Even the hardiest of teeth can become quite sensitive during the whitening process. A small amount of discomfort is actually quite usual during teeth whitening, and yet it can easily be avoided. Those with highly sensitive teeth should avoid at-home whitening treatments in favour of a visit to the dentist. While effective, at-home treatments can be rather abrasive, as opposed to the more advanced non-invasive methods available from your dentist. It's not a case of no pain, no gain, and there's no reason why a beautiful white smile can't be achieved in total comfort. You will need to start preparing your teeth several weeks before teeth whitening, and this is the case no matter whether you're whitening at home, or visiting the dentist. So what are some of the things you need to be aware of?
Is Teeth Whitening Right for You (Right Now)?
First things first: You should not undergo teeth whitening if you have any kind of gum disease. This is the equivalent of applying abrasive chemicals to an open wound and will mean you won't have to deal with sensitivity — you will have to deal with actual pain. Gingivitis is the worst offender, but this can be easily remedied. Your dentist can give you a professional cleaning and scaling, and the condition will quickly disappear.
Reduce Your Sensitivity in Advance
In the weeks leading up to your teeth whitening, you need to prepare your teeth. Switch toothpastes to a brand designed specially for sensitive teeth. Your teeth contain dentine, which is covered by protective enamel. When this enamel wears away (due to aging, diet and dental hygiene), it exposes dentinal tubules, which are tiny channels that lead into the tooth itself. These exposed tubes cause tooth sensitivity, which can become much worse during the whitening process. A toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth blocks these tubules, greatly reducing any discomfort.
An Hour Before Whitening
During the whitening process itself, you can easily alleviate any discomfort with over-the-counter pain relief. Ibuprofen is best since it also contains anti-inflammatory properties to reduce any gum irritation. You should take it around one hour before the whitening procedure.
Slow and Steady...
When whitening using an at-home kit, you can reduce sensitivity by drawing out the process. If the instructions tell you to leave the product on your teeth for 20 minutes, leave it on for half that time. It will take longer to achieve the desired result, but you will be able to do so without discomfort.
By taking a few straightforward precautions, your teeth will be beautiful and white, and you would have achieved this in total comfort.
As a mum, I know how essential sport can be to children's development. Through team sports like soccer, kids learn persistence, sportsmanship and the value of supporting their team members. However, all that learning carries some risk as well, and a stray elbow or a ball to the face can result in oral injuries. I have been the mum rushing to the emergency room with a precious permanent tooth sitting in a cup of milk. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't even sure if the cup of milk was the right solution. As a parent, you will face those situations, and I'm here to make sure you know what to do when they pop up. With this blog, let's explore children's dentistry and sports injuries together... I want you to have the info you need to stay cool, calm and collected, regardless of how many teeth are on the pitch.