Teeth whitening has become popular over the last few years for many reasons. For some, it’s a way to boost confidence. For others, a way to eliminate those yellow coffee stains. Regardless of the reason, teeth whitening treatments can sometimes lead to tooth sensitivity (especially those completed outside of a professional teeth whitening dentist) in Lakewood, CO. Here’s what you need to know about soothing sensitive teeth after whitening.
Why Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?
Teeth whitening is a simple kind of procedure that can be performed at a dental office as well as at your home. Many in Lakewood, CO, have benefited from various whitening products. If you have tried teeth whitening products and you are experiencing sensitivity in your teeth, you don’t need to panic.
Sensitivity might follow a teeth-whitening procedure for a number of reasons.
- Whitening gels temporarily increase the permeability of your tooth enamel, revealing the sensitive dentin layer that houses the nerves in your teeth.
- Your teeth may experience stresses including dehydration of the enamel from some teeth whitening trays that could temporarily make them sensitive.
- If bleaching gels used in teeth whitening procedures come in contact with your gums, they may irritate them and make them sensitive.
At Fox Point Dental, we sometimes see cases of sensitivity after whitening. We will discuss 10 ways to soothe teeth sensitivity after whitening, so you can enjoy the benefits of teeth whitening in Lakewood, CO, without discomfort.
Our Favorite Ways to Soothe Teeth Sensitivity After Whitening
1. Use Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste
To prevent tooth pain from whitening, hydroxyapatite toothpaste can help reduce sensitivity. These toothpastes include natural components that work to form a barrier of protection around your teeth. This barrier aids in protecting the nerves in your teeth from irritants that could cause discomfort, such as cold or hot temperatures. We recommend using a sensitivity toothpaste or a hydroxyapatite toothpaste for a minimum of two weeks prior to whitening.
It’s important to remember that while hydroxyapatite toothpaste can be useful, results might not be apparent right away. Ask your dentist which toothpaste they suggest using and how frequently.
2. Avoid Hot and Cold Drinks
Drinks that are hot or cold can worsen tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening since these temperatures can trigger the nerves in your teeth. Drinking hot or cold liquids might cause your teeth to slightly expand or contract, which can cause sensitivity and discomfort.
This is why it’s helpful to stay away from these drinks if you have sensitive teeth as a result of teeth whitening. At Fox Point Dental in Lakewood, CO, we recommend drinking water at room temperature as the best option to avoid sensitivity after teeth whitening. It can also help remove any leftover stains from the teeth whitening procedure. Other than water, we recommend you drink milk or herbal tea at room temperature.
3. Rinse with Salt Water
If you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity after a teeth whitening treatment, rinsing with salt water can be a simple and effective solution.
Mix a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water and mix it until the salt is dissolved. Swirl the mixture around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Saltwater can help soothe the nerves in your teeth and reduce inflammation in your gums.
4. Apply a Cold Compress
It sounds strange, but there are times when a cold compress might be helpful! Cool temperatures might temporarily relieve pain by reducing swelling and numbing the nerves in your teeth. Wrap ice cubes in a towel or use an ice pack to create a cold compress on your cheek for 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Using a hard-bristled toothbrush might make your pain worse and your teeth more sensitive. Hard bristles can be too rough and irritate your teeth and gums further. Instead, use a toothbrush with soft bristles to help you gently clean your teeth without adding any pain.
6. Don’t Brush Too Hard
Applying too much pressure when brushing your teeth can cause discomfort after teeth whitening or even when using whitening strips. Heavy brushing can cause pain and discomfort by wearing down your tooth enamel and exposing the sensitive areas of your teeth.
Use gentle brushing techniques to prevent this. Avoid scrubbing back and forth, and instead, brush in a circular motion. Also, apply a gentle touch and let the bristles do the cleaning.
7. Try a Sensitivity Gel or request a Fluoride Varnish
After using teeth whitening products or whitening strips, sensitivity gels are an excellent way to lessen tooth sensitivity. Desensitizing substances, which are present in these gels, help numb the nerves in your teeth and lessen pain and discomfort.
Simply dab a little of the gel on your teeth, and leave it there for however long is advised—generally a few minutes. Avoid overusing it, and make sure you carefully follow the instructions.
Fluoride also helps to reduce sensitivity. In our practice, we will use fluoride in select situations where a patient needs more profound relief from the tooth whitening process. A fluoride varnish can be applied in the dental office and its effectiveness lasts 4-6 months.
8. Avoid Acidic Foods and Beverages
After teeth whitening, acidic foods and beverages might make teeth more sensitive. These acidic substances can erode the enamel of your teeth, putting them at greater risk of pain.
Less acidic meal selections like milk, cheese, plain yogurt, bananas, and oats are a few delicious alternatives. Also, stay away from acidic beverages like soda, fruit juice, and wine and choose water or herbal tea instead.
9. Apply Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an effective natural remedy that can be used to help soothe sensitivity. The oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help in reducing inflammation and fight off harmful bacteria in the mouth.
To apply coconut oil, simply take a small amount and swish it around your mouth for 15-20 minutes, a practice known as oil pulling. Spit the coconut oil out and rinse your mouth with warm water.
You can also apply a small amount of coconut oil directly to the affected teeth for a few minutes before rinsing it off. While coconut oil might not work for everyone, it is a natural and affordable option worth trying if you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. Be sure to consult with your dentist if your sensitivity persists or worsens.
10. Using a Mouth Guard For Sensitivity
Mouth guards act as a barrier to shield your teeth from potential irritants such as teeth clenching or grinding. These habits can worsen sensitivity by putting additional pressure on your teeth. You can avoid excessive contact and lessen the discomfort linked to tooth sensitivity by wearing a mouth guard.
Mouth guards come in a variety of styles, including those that are custom-made by your dentist or accessible over the counter. Speak with your dentist to pick the ideal mouth guard for your unique needs and enjoy the benefits of reduced sensitivity and improved dental health.
Visit Fox Point Dental and See How a General Dentistry Clinic Can Help
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening or from any other cause, visiting a dental clinic like Fox Point Dental in Lakewood, CO, can be incredibly beneficial. Our dentists can examine your teeth to determine the cause of your sensitivity and recommend appropriate treatment options. We can also provide guidance on proper oral hygiene practices to help prevent future sensitivity.
At Fox Point Dental, our experienced team offers a range of general dentistry services, including teeth cleanings, dental exams, and restorative treatments. We prioritize patient comfort and strive to create a welcoming environment for every patient. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, consider scheduling an appointment with Fox Point Dental for care and guidance.
To learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services, visit this page here.