As many as one in eight people suffer from sensitive teeth. It is a commonly overlooked condition by others since many view it as a mild inconvenience at worst, but sensitive teeth are a significant problem that makes everyday life difficult for many people. It’s hard to enjoy anything from a frosty ice cream to a hot cup of coffee or even biting into firm foods and chewing gum when you have sensitive teeth. Luckily, there are some simple and effective methods for coping with sensitive teeth.
Use Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
One of the most common and popular methods of combating tooth sensitivity is brushing with toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. The act of brushing can irritate your teeth since many kinds of toothpaste are abrasive and bother the nerves. They may also cause damage to the enamel, making your overall tooth sensitivity problems worse.
Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth drastically cuts down on irritation and enamel damage by using a non-abrasive texture and including potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride in its list of ingredients. Potassium nitrate plugs up the little tubules in your teeth and blocks the nerves from irritation. Stannous fluoride helps strengthen the dentin and defends against further damage.
Rinse with Salt Water
As a natural antiseptic, salt is great for eliminating infection and illness-causing bacteria and cutting down on plaque, which may wear down your enamel. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and helps reduce the pain caused by your sensitive teeth.
Simply fill a small glass with lukewarm water and mix it with a tablespoon of salt. Swish the mixture in your mouth for about thirty seconds after you brush and spit it out.
Use a Softer Toothbrush
You may not realize it, but your brushing habits can also negatively affect the integrity of your teeth. Applying too much pressure when brushing and using a hard-bristled brush can erode the surface of your teeth and make them very sensitive. Buy a soft-bristle toothbrush and adopt a more gentle method of brushing to help cut down on damage.
Know When to Brush
It’s a common belief that you should brush immediately after eating to avoid any food remnants sitting on your teeth and causing tooth decay. However, this habit may actually cause more damage to your teeth. The enamel on your teeth is softer after you eat. If you immediately follow up a meal with brushing, you are likely doing more harm to your teeth than if you had chosen to not brush. It’s best to wait at least one hour after a meal before brushing.
Take Preventative Measures Against Teeth Grinding
Many people grind their teeth while their sleeping and without realizing it during the day. Teeth grinding wears down the enamel of your teeth and makes them very sensitive. If you grind your teeth while sleeping, consider wearing a mouth guard. For teeth grinding during the day, try to be mindful of it. If you catch yourself grinding your teeth, stop and relax your jaw.
Daytime teeth grinding can happen any time, but it’s more common when you’re stressed. Stress reduction techniques can be greatly helpful when trying to stop teeth grinding.
Your dentist can help you combat tooth sensitivity by applying sealants. Plastic resin is painted on the teeth and hardened to create a strong barrier. This barrier allows the teeth to more easily handle hot and cold temperatures as well as pressure. It also helps prevent the development of decay. The only downside is that the sealants only last for about two years before needing to be replaced.
Avoid Foods and Drinks with High Acidity
Foods like tomatoes, pickles, fruit juice, soda, wine and more can damage your teeth and make them sensitive due to their high acidity. You can still enjoy your favorite foods, but try to keep it to a minimum, and always brush properly after consuming anything acidic. As mentioned before, remember to wait about an hour between eating or drinking acidic substances and brushing.
Tooth sensitivity doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying eating, drinking or even going about your daily life. With some proper dental care, a change in diet and some help from your dentist, your tooth sensitivity can be a thing of the past.