Tooth Sensitivity Issues Do Not Put You Out Of The Game For Whiter Teeth

Are you afraid to get your teeth whitened due to fears of pain? Some people experience tooth sensitivity when they use teeth whitening products. Understanding why this occurs and how to reduce the sensitivity could ease your fears and allow you to get "pearly whites" like your friends or favorite celebrities. The following points can help you better understand your situation and options. 

Why does tooth sensitivity sometimes occur with teeth whitening? 

Sensitivity may occur for a number of reasons during this aesthetic procedure. Damaged enamel is a common reason that it occurs. Tooth enamel can become damaged due to eating acidic food or having poor dental hygiene habits. Sensitivity can also occur if the trays used to apply the gel do not fit over the teeth properly. This is something that is common with storebought trays. Some over-the-counter whitening gels can also cause pain that feels like tooth sensitivity if the gel leaks outside of the trays and makes contact with the gum line. 

What are good options for teeth whitening if sensitivity is a known issue?

Opt for a professional whitening at a clinic like Cape Dental Care when possible. If you are determined to do your teeth whitening at home, most dentists can prepare properly fitting trays with the correct amount of gel for you to take home and use at your convenience. You may also want to consider whitening strips instead of trays if you decide to buy a kit from a store. This is because some of the tray options sold in stores are made of acidic chemicals that could further damage your enamel. Never attempt to leave teeth whitening agents on longer than recommended in an attempt to get your teeth whiter. Doing so can cause chemical burns and damage enamel.

What can be done before or after to lessen sensitivity?

Brush your teeth prior to your teeth whitening instead of immediately afterward. If you brush them afterward, your teeth might become even more sensitive. You can rinse with water after the procedure, or you can use a pH-balancing rinse. Consider taking a NSAID medication, such as ibuprofen, to lessen the sensitivity you feel. You can also use a desensitizing toothpaste a few hours after the procedure. Use a cotton swab or your fingertips to gently spread the paste on the surfaces of your teeth. Allow the paste to sit for a short period before rinsing or spitting. Some of these pastes aid in remineralization which strengthens damaged enamel.