Tips to Minimize Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening Madison, MS

One of the side effects of teeth whitening treatments is the increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods/beverages. This is the result of teeth enamel being weakened by the bleaching agents used to remove stains from deep inside teeth.

The increased sensitivity can lead to discomfort for the first couple of days after whitening treatments. The heightened sensitivity should be done within a week following treatments. See a dentist immediately if it lasts longer than that.

Minimalizing sensitivity after teeth whitening treatments

The most effective way to whiten teeth is doing in-office treatments performed by dentists. This process involves using highly-concentrated bleaching products that are not sold to the general public. This leads to many patients being satisfied with the results of the whitening treatment after their first session. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that whitening treatments performed by dentists can improve the whiteness of teeth by up to eight shades after a single visit.

Those who are about to have their teeth whitened can build up their enamel by using desensitizing toothpaste to brush their teeth for around a week before their treatment. This numbs tiny nerve ending in their teeth, leading to less sensitivity.

Dentists can also help their patients reduce teeth sensitivity by adding potassium nitrate-fluoride to the bleaching agent. Studies show that this is an effective way to reduce teeth sensitivity caused by whitening treatments. Dentists can also strengthen a patient's enamel by performing a fluoride treatment after their whitening session. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth enamel that is weakened during teeth whitening.

Teeth sensitivity can also be reduced by limiting how long the bleaching product is left on the patient's teeth. Around 90 minutes is the ideal time for professional whitening products to get most people's teeth to the ideal shade of white. Most patients can safely get this done at once, but those with sensitive teeth might be better off breaking it up into shorter treatments.

Dealing with teeth sensitivity after whitening treatments

Patients can reduce the sensitivity they experience after their treatment by doing the following:

  • Be gentle when brushing teeth and use a soft toothbrush; enamel that has been weakened can be easily damaged by brushing too hard, leading to increased sensitivity
  • A desensitizing toothpaste and mouth rinse can be used to numb nerve endings in the inner layers of teeth
  • People with highly sensitive teeth might be better off with at-home whitening kits, as these use less concentrated bleaching products, so they cause less sensitivity
  • Avoid hot and cold beverages/foods for the first two days following teeth whitening treatments
  • Any discomfort or pain can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers
  • Use a straw to prevent drinks that irritate teeth from making contact with them

Teeth whitening can still be safe with sensitive teeth

Having sensitive teeth only means that your dentist needs to take extra precautions leading up to and during your treatments. Call or visit our Madison clinic to learn more about how we can whiten the teeth of people with sensitive teeth.

Request an appointment here: or call Dental Care of Madison at (601) 898-9390 for an appointment in our Madison office.

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