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Tips for Whitening Sensitive Teeth

Teeth whitening is one of the fastest ways to enhance the appearance of your smile. For patients seeking more effective results than over-the-counter products can provide, our in-office and take-home teeth whitening methods offer important advantages that make the process more effective, comfortable, and safe.

One common side effect of teeth whitening can be increased tooth sensitivity. For patients who already have sensitive teeth, this type of discomfort can feel even more intense. With proper preparation and care, it is possible to avoid amplifying sensitivity. Our dentists have compiled a list of tips to help minimize sensitivity during and after your whitening treatment:

  • Avoid cold foods and beverages in your diet while whitening
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the teeth
  • Use fluoride and sensitive formula dental care products (pastes and rinses), to help minimize symptoms
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever before whitening to decrease sensitivity
  • Use a whitening gel with a lower concentration of peroxide if a higher strength products have caused discomfort
  • Carefully follow the instructions your dentist provides when using any professional whitening kit
  • For patients with extreme sensitivity, an in-office treatment such as Zoom!® Teeth Whitening may be a better choice than at-home treatment

In most cases, tooth sensitivity caused by professional teeth whitening lasts only 24-48 hours. If you continue to experience increased tooth sensitivity after this time, we recommend scheduling a follow-up appointment.