The National Institute of Teeth Whitening (NIOTW) reports that the industry’s annual revenue in 2015 totaled 11 billion USD, a number which suggests that teeth whitening is becoming more and more popular. In fact, the NIOTW also cites a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry which stated that 90 percent of Americans inquire about dental whitening procedures each year.
While teeth whitening is practically risk-free, some people do report increased tooth sensitivity after whitening treatments. However, this discomfort isn’t permanent, and there are several ways to combat it.
Most importantly, consult with a dentist before beginning any home teeth whitening treatments. Not only are teeth whitening procedures provided by dental organizations more effective, but they can result in less sensitivity, too! A dentist can evaluate your teeth with a “touch and air” test to determine the potential for severe sensitivity and then determine the best whitening option for you.
Sensitivity caused by teeth whitening procedures can be improved by modifying your teeth whitening routine. For example, ask your dentist about using a lower concentration of bleach, reduce the length of time that you wear your bleaching tray, or increase the amount of time between each treatment.
If you are still not finding relief from extreme sensitivity but are dedicated to achieving the ideal pearly-white shine, you can avoid further discomfort by inquiring about a prescription gel or toothpaste engineered for sensitive teeth.
Finally, consider making some minor changes for the first few days after your whitening treatment. For example, temporarily switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush if you weren’t already using one, and don’t plan on eating any hot or cold foods right away. Also, rinse your mouth with lukewarm water after brushing your teeth!
Don’t let the fear of tooth sensitivity deter you from finding your whitest and healthiest smile! By speaking to your dentist about the teeth whitening treatments perfect for you, tackling sensitivity is only a conversation away.
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