The teeth whitening process is simple, effective and safe. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to improve your overall appearance. Teeth whitening can make your teeth several shades whiter and brighter, and bring attention to your smile. The only real downside to teeth whitening is that it can sometimes cause tooth sensitivity. However, there are ways to manage teeth whitening sensitivity so you can get the white teeth you want without the worry of sensitivity.
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular procedures because of the way it works to help reduce the appearance of stained or discolored teeth. Teeth whitening products work when their active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, breaks down into small oxygen molecules that can easily seep into tooth enamel. Once inside the enamel, the oxygen molecules from the whitening agents react with the discolored molecules in your teeth; the reaction breaks the bonds that hold the stains to the enamel, thereby removing the stain.
Unfortunately, the peroxide and its oxygen-releasing action can also remove minerals from tooth enamel, causing the teeth to become temporarily porous and exposing the tubules that lead from the surface of the tooth to the tooth’s nerve. In other words, teeth whitening can remove enamel’s protective barrier that prevents irritants from reaching the tooth’s nerve. Sensitivity associated with teeth whitening can cause discomfort during teeth whitening sessions or when consuming cold food or liquids.
Tips to Manage Teeth Whitening Sensitivity
The good news is that there are tricks and tips you can use to reduce sensitivity associated with teeth whitening. You may not need to incorporate all of these changes to your teeth whitening routine – making just one or two changes may help stop teeth whitening sensitivity.
Follow the directions
Follow the instructions included with the teeth whitening product. Never let the teeth whitening product sit on your teeth longer than recommended, as this can promote the demineralization of your tooth enamel.
Reduce and shorten your whitening sessions
Instead of whitening your teeth every day, cut back to every other day. Shortening the duration of each whitening session can help too.
Take pain relievers BEFORE application
Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, a half hour or so before applying the teeth whitening gel to your teeth.
Lower the peroxide level
Use a product that contains less peroxide.
Limit cold drinks and foods while whitening
Limiting cold food and drinks while you whiten can help you avoid discomfort associated with teeth whitening sensitivity.
Don’t overuse whitening products
Overuse of whitening products can accelerate the demineralization of tooth enamel. Use all whitening products as directed.
Use fluoride rinse
Fluoride can slow demineralization of your tooth enamel. Use a fluoride rinse as directed during the whitening process.
Use a soft toothbrush
Hard toothbrush bristles can damage tooth enamel to heighten tooth sensitivity. Using a soft toothbrush helps protect tooth enamel, and can even protect the roots of your teeth and your gums.
Ask your dentist for products that can desensitize teeth
A number of products to reduce sensitivity are now available. These products work by plugging the tubules in the enamel, thereby preventing cold fluids or whitening products from reaching the dental nerve.
Your dentist can also offer in-office whitening to help your teeth get their whitest while reducing your risk of teeth whitening sensitivity.
Schedule a teeth whitening appointment in Raleigh today.
Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 847-6000