If you've just had your teeth whitened, you may notice that they're more sensitive than they were before. Sensitivity is a natural reaction to the teeth whitening process, but it's still not fun. You'll need to give your teeth extra support for a while so they can return to normal, and if you have whitening treatments regularly, you'll need to offer your teeth extra support on a regular basis. Here are four ways to support your teeth after whitening.
1. Avoid DIY whitening treatments for a while
If you usually do a peroxide or charcoal whitening every week, skip it this time. Your dentist knows how to whiten your teeth without causing unnecessary harm, but you don't want to aggravate any sensitivity by adding an extra whitening treatment. Even if your peroxide treatment doesn't usually make your teeth hurt, it might do so if you've just had a professional whitening.
2. Try a tooth-friendly diet
In addition to avoiding hot and cold foods, you'll also want to avoid staining foods such as tea and berries to make your whitening treatment will last longer. To support your recovery from the sensitivity you feel after a whitening, you should try to avoid the kinds of foods that tend to erode your enamel as well. These include sugary foods, such as sodas and desserts, and foods that are high in acids, such as fruits and tomato products.
3. Use enamel-rebuilding toothpaste
You can ask your dentist for a prescription fluoride toothpaste for extra protection, or you can ask for an enamel-rebuilding toothpaste that includes a product such as Recaldent or Novamin, both of which help rebuild enamel structure. Availability may depend on where you live; for example, a toothpaste with Novamin included is available in Canada, but not sold in the US unless you order internationally.
4. Consider dietary supplements
Talk to your dentist about dietary supplements that can support tooth and gum health. Calcium and magnesium supplements can be helpful, for example, because those minerals are needed for healthy enamel, and taking a collagen supplement can be beneficial as well. It's important to get a medical opinion, though, because some supplements aren't recommended for people with certain conditions or for those who are on other medications.
These four steps will help you give your teeth the extra support they need after whitening. Some of the steps, such as dietary supplements, can be great long-term strategies to support your tooth and gum health whether you whiten your teeth frequently or not.