Advancements in dental technology have made it possible to have whiter teeth. Many see their dentists to undergo this procedure so they can have more confidence in their smiles. The only drawback to some tooth whitening products is that some of them may cause tooth sensitivity in certain individuals. This is brought about by a chemical reaction between ingredients in the whitening product and the tooth enamel. It's a good thing that there are a number of solutions to this uncomfortable and often painful problem. Here are some of them.
- In-office desensitizer. This is a product that the dentist can apply directly on the teeth. It comes in paste form and can prevent teeth sensitivity for months and sometimes years.
- Over-the-counter desensitizers. Top brands of toothpaste makers like Colgate and Sensodyne have created tooth desensitizers that are marketed in toothpaste, gel or oral rinse form. They usually contain mild anesthetics that lessen the tooth enamel's sensitivity to the teeth whitening product. Look for products that are designed for sensitive teeth.
- Fluoride. Look for fluoride in your toothpaste as well as your mouthwash. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel and may thus lessen its sensitivity to tooth whitening products. You can also request your dentist to apply fluoride on your teeth.
- Soft bristled toothbrush. While using a tooth whitening product, switch to a soft bristled toothbrush that is easy on your teeth. This type of toothbrush is gentle on the gums and lessens the wear and tear on your teeth.
- Floss. The healthier the gums are the less dental problems. Daily flossing helps remove dirt that can turn into plaque. Plaque destroys the natural contour of the gums and invites gum disease that can result in tooth sensitivity. Brushing is never enough. Floss regularly. You can also use a waterpik to help rid of plaque in between the teeth and gums.
- Anti-inflammatory medications. Some dentists advice their patients to take anti-inflammatory medications. These pain relievers reduce the inflammation of tooth nerves that have been irritated by the whitening process. The less inflammation, the less sensitivity and discomfort from the affected tooth.
- Food and drink. Avoid drinking or gargling with water in extremes of temperatures. Water or any liquid for that matter, whether it is too hot or too cold, can cause pain for sensitive teeth. Sweet treats and foods that are acidic can contribute to tooth sensitivity as well. Unless you are ready to withstand the discomfort, it may be best to temporarily stay away from very sugary and highly acidic foods while undergoing tooth whitening.
Reminder: Let your dentist know that you are experiencing sensitivity in your teeth. Not all tooth sensitivity is due to teeth whitening. There may be a different cause that your dentist should look out for like tooth decay or receding gums. If your dentist has determined that you have hypersensitive teeth, he can prescribed a number of different products to address this problem.
Anyone can now have that sparkling movie star smile, even the ones with not-so-white teeth. There are a number of teeth whitening products and procedures that are available in the market today. Although some of these options can cause tooth sensitivity, this tooth sensitivity can easily be addressed. Talk to your dentist about treatments for tooth sensitivity so you can continue to show the world your perfectly white smile.