17 Killer Tips to Deal with Teeth Whitening Sensitivity

17 Killer Tips to Deal with Teeth Whitening Sensitivity

When your teeth have been whitened, their sensitivity increases. For some people, sensitivity and pain are quite insurmountable. But there are some steps and tips you can take in how to get rid of sensitive teeth after whitening. 

You can start prior to getting your teeth whitened through the use of a desensitizing gel or toothpaste. After the procedure, you should take care of your mouth by avoiding certain foods and by gently brushing your teeth.


Tips to Help Before the Procedure

So, you have already made your appointment to get your teeth whitening procedure. If possible, make this appointment with 10-day anticipation. 

  1. During this time, brush your teeth with a desensitizing toothpaste. These types of toothpaste help to block the pain signals from the surface of your tooth to the inner nerve. Here in Duke N. Bui, DDS, PS, we have some recommendations for you. 
  2. Brush your teeth with desensitizing toothpaste for at least three minutes, going in a circular motion against the surface. 
  3. Try not to rinse your mouth right away after applying the toothpaste. Let it work for at least three minutes.
  4. Apply a desensitizing gel or paste. Dry your teeth before applying it and use a cotton swab. Apply a dot to the swab and rub it on your teeth’s surface. Let it rest for three minutes before rinsing your mouth with water. 
  5. You can take pain medication an hour before the treatment. Take the suggested dosage of anti-inflammatory medication such as Aleve or Advil. Ibuprofen usually acts well. Ask your dentist if you are not sure what to take.


Tips to Getting Rid of Sensitive Teeth After Whitening

Right after the procedure, you want to show off those pearly whites, not wince, right? To ensure this, let us tell you how to get rid of sensitive teeth after whitening. You will experience sensitivity within 24-48 hours after the treatment. 

The discomfort you might feel is normal, given that this procedure involves chemicals that irritate tooth nerves. If you followed the steps explained above, you should better cope with all this. Now, check these tips to help with teeth sensitivity after your teeth-whitening procedure.

  1. The first thing to avoid is any hot or cold beverage. The best thing is to drink room-temperature beverages only. 
  2. Also, try to avoid acidic foods and drinks. Soft drinks and citrus juices irritate a healing mouth, so steer clear from those.
  3. Use a straw to drink. This is an easy way to make liquids bypass your teeth and help have a bit more comfort as you enjoy your favorite drinks. 
  4. Your enable is going to be very vulnerable for the first 48 hours. Avoid smoking or drinking beverages with colorant or that may stain your teeth, such as coffee and tea.
  5. Use the same sensitivity toothpaste you used at the beginning. Since we know that this type of toothpaste might be unpleasant, you do not need to worry. You can go back to your regular brand after 48 hours.
  6. Be gentle when you are brushing your teeth. Use lukewarm water instead of cold water and a soft bristle toothbrush. This will help keep the sensitivity at bay.
  7. Just like you did prior to the treatment, leave the toothpaste on your teeth for a while in order for it to work.
  8. Applying fluoride gel on your teeth will help stimulate salivation which will help speed up the mineralization process. Apply it for five minutes without swallowing and rinse your mouth.
  9. There are some mouthwashes that contain fluoride. Ask your dentist which one might work best for you.
  10. Some doctors might recommend chewing a pack of sugar-free gum. Start with a small piece, chew it for 10 minutes, and proceed with a fresh one, until you have finished the pack. This is thought to help with teeth sensitivity. Do not do this step on an empty stomach as you do not want the chewing to stimulate gastric juice release.
  11. To help cope with the pain, take pain killers with anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen. Just please make sure you talk to your doctor before taking any pain medication. 
  12. Give yourself a break between whitening procedures. Come and talk to us here at Duke N. Bui, DDS, PS and let’s talk about how often you should whiten your teeth. Too often might have the countereffect of actually increasing sensitivity over time. 

If your teeth sensitivity is not getting any better after a couple of days or is getting worse, you need to pay us a visit. We are more than happy to help you get through.


At-Home Whitening Procedure

If you have decided to purchase an at-home whitening treatment kits, there are some important pointers you should know. Most of these kits use carbamide peroxide, which can irritate your teeth nerve endings. Choose one that has no more than 5-6% peroxide level. Higher than this can cause a great deal of pain and might not even be as effective.

You will find that there are variations on the type of whitening kits. There are mouth trays with gel, strips, paint-on, whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. If you are concerned about the safety of any of these methods, consult with your dentist. 

Choosing a mouth tray can be tricky as you will need one that fits well in your mouth. Failing to do so can cause the gel to leak out, causing gum irritation and increased sensitivity. 

Given that you have a large amount of whitening substance in your hands, you might feel tempted to use more than recommended, just be sure. Only apply the recommended amount. Using more than that can cause gum irritation and even vomiting if you happen to accidentally swallow it. 

You should also avoid using the gel for more than the recommended time. Never go to sleep with a mouth tray on. More time does not mean whiter and shinier teeth. This can actually erode your teeth, increasing sensitivity and causing fractures from decay.

If you have questions, we are happy to answer them. Contact us or visit us and be welcome to a warm family environment with professionals at your service.  

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Sealants

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are small patches of plastic material painted and cured onto the tops of molars. Sealants usually come in a shade of white that closely matches natural tooth color. But what do dental sealants actually do? Are they a dental treatment that you need?

Dental Sealants Prevent Decay

Your back chewing teeth have deep ridges that can trap sugars, acids, bacteria, and other debris that lead to the start of cavities. Toothbrush bristles can’t always access those deep grooves on your molars to clean out all that harmful material.

A sealant is a protective guard that goes right on top of the chewing surface of a molar. It fills in the grooves and valleys that can get packed with food debris. By filling in those deep crevices, sealants prevent cavity-causing bacteria from settling in and triggering tooth decay.

How Dental Sealants Are Placed

Getting a dental sealant is fast and painless. You won’t feel a single thing! Sealants sit right on top of teeth unlike regular fillings which actually replace missing tooth structure. This means that there is no drilling involved and no need for numbing shots when you get sealants.

The dental staff starts by putting a little bit of a sour acid jelly on the.tooth. This gel only mildly roughens up the surface of the enamel to help the sealant get a better grip. After rinsing and drying the molar, the liquid sealant material is painted into the grooves of the tooth. The dental staff quickly spreads and smooths out the material and then cures it with a bright light.

Lastly, the dental staff will check your bite to make sure the sealant isn’t too high. From start to finish, placing one sealant takes less than two minutes.

Who Should Get Dental Sealants?

Sealants can do the most good when they’re put on adult teeth that have never had a cavity. This makes children prime candidates for dental sealants. If you have kids, you should seriously consider having their adult molars sealed as soon as they come in.

Teens and adults of any age can have sealants, as well, of course. There is no age limit. The only requirement is that a tooth can’t have any decay. Sealants are a great choice for preventing cavities in the teeth of people of all ages, but they can’t treat existing cavities. Sealing over tooth decay will only allow the infection to continue spreading through the tooth.

Getting a sealant can’t hurt anything. Sealing one or more teeth will only help you in your fight against tooth decay. So if you have at least one molar that qualifies, go ahead and seal it!

How Long Will Your Dental Sealants Last?

Dental sealants can last for up to ten years or even longer if you take good care of them. Being made of plastic, they do erode away with time as they suffer the wear-and-tear of biting against other teeth.

The good news is that sealants aren’t like fillings in that they don’t need to be replaced if they wear away or fall out. But to ensure your teeth stay protected against cavities, you can always opt to have your sealants touched up or replaced when they do wear out.

Dental Sealants and Preventive Dentistry in Tacoma

Are you curious about the benefits sealants can have for you and your family? Find out more by planning a visit with a dentist in Tacoma who provides dental sealant service.

Dr. Duke Bui is a family dentist with a special focus on preventing dental problems before they can cause trouble. Sealants are one of the many ways Dr. Bui promotes healthy smiles for families through Tacoma and the surrounding area.

Call our team today to schedule your appointment.

Why Do My Teeth Hurt When It’s Cold Outside?

Why Do My Teeth Hurt When It’s Cold Outside?

Are your teeth feeling a bit sensitive these days? Having sore teeth in the winter is an extremely common complaint this time of year. Even if you’re only outside for brief periods of time your teeth may still be uncomfortable.

You may even notice that your teeth are more sensitive in the winter season when you enjoy things like hot coffee or ice cream.

Why do your teeth hurt so much this time of year? As it turns out, there are several factors that affect tooth sensitivity.

Why Teeth Hurt in the Winter

Your teeth might look like pieces of solid bone but they’re actually far more complex than that. Teeth are made up of two layers: the outer clear or white layer of insulating enamel and the inner dark yellow layer of sensitive dentin. There’s a hollow space within the dentin that houses nerves and blood vessels that nurture your teeth.

That nerve inside each tooth is very sensitive to temperature changes. Your tooth dentin layer has pores, or channels inside it, that constrict in cold temperatures and expand in hot ones.

When the weather turns cool, your teeth contact cold air more and more often. Cold exposure in itself can make your tooth nerves zing with discomfort. But your teeth may also ache from the frequent pore constriction in your tooth tissue. This constricting action can even create microscopic fractures in your enamel which allows more cold temperatures to reach the sensitive tooth nerves.

The cold weather itself may not be the only reason for your aching teeth, however. You may have other conditions with symptoms that get worse in cold temperatures this time of year.

Tooth Sensitivity Caused By Gum Recession

One major cause of tooth sensitivity is gum recession. Often occurring as a result of aging or gum disease, receding gums expose tooth roots which don’t have an insulating layer of enamel to protect them. Your tooth roots depend on your gums for protection and warmth, so without them, your teeth will be stingingly sensitive in cold weather.

Enamel Loss Makes Teeth More Sensitive to Cold Weather

Tooth enamel covers over those sensitive pores in the dentin layer. Enamel insulates the rest of the tooth this way and regulates the temperature severity the tooth nerve experiences.

So if you lose some of your enamel, you will definitely know it as your teeth become much more sensitive.

Some causes of enamel loss include:

●    Acid exposure that dissolves enamel
●    Enamel erosion from rough tooth brushing
●    Teeth grinding
●    Tooth decay
●    Incorrect teeth bleaching technique

Get Relief for Sensitive Teeth in the Winter

What can you do about your sensitive teeth?

Fluoride products can help you get some relief. Fluoride is a mineral that reinforces the existing enamel layer and patches up weak spots. It also prevents enamel from being weakened by cavity-causing bacteria.

Sensitivity toothpaste can also help. It adds another layer of protection to areas that have already lost a lot of enamel.

Finally, you need to consider the possibility that you need dental treatment. Your sensitivity could be due to serious dental problems like decay, exposed roots, or fracture. Getting those issues treated can resolve your tooth sensitivity.

Seeing a dentist in Tacoma is a good way to start your search for sensitive teeth relief. Dr. Duke Bui has helped countless patients get relief from this “biting” cold weather! Schedule a smile consultation with Dr. Bui and learn more about how you can prevent sensitive teeth this winter.

2018 Christmas Song Sing-Along

My staff and I would like to express our sincerest appreciation for the trust you have placed in us…from all of us…thank you and best wishes…for the holiday season…may your holiday and new year be filled with peace, love and joy. – Dr. Duke Bui & Staff

10 Ways to Make Teeth Brushing Fun for Your Kids

10 Ways to Make Teeth Brushing Fun for Your Kids

Do your kids hate to brush their teeth? If so, you’re far from alone. This twice-daily brushing chore turns into a battle of wills between parents and their kids everywhere.

Making your child’s oral hygiene routine as interesting and lively as possible can encourage cooperation. One or more of these ten tips is bound to work for your family!

1. Sing a Song

Is toothbrushing time a cause of stress and frustration in your household? Lighten the situation with a little song.

Challenge your child to brush their teeth the entire time their favorite song plays. You can also challenge them to hum a song while they brush or to keep brushing while you sing.

2. Stir Up a Little Friendly Competition

Turn a stressful chore into a fun game by pitting your kids against one another while they brush! You can even challenge them to compete against mom or dad. See who can brush the longest or make the most toothpaste bubbles.

3. Use Educational Materials That Promote Toothbrushing

A quick search on Amazon or YouTube will yield some very helpful books and cartoon clips that encourage kids to brush their teeth. Use these on a regular basis to help your child form a positive view of toothbrushing.

4. “Help” Each Other Brush

Take turns brushing each other’s teeth! Your child may be more willing to let you clean their teeth if they first get to try brushing yours. They’ll see that it’s a positive, nurturing, and helpful activity and not something to be afraid of.

5. Set Up a Reward System

Older kids in particular benefit from the self-discipline they learn from a reward system. Put up a chart in the bathroom or your child’s bedroom to mark their progress. You put a sticker down for every time they remember to brush their teeth. Once they get so many stickers in a row (14 stickers, for example, meaning an entire week of brushing twice a day), your child gets a special treat. Offer rewards that appeal to your child like an outing to the park, pizza night, or movie night.

6. Explain the Importance of Brushing in Age-Appropriate Terms

Kids around the age of 7-10 can usually grasp the concept that brushing will help them avoid cavities and bad breath. But younger children may need more age-appropriate explanations when they ask why they need to brush their teeth.

Tell your small child that they need to brush or else “sugar bugs” will come eat holes in their teeth and cause “ouchies.” Toothpaste is the special “vitamin” that will make their teeth strong like a lion’s (or another favorite animal).

7. Highlight Tooth Brushing Role Models

Hold up as examples people your child looks up to. Let them see their older siblings or grandparents taking care of their teeth. Point out the fact that Captain Marvel and Iron Man have sparkling-white teeth because they brush every day. When your child realizes that toothbrushing is an adult responsibility, they may be more interested in the activity.

8. Let Your Child Choose His or Her Own Hygiene Tools

If you let your child make the decisions when you go grocery shopping, you may end up spending all day at the store and spending all your money on 18 kinds of breakfast cereal!

But oral hygiene is a good area to let your child call the shots in. If your kid gets to pick out a toothbrush they love and a toothpaste flavor they enjoy, they’ll be far more likely to use those items as you want them to.

Allow your kid to pick out a brush that spins or lights up or plays music or sports their favorite cartoon character. Let them pick from bubblegum- or fruit-flavored toothpaste. They’ll be so excited to go home and brush their teeth!

9. Put Your Child in Charge of Brushing for Someone Else

Even small toddlers may be more inclined to brush their teeth when they have a sense of autonomy and authority. Give your child strict instructions to take care of their favorite doll or stuffed animal by “brushing” their toy’s teeth every day. When your child feels obliged to look after their toy’s needs this way, they may be more willing to “set an example” by brushing their own teeth, too.

10. Visit a Tacoma Family Dentist to Get More Tooth Brushing Tips for Kids

Still haven’t found a way to get your child to cooperate with toothbrushing?

Schedule an appointment to chat with Tacoma family dentist Dr. Duke Bui. Dr. Bui has extensive experience in working with kids of all ages. It doesn’t matter how little your little one may be—our team has all kinds of tricks for engaging children and getting them excited about brushing their teeth!

Brush or Floss First? The Biggest Oral Hygiene Question, Answered!

Brush or Floss First? The Biggest Oral Hygiene Question, Answered!

For the longest time, no one could say for sure whether you should brush before flossing or floss before brushing. The choice has been left up to each individual.

Not everyone cares about whether brushing or flossing should come first, but the topic has been a hot one in the dental health field. Even some dental experts share conflicting opinions. Some claim that flossing first gets rid of more debris while others believe that flossing after brushing pushes more fluoride between the teeth.

Which should you do, then? Brush first or floss first?

Dentists may now finally have the answer.

Flossing Before Brushing Wins!

A recent study published by the American Academy of Periodontology revealed some interesting results. Study participants brushed before flossing and their teeth were checked for plaque and debris. Later, the same group of people flossed before brushing and had their teeth checked again.

The results? When the test subjects brushed before flossing, they had high amounts of plque left between their teeth. There was much less plaque found between teeth when they brushed after flossing.

Why might flossing first work the best? One possibility is that flossing loosens plaque debris from between teeth which is then scrubbed and rinsed away during brushing. Another potential benefit is that flossing first to clean in between teeth may allow the fluoride toothpaste used later to better access the enamel surface.

One other upside to flossing first is the fact that it’s easier to remember to do it. You might be inclined to skip the flossing once your teeth are brushed and your breath tastes minty-fresh. Some people simply choose to floss first so that they don’t forget.

Brushing and Flossing: Both Vital to a Healthy Smile

Brushing removes plaque and food from the inside and outside surfaces of teeth right along the gum line. Brushing also dislodges debris that’s packed into the chewing surfaces of molars. While a toothbrush can clean the vast majority of your teeth, it misses those spots in between where neighboring teeth touch. That’s why flossing is also necessary.

Ultimately, flossing first may only be slightly more effective than flossing after brushing. The difference in plaque removal is probably quite subtle. If you are in the habit of flossing after you brush, that’s perfectly fine. The important thing is that you are doing it at all!

The Perfect Oral Hygiene Routine

The best way to keep your smile healthy is to simply keep up with the basics. Tacoma dentists like Dr. Bui just want you to brush AND floss every day; it doesn’t matter which you do first!

Rinsing with a dentist-approved mouthwash, using fluoridated dental products, and eating a healthy diet are also necessary for keeping your teeth and gums in good shape.

From a scientific standpoint, evidence suggests that flossing before brushing may be the most effective method. But suddenly switching your routine won’t make a major difference in your oral health overnight. Visiting a dentist, however, can make a big difference!

Find out more about the best ways to take care of your smile by scheduling a dental checkup at the practice of Duke N. Bui, DDS, PS – Family Dentistry.