How To Prepare For Teeth Whitening When You Have Sensitive Teeth

Patients who are interested in getting their teeth whitened have two options, they can go with the store-bought version or see their dental professional for a full consultation. While the former might be suitable as a quick fix that may not be all that reliable for doing the job thoroughly enough, the latter can provide substantial results that last far longer.

Having the work performed in a Richmond dentistry office can also give your dentist the opportunity to check your teeth in order to ascertain whether or not you have any additional underlying dental health problems that need to be addressed. Diagnosing potential issues now can help prevent them from turning into something far more serious down the line.

One of the more common dental issues that patients experience is teeth sensitivity and it’s a condition that can become aggravated from professional teeth whitening treatments administered by your dentist. The main reason is due to the peroxide used to whiten the teeth which can have an inflammatory effect on the nerves within. Many patients who already have sensitive teeth may find their nerves react with discomfort when they come into contact with cold temperatures.

Fortunately, there are some precautions that you can take prior to sitting in the dentist’s chair so you don’t feel this pain after your in-office teeth bleaching. These are some of the steps you might want to take in anticipation of your next visit to the dentist, who will likely recommend some dental tips to not just reduce the amount of discomfort you feel after but also increase the chances of your treatments working effectively to brighten your smile.

For starters, your dentist may have you do some basic preparations through the choice of toothbrush you use to brush your teeth prior to the visit. A soft-bristled brush will be your best bet and your dentist may also insist that you brush softly and in small circular motions.

That’s because hard brushing can actually be damaging to your teeth, particularly the enamel. If you brush with too much vigor and speed, that could leave your teeth vulnerable to aggravation from the active ingredient in the whitening agent. This will cause pain and discomfort in your teeth.

So in order to avoid this irritation, there are other ways to prepare for your next teeth whitening appointment and not have to worry about hot and cold temperatures causing you grief:

Choose the Right Toothpaste


Once you’ve set your dental appointment, exchange your current toothpaste with a desensitizing version and begin using it about a week or two before your scheduled treatment. Brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste will help to reduce the sensitivity of the pain receptors in the nerves of your teeth.

There are a couple of brands on the market that you can select to help your teeth feel more comfortable and less irritated after your bleaching treatment. Remember to use only a soft-bristled brush and to brush in round movements. You do not need to do anything different from what you normally do when you brush your teeth. But try to brush three times a day as recommended by most dentists.

Additional Desensitizing Options

While the toothpaste is a great choice for preparing your teeth for a bleaching treatment before you walk into the dentist’s office, there are other more fast-acting options that you may want to consider both prior to and shortly after your dentist gives you another whitening treatment.

These are various gels and pastes that you can buy to put on your teeth right before or right after you’re out of the chair. The main active ingredient here is usually potassium nitrate, which helps to dull the nerves and reduces the amount of pain you feel. You can find such products at your local drugstore, you don’t need a prescription for these topical analgesics.

Applying them couldn’t be easier, you just place some of the gel or paste on the tip of a cotton swab or applicator and rub into each tooth. Don’t wipe or rinse for at least three minutes and once that time is up, you can rinse our mouth with a cup of water.

Over-the-Counter Pain Medications


If the pain isn’t too bad, yet strong enough to give you some obvious discomfort, you can simply pop an Advil or a Tylenol to help you manage the irritation. You may want to take it before the dentist starts the treatment, so it kicks in by the time you’re done. Should the pain return after the first pill has worn off, follow the dosing instructions and take another after the recommended allotted time has passed.