Caring for Sensitive Teeth

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

Does biting into an ice cream cone make you cringe instead of smile? Does sipping on hot cocoa make your teeth tingle a little too much? Most people will feel some sensation when their teeth touch food or drinks that are at temperature extremes, but if you notice it enough that you want to avoid certain foods, you may have sensitive teeth. Sensitivity can develop when the gum line begins to recede and the enamel starts to erode. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a permanent problem.

1. See Your Dentist

You’ve heard it before: see the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and a checkup. Semi-annual visits to the dentist are the easiest way to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy. If you are experiencing pain, your doctor can rule out any serious problems.

2. Change Your Toothpaste

Toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth aren’t just gentler to the mouth. They contain chemicals to actually protect the teeth. Under the tooth enamel is dentin, which has tubules that lead to nerves. Potassium nitrate can literally plug those tubules, which prevents further pain. Strontium chloride encourages minerals in saliva to harden over them as well. Let the foamy paste sit a bit before rinsing to allow the compound to soak in.

3. Update Your Toothbrush

A hard brush and intense scrubbing may seem like an effective way to get rid of tooth grime, but both can actually damage tooth enamel. Using a soft brush to gently massage the teeth and gums is much more effective to clean and protect from permanent harm. Gum erosion is often the result of brushing too hard. Switching to an electric toothbrush can help because it is pressure-sensitive.

Simple changes can make a big difference in giving you back a healthy and pain-free smile. First, rule out serious problems by visiting the dentist. From there, try changing the way your brush your teeth each day. After a few weeks, you should be able to enjoy a cold drink again