Dealing with tooth sensitivity is a widespread problem. But what many patients don’t realize is that their choices at home can either help or hinder the dilemma. If you’re dealing with painful “zings” of dental pain due to sensitive teeth, be sure that you’re doing things to reduce the pain rather than exacerbate it. Here are four remedies that can help sensitive teeth from Dr. Kyle Todd.
Choose a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
The choice to brush your teeth is always a good choice, but when done too aggressively or with too rough of a toothbrush you can actually be irritating your gums and/or damaging the surface of your teeth. Additionally, if you’re not using a soft-bristled toothbrush you’re likely causing more damage to your mouth than you should be. If you’re already using soft bristles, bravo! Just make sure you’re using gentle brush strokes.
Avoid Sensitivity-Triggering Foods
You’ve likely already figured this one out for yourself—there are specific foods that can trigger your sensitive teeth and make it worse. And if you’re lucky enough to know which foods are triggering for your own sensitivity, it’s a no-brainer to avoid those foods. If, however, you haven’t made that connection for yourself and you don’t know which foods may be triggering your sensitivity, start to pay closer attention to your diet. More specifically, watch for correlations between your sensitivity and certain foods that are extreme in temperature (hot/cold), extremely sweet (sugar-rich), or even acidic. Once you’ve connected the dots, you can make conscious decisions to avoid those foods and increase your comfort simultaneously.
Seek Out Fluoridated Products
Fluoride protects your tooth enamel and prevents decay, but it can also decrease your sensitivity. Seek out products that contain fluoride in order to better your odds at decreasing your own tooth sensitivity. You likely already use a fluoridated toothpaste or gel, but you can also find mouthwashes that contain fluoride. Go ahead and get swishing!
Use Desensitizing Toothpaste
This final tip is our favorite one of all and—for many people—the most effective. It’s simple: Start using a sensitivity toothpaste and then stick with it for at least 2-4 weeks. It’s important to note that there are two different types of sensitivity toothpastes on the market, potassium and calcium. You’ll have to decide which one will best fit your needs, but most people use a potassium-based desensitizing toothpaste and they find that it works despite abrasion and erosion. Calcium-based toothpastes are also worth considering and, in some cases, can even offer a more instantaneous relief.
Having sensitive teeth is more than annoying—it’s painful. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid exacerbation. If the above options aren’t making a significant difference, contact us and request an appointment. We’ll help you attain optimal comfort as well as the healthiest smile possible.