Do you feel a slight sting every time you take a bite or sip of something? Is it hard for you to smile during windy or cold weather? If so, you may be suffering from tooth sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when your teeth react badly to certain stimuli, such as crunchy food or cold temperatures. Although dealing with sensitivity may sound like a long and difficult challenge, this problem can, in fact, be easily treated through proper oral hygiene, lifestyle changes, and dental treatments. Here are some great tips for managing sensitive teeth.
1. Don’t Brush Aggressively
Enamel is a tooth’s primary line of defense. It’s a hard, protective layer that protects the inside of your teeth from harmful bacteria and food debris. When parts of our enamel are shaved off or destroyed, our teeth become much more sensitive to everyday food, drinks, and weather conditions.
One of the most common reasons for eroded enamel is aggressive brushing. Brushing too hard and too long strips away precious enamel from your teeth, leading to increased sensitivity and less resistance. Using a toothbrush with hard bristles, as well as charcoal toothpaste and other abrasive products, can also destroy the enamel responsible for protecting your teeth.
Gentle, careful brushing is the best way to prevent tooth enamel destruction. Remember not to brush from side-to-side, but to instead gently move up and down without applying too much pressure on your teeth. Stick to using soft-bristled toothbrushes and enhance your oral hygiene routine with safer products, such as mouthwash and interdental brushes. Might is not right at all when it comes to your oral hygiene, so relax and take things easy.
2. Stick to a Safe Diet
Besides aggressive brushing, acidic food and drinks are another common cause of enamel destruction. Drinking soda and munching on sticky taffy erodes parts of your tooth enamel, leaving you with sensitive and painful teeth. Eating too many sweets can also endanger your gums since the bacteria in plaque is often attracted to sugar. The more cake slices and hard candies you munch on, the more likely you are to suffer from sticky plaque and swollen gums.
Chewing on hard, tender food can also be quite harmful for your teeth. Tough steaks, chips, and other foods that require forceful chewing can damage enamel and induce tooth sensitivity. It’s far better to stick to fiber-rich food that’s easier to chew and less likely to be filled with sugar.
Try to enhance your diet with dairy, fish, eggs, vegetables, non-citrus fruit, and other healthy food. There are plenty of food choices out there that you can use to make a satisfying, healthy, and most of all safe meal for you and your friends. You don’t need to cut food from your diet if it’s too difficult to do so. Adding carrots, scrambled eggs, and other safer food to your daily meals can prevent your teeth from getting badly damaged.
3. Brush and gargle with fluoride
Fluoride is a tooth’s best friend! Found in many everyday snacks, beverages, and certain supplements, this mineral strengthens tooth enamel in order to stave off cavities and tooth sensitivity. It also repairs weakened tooth enamel, and it can even mix with saliva to provide 24-hour protection.
Brushing and gargling with fluoride every day are effective ways to strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent painful sensitivity. You can also try drinking from water sources with fluoride to keep your teeth from becoming weak and vulnerable to pain. In the end, it’s the most essential element to enhanced tooth protection!
4. Pay your dentist a visit
Tooth sensitivity should easily go away once you start adopting safer oral hygiene routines, as well as better lifestyle changes. If your teeth still sting and scream during breakfast and lunch, it could be a sign of a deeper problem. It’s best to visit your dentist and have him or her check for signs of tooth decay. Addressing the problem right away will get rid of your tooth pain woes and keep your oral health from getting worse.
5. Try desensitizing toothpaste
Desensitizing toothpaste works by blocking out pain transmissions using ingredients like potassium nitrate and strontium chloride. These products are perfectly safe for everyday use and, while they can’t completely cure tooth sensitivity, they can lessen sensitivity so that you have an easier time eating, drinking, and doing daily activities. Many desensitizing toothpastes are easy to get from your local pharmacy, although you can also act your dentist to prescribe stronger products if necessary.
You might not experience reduced sensitivity right after one or two uses. To make the most of desensitizing toothpaste, it’s important to always use it twice a day. You can also directly apply desensitizing toothpaste onto very sensitive areas to better reduce resurgences of pain.
6. Quit grinding your teeth
Bruxism—a condition that makes you grind your teeth—triggers tooth sensitivity and destroys precious enamel. This problem often occurs when people are asleep or very stressed. If you have a problem with grinding your teeth in your sleep, you can wear a mouthguard provided by your dentist. This should keep your teeth safe at night and reduce any further weakening of your tooth enamel. On the other hand, if you find yourself grinding your teeth out of stress, consider finding healthier ways to cope with anxiety such as meditation and journaling.
7. Consider protective treatments
If your tooth sensitivity isn't that easy to manage you can always consult your dentist for protective dental treatments. Your dentist can cover the most vulnerable surfaces of your teeth using crowns and repair chips, cracks, and other signs of wear and tear. Most protective treatments are safe and painless, so you shouldn't have to worry about missing a day of work or going under the needle.