Have you ever sipped a cold drink or eaten ice cream and experienced a brief, sharp pain in your teeth? This sensation could occur during brushing or eating as well. Living with sensitive teeth can bring unexpected, unpleasant surprises — and can also indicate dental problems that could get worse.
If you are living with sensitive teeth, you and your dentist both have some options for treating them. If treatment at home doesn’t help or if the pain becomes more severe, then it’s time for your dentist to offer you some solutions.
When shopping for toothpaste, you’ll notice a number of brands having options for sensitive teeth. These work by using ingredients that block pain signals to the tooth’s nerve. Different brands can include different ingredients, some more effective than others. Stannous fluoride is considered by many to be the most effective one for blocking pain, so check the box before you buy.
Since tooth sensitivity can be caused by weak or worn enamel, using fluoride to strengthen it can lead to reduced pain. This is a great option, as it works to correct the problem instead of only treating the symptom. These treatments can range from fluoride-enriched mouthwash to custom dental trays.
Did you know fluoride isn’t very effective via toothpaste? Your teeth develop what’s called biofilm, and brushing helps to remove this. This biofilm reduces the amount of fluoride your teeth can absorb, so the best time to apply it is after brushing. Once your teeth have biofilm removed and are clean, use mouthwash or a solution from your dentist immediately afterward to obtain the best results.
Avoid Highly-Acidic Foods
Certain foods and drinks contain high levels of acid that can erode tooth enamel. If you’re working on reducing sensitivity in your teeth, it’s smart to avoid highly-acidic foods and beverages, such as:
- Soft drinks
- Fruit juice
- Citrus fruits
Adjust Your Brushing Habits
If you brush your teeth too vigorously, you can gradually wear away the protective enamel that limits sensitivity. Using a toothbrush with stiff bristles will only make matters worse. Try switching to a toothbrush with soft bristles and use less pressure when brushing. Just don’t forget to brush for a full two minutes each time!
If you do find yourself indulging in an acidic food or beverage, avoid brushing for around 30 minutes afterward. The acids can soften tooth enamel right after you consume them, and brushing at this stage can wear that enamel down faster. Try drinking some water instead.
If these tips don’t reduce tooth sensitivity, or you find it getting more severe, it’s time for your dentist to offer solutions. Sensitivity can be caused by a number of issues, and lasting, effective treatments are available for each.
If you’re ready to discover options to eliminate your tooth pain, Gateway Dentistry Group can help. Call or message us today.