Dental bleaching and pain: preparation and care instructions

Tooth whitening and pain

Naturally, teeth are not immaculate white. Their color varies from yellow to gray. Age and lifestyle dull them further over time. However, in today's society, a bright smile is a sign of good health and an indisputable criterion of beauty. As a result, teeth whitening has become a popular aesthetic treatment in dental practices from Lausanne to Fribourg. Which treatments risks and side effects of tooth whitening ? What should I do if I feel pain after tooth whitening? We answer your questions in this article. 

What affects the whiteness of teeth?

Here is a list of the major causes of tooth discoloration:

  • Oral hygiene: the more you take care of your mouth, the whiter your teeth will be. 
  • Age: over time, teeth become more yellow or greyish. This is because the enamel that protects teeth gradually disappears as we age. As a result, the yellowish dentine becomes increasingly exposed.
  • Tobacco consumption: in addition to damaging oral hygiene and overall health, tobacco causes tough stains on teeth. This is due to the presence of tar and nicotine in cigarettes. 
  • Colored drinks: stain teeth if consumed regularly. These include coffee, tea, red wine, dark juices and sodas.
  • Taking certain medications: in particular those for high blood pressure, tetracycline-based antibiotics for acne and bronchitis, antihistamines and antipsychotics.
  • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments of the head and neck.

Tooth whitening, an aesthetic treatment

In addition to orthodontic care and regular scaling, many people turn to tooth whitening. But you need to be careful which option you choose. Over-the-counter tooth whitening products and kits carry risks. Professional supervision is essential to avoid damaging your teeth.

We recommend that you contact a dentist in Lausanne or Fribourg, for example. Oral health professionals apply safety rules and know the exact dosages of whitening products. What's more, you'll benefit from a treatment tailored to your needs and expectations. 

Tooth whitening and pain during treatment

There's no need to prepare for a whitening session in a dental office. That said, your teeth may be naturally sensitive. In this case, your dentist may prescribe medication to desensitize them before the whitening procedure begins. 

As for the treatments, they don't cause any particular pain. You may feel some discomfort, such as that experienced during a descaling or other dental treatment. Some people may experience cold sensitivity and/or a tingling sensation. 

Visit in-office teeth whitening is achieved by applying a gel to the teeth. Depending on concentration and duration of application, this product offers more or less intense results. The carbamide peroxide it contains removes stains accumulated on teeth and in enamel imperfections. 

Dentists recommend spacing out bleaching sessions to avoid side effects. For your own safety, do not use whitening products excessively or without professional supervision. You risk damaging your teeth or suffering from tooth sensitivity

Pain relief after tooth whitening

Your dentist will give you instructions on how to care for your teeth after whitening. We strongly advise against consuming certain foods and beverages in the days following treatment. 

List of foods to avoid after tooth whitening :

  • Colored sauces such as soy sauce, tomato sauce, ketchup, pesto, Tabasco, etc.
  • Red fruit (berries, blueberries, cherries, etc.)
  • Vinegar
  • Acidic foods
  • Citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, grapefruit)  

List of drinks to avoid after tooth whitening :

  • Café 
  • Tea
  • Dark sodas
  • Red and rosé wines
  • Fruit juices
  • Syrups (mint, grenadine, etc.)

Other products to avoid :

  • Tobacco and by-products
  • Chewing gum
  • Colorful candies
  • Breath candy
  • Mouthwashes with colorants
  • Colorants (e.g. iron-based)

If you feel pain after tooth whitening, contact your dentist. He or she can prescribe a dental gel to be applied to the teeth 2-3 times a day. You can also use a toothpaste specifically designed to soothe dental sensitivities.

Finally, we recommend moisturizing your lips with a balm or cream before and after treatment. The plastic spacer used during tooth whitening can cause dryness or chapping. 

Visit your dentist in Switzerland regularly to maintain your oral health. Visit HELVIDENT dental clinics welcome you in Lausanne, Fribourg and Aigle. Don't hesitate to make an appointment with a dental hygienist or a dentist to have your teeth whitened.