Teeth whitening can make a dramatic difference in the way your teeth look if they are dulled or stained. It is a simple, safe process with few side effects. Some people, though, can experience sensitivity after whitening treatment.
Whitening Your Teeth
Teeth whitening, often performed by a cosmetic dentist, uses a strong bleaching solution to remove stains from the outer surfaces of the teeth. It’s generally used on the front teeth, where staining is most visible and most likely to detract from the look of your smile. The whitening agent is painted onto the teeth, where it is left for about twenty minutes, then removed and reapplied. Each treatment takes about an hour. When you’re done, you’ll see results right away, although your teeth will continue to become whiter over the next few days.
After whitening, you might discover that your teeth are more sensitive than usual. Not all people experience this side effect, but it is fairly common. If the sensitivity bothers you, use toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. You can brush with it, but for faster results, rub the toothpaste directly on the sensitive areas. The sensitivity will probably fade after a few days. If it doesn’t, or if it becomes uncomfortable or bothersome, consult with your dentist.
Keeping Your Teeth White
After you’ve had your teeth whitened, you’ll want to keep them white as long as possible. The best way to do this is to avoid the foods, beverages, or other substances that caused your teeth to stain in the first place. These substances typically include:
- Dark-colored beverages or fruits
Regular brushing will also help keep your teeth white. In addition, ask your cosmetic dentist about touch-up treatments. Having an occasional touch-up can help maintain your bright smile for several months without having to have a full whitening treatment. Your regular, diligent oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, and regular dental visits with our dentist, Dr. Dan Bush, will also help ensure your teeth stay clean, bright, and healthy.