Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common side effects of teeth whitening. Often, this accelerates on having hot and cold food and beverages. Tooth sensitivity can range from mild to severe and usually lasts for a couple of days after the teeth whitening procedure.
Usually, tooth sensitivity occurs due to acidic contents such as hydrogen peroxide, which can cause enamel erosion. However, there are few ways to reduce tooth sensitivity and provide a comfortable experience after the whitening treatment. (1) Let’s take a closer look at some of the standard methods to reduce tooth sensitivity from whitening treatment.
How to reduce tooth sensitivity from teeth whitening?
Several teeth whitening products can be used professionally and at home to lighten the color of the teeth. Usually, tooth sensitivity is reported within one to two days of teeth whitening. Some of the methods that can help to reduce tooth sensitivity are given below –
Reduce tooth sensitivity before teeth whitening
Usually, patients are advised to use a sensitive toothpaste or gel at least one week before the treatment. This helps to build resistance to tooth sensitivity. Moreover, the continuation of sensitive toothpaste helps to prevent the heightened sensation of the tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening procedure. (2)
You can choose any sensitive toothpaste, or you can consult your dentist one week before getting professional teeth whitening to choose the most effective sensitive toothpaste. You can also use sensitive toothpaste before using a home teeth whitening kit.
Reduce tooth sensitivity during the whitening procedure
If you wish to reduce tooth sensitivity effectively during the treatment, using a home teeth whitening kit is the safest way. This is because the dosage of bleaching agents in-home whitening kit is less as compared to the strong acidic professional whitening kits. (3)
The individual can adjust more the time of treatment according to their convenience. You can record the time duration after each session and note when the tooth sensitivity starts. Alter the time of therapy accordingly by using the whitening gel for a shorter period in each session. Avoid sleeping while using a home whitening gel as it can lead to enamel erosion and increase the risk of tooth sensitivity.
Reduce tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening procedure
Some of the essential tip for reducing tooth sensitivity after whitening treatment are given below –
- Use a prescribed sensitive toothpaste or gel to cope with the tooth sensitivity. Usually, tooth sensitivity lasts only for a few days. You can switch back to your regular toothpaste after the tenderness is gone.
- Use light strokes to brush your teeth. Moreover, use lukewarm water instead of cold water to rinse your mouth. A soft-bristled toothbrush is best for reducing tooth sensitivity after the whitening procedure.
- Place a sensitive toothpaste on the trays after using a home whitening kit and apply it to the teeth for 20 minutes. This method drastically helps to reduce tooth sensitivity.
- Avoid hot or cold food and beverages for a few days after the whitening treatment. It will also help to prevent tooth staining and maintain the color of your teeth. (4)
- If you wish to drink acidic drinks, use a straw to minimize the contact of the drink with the tooth surface.
In case of severe tooth sensitivity or pain, use over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Additionally, consult your dentist as soon as possible to get proper treatment.