After more than three decades, teeth whitening is still the most popular cosmetic procedure in dentistry. And why not? It’s affordable, easy, and it gives your smile a fresh, updated look. Unfortunately, the teeth whitening process tends to cause mild, temporary tooth sensitivity. For most patients, this side-effect is barely noticeable, but it can be quite uncomfortable for someone whose teeth are already very sensitive to begin with. Here’s what the top dentists in Fairbanks recommend for anyone who wants to whiten their sensitive teeth:
Use toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth. Sensitive-formula toothpaste products contain ingredients like potassium nitrate are very effective in relieving sensitivity. These products can be used to prepare your sensitive teeth prior to whitening and they can also be used afterwards to reduce any uncomfortable side-effects.
Choose the best whitening products. Although you can purchase teeth whitening products in most drugstores and grocery stores, always consult your dentist for a recommendation. Some over-the-counter products aren’t designed for sensitive teeth. However, there are a number of professional strength whiteners that are formulated to include desensitizing agents to keep you comfortable.
Take it slow. Too much teeth whitening can cause sensitivity, even if your teeth aren’t normally sensitive. Whitening is safe for your enamel, but take a break if your teeth are becoming overly sensitive. If your teeth aren’t as white as you would like, it is safe to repeat the process, but wait until the sensitivity has subsided before trying again.
Consult a professional. To manage your sensitive teeth, it’s is important to determine the exact cause of the sensitivity. While some teeth are just naturally sensitive, the issue can sometimes be related to receding gums, cavities, or old fillings. When possible, it is best to get to the root of the problem rather than covering it up.
Sensitive teeth shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying a whiter smile. If you have sensitive teeth and would like to whiten your smile, consult a dentist in the Fairbanks area who can help you to move forward safely and comfortably.