Teeth whitening has become an essential step you have to take if you want whiter and brighter teeth. However, many who regularly use at-home whitening products might be familiar with the sensitivity that occurs shortly after. This pain can often cause you to not try whitening again due to fear of damaging your teeth.
But, is tooth sensitivity a sign that whitening can damage your teeth? Find out more about how teeth whitening can affect your mouth’s health and how you can enjoy a brighter smile below.
Teeth sensitivity is common, but not damaging
Teeth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, is a common side effect when using tooth bleaching products. This can include having a heightened response to hot and cold drinks or sweet foods where you feel a short, sharp pain. Normally this occurs during the early stages of bleaching as a result of how the whitening products work.
Whitening products work by flowing through tubules within the enamel. These tubules are microscopic, but they are just big enough to allow the product to enter the tooth and whiten the surface of the tooth. However, using whitening products causes these tubules to become dehydrated, which exposes the tooth to irritation. This sensitivity is usually temporary and goes away when saliva remineralizes the enamel, but the sensitivity can take some time to go away.
If you take extra care with your teeth and gently brush your teeth you will not damage your teeth. However, failing to take care of your teeth shortly after bleaching could cause your tooth enamel to erode. This in turn will lead to more frequent yellowing and stains and will require more whitening treatments to correct.
Gum irritation is also common
Bleaching products are meant to be used on tooth enamel, but often times this gel comes in contact with our gum. This can occur when a bleaching tray is overfilled with gel or when the product is applied wrong. While gum tissue will regenerate, it can cause discomfort for a few days. In order to avoid this, it’s recommended that you wipe away any excessive gel when applying products to avoid the gum tissue from being damaged.
How can I protect my teeth after whitening?
To ensure that your teeth are safe during the bleaching process, try the following:
- Use a lower concentration of whitening product to avoid exposing your teeth to high amounts of chemicals
- Use bleaching treatments less frequently to avoid irritation
- Brush gently after bleaching to avoid eroding tooth enamel
- Change your diet to avoid hot or cold foods for a few days after whitening
- Avoid using at-home whitening products excessively
Get whiter teeth today with professional help
Teeth whitening at a dentist’s office is the way to go if you want whiter teeth. Some at-home whitening products could cause damage to your teeth, which could cause problems for your teeth. The whitening products used at Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry will not harm your teeth and are enamel safe.
Contact Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry today to learn more about our teeth whitening services and smile with confidence!