Having a bright smile is something that many of us strive for, and sometimes it can be achieved through professional teeth whitening. Professional whitening can get your smile several shades whiter in one sitting, creating an almost instant boost to your confidence. But unfortunately, it can also cause sensitivity in some people – a common side effect of the procedure.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent sensitive teeth after whitening so you don’t have to miss out on enjoying your dazzling new smile. Here are five tips to help you reduce or eliminate any discomfort:
1. Use Professional Whitening Products Only
Professional grade products contain a higher concentration of bleaching agents than over-the-counter versions, and when used correctly they can help get your teeth up to a few shades lighter without risking further sensitivity. Professional products also come with guidance from a dental professional, so it’s important to ask questions and follow their instructions carefully.
2. Choose Desensitizing Agents
When purchased through a dentist, many whitening kits come with desensitizing gels that can help reduce the risk of post-treatment sensitivity. They typically contain potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, which are known to reduce dentin hypersensitivity – the cause of tooth sensitivity after whitening.
3. Avoid Whitening Too Often
Professional whitening should only be done around once every six months since bleaching agents can damage enamel and cause further sensitivity if used too frequently. If you’re looking for a quick fix in between treatments, over-the-counter whitening products contain gentler bleaching agents that make it easier to get an even white smile without putting your sensitive teeth at risk.
4. Use Fluoride Treatments Post-Whitening
Professional fluoride treatments can help reduce sensitivity after whitening and help remineralize enamel that has been weakened by the bleaching process. Professional fluoride treatments are available through a dentist and are typically applied after each whitening session to protect against post-treatment sensitivity.
5. Reduce or Eliminate Acidic Foods and Drinks
Eating acidic foods and drinks such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, vinegar, and alcohol can erode enamel over time, making teeth more prone to sensitivity. If you’ve recently whitened your teeth, it’s important to reduce or eliminate acidic foods from your diet to help keep your pearly whites healthy and free of discomfort.
The Bottom Line
Professional whitening is an effective way to brighten up dull teeth and enhance a smile, but it can also cause sensitivity in some people if done incorrectly. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent sensitive teeth after whitening such as using professional-grade products only, choosing desensitizing agents, avoiding too much whitening, using fluoride treatments post-whitening, and reducing or eliminating acidic foods from the diet. Doing these things will help ensure that you can enjoy your newly whitened smile without any discomfort.
Professional teeth whitening typically produces results in one session, but the exact amount of time it takes to achieve desired results vary depending on the person and type of treatment used. Professional treatments are usually done in-office by a dentist and take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
The best way to avoid post-whitening sensitivity is to use professional-grade products, choose desensitizing agents, avoid too much whitening, use fluoride treatments post-whitening, and reduce or eliminate acidic foods from the diet.
Professional whitening should generally only be done once every six months, as bleaching agents can damage enamel if used too frequently. If you’re looking for a quick fix in between treatments, over-the-counter whitening products contain gentler bleaching agents that make it easier to get an even white smile without putting your sensitive teeth at risk.