Posted on: 23 February 2016
Teeth whitening shouldn't cause any long-term problems, but many people find that their teeth are more sensitive just after the treatment has taken place. This occurs for two main reasons:
- The bleaching agent has penetrated your teeth, thereby increasing blood flow. This creates pressure that can irritate nerves.
- An increase in tooth porosity and slight removal of the protective protein layer has exposed sensitive parts of your teeth.
Neither issue is something to worry about, but the resulting sensitivity can be a real pain. Luckily, you can take the following five steps to help alleviate the problem.
1. Use the Right Toothpaste – Both Before and After
Those who suffer from sensitive teeth even without undergoing a whitening treatment should already be using toothpaste that has been specifically created to address the problem. If you know that whitening causes your teeth to become sensitive, switch to one of these products around a week before you start the treatment, then continue using it until two weeks after your final treatment.
2. Brush Before Whitening
Before you apply the whitening gel, make sure you brush your teeth. Brushing straight after whitening could damage the enamel of your teeth thanks to the slightly acidic nature of bleaching products. If you forgot to brush before whitening, try waiting at least an hour after the procedure before you do.
3. Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Most people don't pay attention to whether they pick up a soft-bristled or hard-bristled toothbrush, but it can make a real difference if you're experiencing any sensitivity. Soft bristles won't aggravate your teeth or erode any of the weaker surfaces created by whitening agents, so make sure your toothbrush has them.
4. Follow the Instructions
Leaving a whitening product on longer than advised shouldn't make your teeth whiter any faster – but it could damage your tooth enamel. This can easily lead to increased sensitivity, but that's really just the tip of the iceberg. Leaving whitening agents on your teeth for too long can even cause burns and ongoing problems.
5. Avoid Hot or Cold Food and Drink
Sensitivity often flares up when your teeth come in contact with hot or cold foods and drinks; even breathing in cold air can cause a flash of discomfort. With this in mind, try skipping hot and cold drinks, and let your dinner cool a little before you dig in. It's also advisable to brush with lukewarm water instead of cold for a week or two following treatments.
It can be a real annoyance knowing that whitening your teeth will result in the discomfort of sensitivity, but that's no reason to give the treatment a miss entirely. Just follow the five steps listed above. If you have questions, contact your dentist.Share