If you have sensitive teeth, you’re probably used to being aware of the temperature of your meal or your drinks. But did you know that there is a whole portion of the dental industry designed just for you?
A wide variety of do-it-yourself products are available on the market for you to whiten your teeth at home. Or you can choose to get it done professionally at Rhoades DDS. No matter the path you choose to whiten your sensitive teeth, there are additional steps that you can take to help ensure your whitening experience is positive – and won’t cause negative side effects.
1. Brush before you whiten.
It’s better for your teeth if you’ve brushed and flossed before applying any products specifically designed to whiten your sensitive teeth. As always, make a point to brush your teeth with care, rather than rigorously scrubbing.
Keep in mind that your teeth have pores, just like your skin does! So if you frequently bleach your teeth and brush after the whitening process, you risk increasing your teeth’s porosity. This can cause harm to your tooth’s overall structure, and increase the likelihood that plaque will build up in all of those new crevices and lead to more cavities. With time, this could also increase the sensitivity of your teeth. Thankfully, you can avoid this type of damage just by brushing your teeth before you apply any whitening products.
2. Follow all whitening directions.
If you’re using at-home whitening tools, be sure to follow every single instruction with the product. This includes directions for application, cleaning, rinsing, and the suggested length of time to leave the product on. These instructions are included for a reason: Whitening products contain compounds like peroxide, which do the hard work of whitening your teeth, but can cause damage if used improperly.
For people with sensitive teeth, you can actually leave a whitening product on your teeth for less time than the directions recommend. This will still have a positive whitening impact on your overall smile, helping to ensure your teeth don’t respond negatively. Particularly for people with sensitive teeth, stay aware of how often you whiten and the types of products you’re using. If you overuse whitening tools, you will likely experience detrimental sensitivity side effects, no matter how well you follow each product’s instructions.
3. Try desensitizing toothpastes or gels.
Both toothpastes and gels are available specifically designed for people with sensitive teeth. If you’re choosing to try a desensitizing toothpaste, it’s best to regularly use this product every time that you brush your teeth – not only on the days where you’re whitening your teeth. Over time, these toothpastes can have a lasting positive effect on your teeth’s sensitivity.
If you’re choosing to try a desensitizing gel, you’re able to selectively apply this product to the parts of your gums that are the most sensitive, and only on the days when you most need it. Because desensitizing gels are used on an as-needed basis, they likely won’t have lasting effects, but they will help you get through the days when you need a little extra help. Both of these options should help your sensitive teeth feel better when whitening, and throughout your everyday life.
4. Don’t forget to rinse.
No matter what whitening product you use on your sensitive teeth, make sure that you thoroughly rinse your mouth out afterwards. Remember that whitening products contain peroxide, which is an acidic agent. If acids remain on your teeth for too long, it can lead to dental erosion.
When rinsing, we recommend using lukewarm water, as this will help to counteract any acidity from the whitening agent that might be left on your teeth. (Especially if you have sensitive teeth, rinsing after consuming anything acidic can help!)
5. Try different levels of peroxide.
No matter what products you use, your teeth will not turn as white as the untouched snow overnight. Dramatic shifts aren’t scientifically possible today, so there’s no need to choose the whitening product with the highest level of peroxide to use on your sensitive teeth!
Instead, try products with varying levels of peroxide included. This will help make sure that you still see whitening results, while also helping you avoid any pain or damage that can be caused by those high-level bleaching products. If you’re not sure which peroxide level to use, give our team a call so we can help answer your questions.
We’re here to help brighten your smile!
Sensitive teeth don’t have to hold you back from having the smile that you’ve always wanted. If you’re not sure which whitening products to start with, or if you want to schedule a professional whitening, connect with us today.