Tips to Reduce Sensitivity after Teeth Whitening
By Andrew Mortensen, DDS on September 21, 2019
Teeth whitening treatment erases surface stains from the teeth and brightens the smile by several shades. Teeth whitening is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic dentistry treatments. Its popularity is due in large part to its effectiveness, its affordability, and the ease and safety of treatment.
Although professional teeth whitening is very unlikely to lead to any complications, it can result in minor side effects. Most commonly, patients experience heightened tooth sensitivity in the days following treatment. Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen offers our Fountain Valley, CA, patients tips to reduce sensitivity after teeth whitening so that they can recover comfortably from their procedure.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
During teeth whitening treatment, a bleaching formula is applied to the surface of the teeth. The ingredients in this formula open up the pores of tooth enamel to lift and minimize discoloration.
This process exposes the more sensitive inner layers of the tooth. The nerves at the center of the teeth are most likely to respond, or cause discomfort when they are exposed to extreme temperatures.
To minimize sensitivity after teeth whitening, our Fountain Valley patients should stick to foods and beverages that are more moderate in temperature, at least for a few days. Within a week of treatment most patients can handle hot and cold temperatures again.
Drink with a Straw
Some people rely on a hot cup of coffee or tea to wake them up in the morning or relax them at night. Many simply cannot enjoy drinks like water and soda if they aren’t ice cold. If someone has a hard time avoiding hot and cold beverages in the days following teeth whitening, they can drink them with a straw. A straw minimizes how much of the drink comes in contact with the teeth.
Switch to a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
It is a good idea for our Fountain Valley patients to switch to a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth while they are recovering from teeth whitening treatment. These toothpastes are meant to relieve sensitivity and strengthen the minerals within tooth enamel to resist future sensitivity.
To get the full effects of a tooth whitening toothpaste, patients need to brush for at least two minutes at a time, twice a day. They should also brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid causing any further irritation.
Consider an Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
By following the abovementioned tips, most people are able to control sensitivity so that they remain comfortable after teeth whitening treatment. However, if sensitivity remains an issue, patients should consider the use of an over-the-counter pain medication.
Over-the-counter pain medication can be used as directed to reduce sensitivity. A medication that contains anti-inflammatories, like Ibuprofen, will be most effective. Anti-inflammatories help calm irritated nerves so that sensitivity is not as heightened.
Get in Touch
Teeth whitening treatment can minimize stains and whiten your teeth to give you the bright teeth you desire. If you would like more information about teeth whitening treatment and the brief recovery period that follows, send us a message at your earliest convenience. You can also call (714) 964-4183 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen.
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“I am proud to have served patients in our community. Through continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to offer you and your family the high level of care you're looking for.” Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S.