures before visiting the dentist or using a whitening kit at home.
Cause of teeth whitening sensitivity
Teeth whitening treatments are available in different forms, from natural solutions and over-the-counter whitening kits to professional treatments provided by dentists. In the case of whitening procedures provided by a dentist, the sensitivity that often occurs in some patients a few hours after the treatment may be connected to the dental-grade bleaching agent. The agent used ensures long-lasting results by penetrating the enamel, but it could also reveal some nerve endings near the tooth’s surface.
Reducing teeth sensitivity
While teeth sensitivity is normal after a whitening procedure, it can be discomforting. The following are a few steps that can help to reduce sensitivity caused by teeth whitening.
The dentist can provide a desensitizing toothpaste or a prescription toothpaste that contains double the level of fluoride in regular toothpaste to reduce pain from tooth sensitivity after treatment. It is advisable to use this toothpaste consistently for two weeks ahead of the whitening schedule.
Adding potassium nitrate to the trays used for whitening can also help reduce the discomfort. Only the dentist can provide this substance, so patients can discuss with their dental care provider so they can get safe and appropriate materials.
Use over-the-counter pain relievers
Patients experiencing hypersensitivity or who have suffered pain for over the expected 48 hours after treatment can ask their dentist about pain medications. Depending on the patient, the dentist may recommend pain relievers containing anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or Motrin.
Avoid cold temperature foods and drinks
To minimize pain after whitening, it is advisable to avoid foods such as ice water, popsicles and ice cream – everything along that line. Cold drinks and foods will cause more irritation to the already sensitive teeth, so it is better to keep them in the freezer.
Avoid brushing soon after whitening
Brushing immediately after teeth whitening will cause further exposure of the already open pores of the dentin and worsen sensitivity. It can also harm the enamel because some bleaching agents are highly acidic. Patients can give their teeth some time to recover, probably for another couple of hours.
Reduce the frequency of treatment
Patients who are prone to sensitivity should reduce the frequency of teeth whitening. The dentist will reduce the duration of teeth exposure to bleaching agents to minimize pain after the treatment.
Regardless of the whitening methods you opt for, you must consult your dentist before going through with the process. The dentist will provide necessary information on the teeth whitening process, recommend the most appropriate method, and discuss methods to minimize pain and sensitivity after treatment.
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