Tooth color is one of the most noticeable features of the smile. Unfortunately, dental stains and general discoloration leave many patients with a smile that is not as bright or white as they would like. Dr. Thomas Tang is happy to offer professional teeth whitening treatment, which can improve tooth color by several shades in as little as one hour.
One thing that our Brookfield, WI patients can expect in the days after teeth whitening treatment is heightened tooth sensitivity. However, by taking some proactive steps, patients can prevent sensitivity after teeth whitening so that any discomfort is minimal.
Take Over-the-counter Medication
Teeth whitening is one of the safest and most affordable ways to enhance the beauty of the smile. Teeth whitening treatment has an extremely low risk of complications and results in few side effects.
However, to prevent tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening, patients should start preparing prior to treatment. It is a good idea to take an over-the-counter pain medication about 30 minutes before treatment begins. This can prevent discomfort and sensitivity before it even starts.
If irritation develops after pain medication has worn off, it can be used again, as directed, until sensitivity subsides. The best medications to choose are those that are anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
The bleaching agents in teeth whitening solutions open up the pores of the teeth and leave the nerves that reside inside the teeth vulnerable, which is why sensitivity is common. However, if the teeth are not exposed to foods and beverages that are irritating, heightened sensitivity shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Dr. Tang recommends that our Brookfield patients avoid any foods or beverages that are extreme in temperature for at least a couple of days after teeth whitening treatment. This includes cold foods like ice cream and popsicles, as well as hot foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and soup.
Do Not Brush Immediately after Treatment
Brushing the teeth is one of the most important aspects of a good oral hygiene routine, so patients should continue to brush regularly after teeth whitening treatment. However, we do suggest that patients wait at least a few hours after treatment before brushing.
Brushing will further open up the pores of the teeth, which can make tooth sensitivity worse. As a precaution, patients should brush their teeth right before teeth whitening treatment, and then not again for several hours after treatment is complete.
Choose a Toothpaste Formulated for Sensitivity
Prior to undergoing teeth whitening treatment, our Brookfield patients should shop for a toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth. If patients start using a desensitizing toothpaste a couple of weeks before their whitening treatment, they can likely prevent sensitivity altogether.
To be safe, patients should continue using a toothpaste designed for sensitivity in the weeks after treatment. This type of toothpaste can protect tooth enamel and minimize, or eliminate, discomfort related to teeth whitening.
If you are considering teeth whitening treatment and would like to learn more about the services offered by Dr. Thomas Tang, contact us at your earliest convenience or call (262) 821-1000 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you achieve the bright, white smile you desire.