We all know that teeth whitening is a great way to get a smile that looks its absolute best. But many people who undergo teeth whitening treatment experience tooth sensitivity afterward. This tooth sensitivity can last a few days, and it's problematic for some patients who didn't expect it to occur.
The team at our Astoria and Long Island cosmetic dentistry center would like to take a moment right now to go over the basics of tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening treatment so you understand what is involved and how it can be dealt with.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Whether it's in-office professional teeth whitening with our cosmetic dentists in Astoria or an at-home whitening kit that you buy at the store, the teeth whitening process is generally the same. A hydrogen peroxide solution is applied to the teeth and allowed to bleach the enamel layer. (At a dentist's office, the bleaching effects of the hydrogen peroxide gel are enhanced through the use of a laser light.)
Why Tooth Sensitivity Occurs After Dental Bleaching
The reason that Long Island teeth whitening results in tooth sensitivity has to do with the way that the hydrogen peroxide gel affects the tooth structure. The deep-penetrating action of the gel will cause irritation in the nerves within the tooth. This can be especially bad when a person uses a teeth-whitening kit for too long. That's why dental care professionals are very careful when performing treatment and why people using at-home kits need to follow instructions to the letter.
What We Can Do to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
During your visit to our practice, we will take great care to ensure that the bleaching agent is not left on your teeth for too long. We will also, when needed, use a teeth desensitizer after your whitening treatment is completed, which will reduce some feelings of sensitivity after your visit.
What Patients Can do at Home to Address Tooth Sensitivity
After visiting our cosmetic dentistry center in Astoria for teeth whitening, patients should avoid foods and beverages that are very hot or very cold. Lukewarm food and room-temperature beverages are ideal and will minimize any sensations of sensitivity.
In addition, we recommend that patients brush their teeth using toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth. Even though the sensitivity will only last a few days, this tends to make those days more comfortable. Obviously, be sure to gargle using room-temperature water as well.
Other Dental Care Matters to Consider
Even though teeth whitening is a great option to consider for improving the beauty of your smile, there are plenty of other options out there that may be great for you. Porcelain veneers, dental bonding, and other cosmetic procedures can give you a smile that you can be proud of. We'd be more than happy to talk about these with you in greater detail during your visit to our practice.
Schedule a Smile Makeover Consultation Today
For more information about advanced cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments, be sure to contact our Astoria cosmetic and restorative dentists today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make the best possible decisions about your dental health.