March 19, 2023

Teeth Sensitivity After Whitening: Here’s What to Avoid

Tooth sensitivity after whitening is a common problem that many people experience. While this dental treatment can help to brighten your smile, it can also cause pain and discomfort in your teeth. This sensitivity is often temporary and can be easily managed by avoiding certain foods and drinks. 

In this article, we’ll talk about tooth sensitivity and share a list of common food and drinks to avoid whenever you experience it.

Understanding Tooth Sensitivity

Before we dive into the foods to avoid, we should understand why teeth can become sensitive after whitening. Your Chilliwack dentist uses whitening products that penetrate the enamel of your teeth to remove stains and discoloration. This process can leave your teeth temporarily more porous, which can cause sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks. This sensitivity usually subsides within a few days, but in some cases, it can last for weeks.

Foods to Avoid

1. Acidic Foods

Acidic foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar can aggravate tooth sensitivity. The acid in these foods can weaken the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to sensitivity. If you're experiencing sensitivity after whitening, it's best to avoid these foods until your teeth have recovered.

2. Sugary Foods

Sugary foods such as candy, soda, and baked goods can also worsen tooth sensitivity. These foods can stimulate the nerve endings in your teeth, causing pain and discomfort. In addition, sugar can promote the growth of bacteria, leading to tooth decay and further sensitivity.

3. Hot and Cold Foods

Hot and cold foods such as ice cream, hot soup, and tea can also trigger tooth sensitivity. The sudden change in temperature can cause your teeth to contract and expand, leading to pain and discomfort. If you're experiencing sensitivity, avoid eating hot or cold food and drinks.

4. Hard and Crunchy Foods

Hard and crunchy foods such as popcorn, nuts, and hard candy can also worsen tooth sensitivity. These foods can put pressure on your teeth and gums, leading to pain and discomfort. Unless your teeth have recovered, it's best to avoid eating these foods for a while.

How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity

In addition to avoiding certain foods, there are other steps you can take to manage tooth sensitivity after whitening. Here are a few tips:

1. Use a Desensitizing Toothpaste

Desensitizing toothpaste can help to reduce tooth sensitivity by blocking the nerve endings in your teeth. These kinds of toothpaste contain ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride that can relieve sensitivity.

2. Apply a Fluoride Gel

Fluoride gel can also help to reduce tooth sensitivity by strengthening the enamel on your teeth. Your Chilliwack dentist may recommend an in-office fluoride treatment or a prescription fluoride gel to use at home.

3. Avoid Brushing Too Hard

Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can worsen tooth sensitivity. It's important to brush gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid further irritation.

4. Wait to Eat or Drink

If you're experiencing sensitivity, it may be helpful to wait a few minutes before eating or drinking hot or cold foods. This can give your teeth time to adjust to the temperature and reduce the risk of pain and discomfort.


Tooth sensitivity after whitening is a common problem that can be easily managed by avoiding certain foods and taking other steps to reduce sensitivity. By following these tips, you can enjoy a brighter smile without the pain and discomfort of sensitivity. If your sensitivity persists for more than a few days, consult your dentist to rule out any underlying dental problems.

Maple Smiles Dentistry is a dental clinic in Chilliwack that offers quality treatment and checkups. We also provide emergency dental care to our patients. Contact us today for a consultation.

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