A dazzling white smile can boost your confidence and leave a lasting impression. This is largely why cosmetic dentistry procedures (like teeth whitening) have become increasingly popular over the decades. 

If you’d like to enhance your smile with minimal effort, then professional teeth whitening may be right for you. Contact Thomas F. Brown, DDS, in Naperville, IL, at (630) 369-3120 to schedule a consultation now! 

Although teeth lightening procedures are generally safe and effective, there is one common side effect that many individuals experience afterward: tooth sensitivity. However, the good news is that there are various ways to avoid or lessen tooth sensitivity, ensuring that your beautiful smile doesn’t come at the cost of discomfort.

1. Choose the Right Whitening Method

Always consult with a dentist to determine whether in-office professional whitening, at-home whitening trays, or over-the-counter whitening products are suitable for you. But, remember this: professional procedures are typically safer, more effective, and less likely to cause sensitivity than over-the-counter options.

2. Professional Supervision

If possible, opt for professional teeth whitening tailored to your exact needs by a trained dentist. Dental professionals can adjust the concentration of whitening agents to ensure your ultimate comfort while delivering spectacular results.  

3. Gradual Whitening

Extending whitening treatments over a period can help reduce sensitivity. This gradual approach gives teeth more time to adjust to the whitening process.

4. Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

Desensitizing toothpaste formulas often contain ingredients like potassium nitrate, arginine, calcium carbonate, and fluoride. These ingredients can help block the nerve pathways that transmit pain signals from the tooth’s surface to the nerve while also strengthening tooth enamel.

5. Avoid Hot and Cold Foods

Extreme temperatures can exacerbate tooth sensitivity. Stick to room-temperature or lukewarm items, and use a straw when drinking cold beverages to minimize contact with your teeth.

6. Limit Acid-Containing Foods and Beverages

Acidic foods and drinks can slowly destroy tooth enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable and even more susceptible to sensitivity. So, try to avoid or reduce your intake of acidic items, such as:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Vinegar-based sauces and dressings
  • Soda
  • Fruit juices

7. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth sensitivity and ensure the longevity of your whitening results. Our Naperville dentists recommend:

  • Brushing gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Flossing daily
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day

8. Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

If you experience tooth sensitivity after whitening, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers. We recommend ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Just be sure to follow the directions on the packaging closely to avoid a medical emergency. 

9. Follow Post-Whitening Instructions

Whether you undergo professional whitening or use at-home products, always follow the post-whitening instructions provided by your dentist or the whitening product manufacturer. These instructions are designed to minimize sensitivity and ensure the best results.

Professional Teeth Whitening Near Naperville, IL

Although tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening is a common occurrence, it is quite manageable with proper planning and care. That’s why the team at Thomas F. Brown, DDS is here to help you get the most out of your whitening treatments. Ready to get started? Schedule your consultation here, or give our crew a call at (630) 369-3120 today!