People with sensitive teeth often experience pain, discomfort, and inconvenience due to their condition. For many, this makes everyday activities like drinking cold or hot beverages, eating acidic foods, and brushing and flossing difficult. Fortunately, several practical tips can be used to manage sensitive teeth and reduce the effects of this condition. Below are four tips that can help anyone suffering from the symptoms of tooth sensitivity achieve relief.
1. Use Specialized Toothpaste
Many specialized kinds of toothpaste are designed explicitly for people with sensitive teeth and can help reduce symptoms significantly. These toothpastes contain ingredients like potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, which block the transmission of sensations through the tooth’s nerve. Additionally, desensitizing toothpaste contains fluoride, which strengthens and protects the teeth from further damage.
It is essential to ensure that the toothpaste you purchase is specifically designed for people with sensitive teeth, as regular fluoride toothpaste may not help reduce the symptoms. Read the ingredients on the packaging label before purchasing, and ensure that it contains either potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. It is generally recommended to use this type of toothpaste twice daily, and it should be noted that pain relief may not be immediate. To reduce symptoms, it is essential to use specialized toothpaste for several days or weeks.
2. Avoid Acidic Foods
It is crucial to avoid acidic foods as they can weaken the enamel of the teeth and make them more sensitive. Some of the most common items that may cause problems to include citrus fruits, coffee, tea, soda, and vinegar. When eating these foods or drinks, try to rinse your mouth with water afterward to neutralize any acids that may have been left. Additionally, wait at least 30 minutes after consuming anything acidic before brushing your teeth to give your enamel time to recover its strength.
Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol after meals can also help reduce the acid left in your mouth. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that helps neutralize plaque’s pH levels and reduces its acidic effects on the teeth. Limiting your consumption of sugary foods and drinks is vital to keep your teeth healthy and free from cavities. Sugars feed bacteria in the mouth, creating acids that lead to tooth decay. Foods such as candy, cakes, cookies, and other sweets should be avoided or enjoyed in moderation.
3. Use a Soft Bristle Toothbrush
A toothbrush with soft bristles is recommended for sensitive teeth, as brushing with a hard-bristled brush can increase sensitivity. Additionally, it is essential to use gentle strokes when brushing and avoid vigorous scrubbing, which can also aggravate the condition.
For those with receding gums, choosing a brush with rounded bristles is crucial to help avoid further irritation of the exposed root surfaces. Additionally, an electric toothbrush can be used as it can provide a gentle and effective cleaning action. If using an electric toothbrush, ensure that you use the lowest possible speed setting to avoid any potential damage.
It is also important to remember to replace your toothbrush every three months or whenever the bristles become frayed and worn out. A worn-out brush can be less effective at removing plaque and bacteria from teeth surfaces, potentially worsening sensitivity over time. If you’ve been using an electric toothbrush, you should regularly replace the brush heads as they will wear out quicker than a manual toothbrush.
4. Visit the Dentist
Regular dentist visits are essential for anyone suffering from tooth sensitivity. During these visits, your dentist can identify any underlying issues causing your sensitivity, such as tooth decay or gum disease. Additionally, they can provide further advice on managing the condition and recommend necessary treatments.
Dental medicine treatments such as professional cleaning and fluoride applications are highly effective in reducing tooth sensitivity. Professional cleaning can also help remove plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of further damage to the enamel. During this process, your dentist will use special tools to scrape away any hard deposits on the teeth and below the gum line.
In some cases, dentistry treatments such as bonding and crowns may be recommended. Bonding is used to cover exposed roots and seal the area from irritants, while crowns are placed over teeth that have been significantly affected by decay or trauma. Both can help reduce sensitivity in the affected areas.
Sensitive teeth can be a complex condition to manage, but following these practical tips can help anyone suffering from it find relief. These are all ways to reduce tooth sensitivity’s effects and make everyday activities easier. Talk to your dentist if symptoms persist or worsen to find out what other solutions may be available for managing sensitive teeth.