Patients undergoing teeth whitening treatment to achieve a dazzling white smile should know that the treatment has a temporary downside. While a teeth whitening treatment considerably improves the appearance of your smile, patients sometimes develop sensitivity. This is because most professional teeth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient.

This sensitivity may be experienced as a rush of discomfort or a wave of pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods. However, this potential downside of teeth whitening treatment is temporary and subsides with the passage of time.

Anyone who is undergoing a teeth whitening treatment whether at a dental office or at home, can follow these tips to minimize the sensitivity and discomfort induced by the procedure:

  • Avoid Hot and Cold Foods and Beverages

    Extremely hot or cold foods or drinks can trigger sensitivity after the teeth whitening treatment. So it is recommended that you consume foods and beverages at room temperature to avoid sensitivity and staining.

  • Use Sensitivity Toothpaste and a Fluoride Rinse

    Brushing with sensitivity toothpaste and rising with fluoride mouthwash can help alleviate sensitivity issues significantly.

  • Take Anti-inflammatory Medication

    If you cannot bear the discomfort and sensitivity following the teeth whitening treatment, then painkillers containing anti-inflammatory agents can help alleviate the side effects of hydrogen peroxide.

  • Use a Soft Bristled Brush with Lukewarm Water

    It is always recommended to use a soft-bristled brush in a gentle circular motion as it cleans your teeth efficiently without causing any irritation. When rinsing your teeth, you can use lukewarm water as it will greatly minimize the discomfort and sensitivity after teeth whitening.

Talk to Your Dentist if Sensitivity Persists

Professional teeth whitening treatment is considered much safer and effective as the entire procedure is personalized to give you the best results that last longer. Also, the patient is constantly monitored to ensure you experience negligible discomfort and sensitivity after the procedure is performed.

But, if the discomfort continues to bother you for long and the sensitivity persists, it is always a good idea to visit your dentist. Your dentist should be able to determine if the teeth whitening treatment has amplified your sensitivity or is it an underlying problem like a cavity. When you visit the dentist, it would also help if you can bring the packaging of the products that you have been using at home. As certain products contain harsh ingredients that can aggravate sensitivity and pain, your dentist may be able to prescribe better alternatives.

Author's Bio: 

Shen Chao is part of Joshua Hong DDS. While working for the Smile Clinic, he’s gained first hand experiences into the questions and concerns that dental patients have. He has been writing to inform people about various dental topics to help his readers improve their oral health. When he’s not working, you can find him on a hiking trail with his dog or having a Sunday cook-out with friends.