If you have sensitive teeth, you already know just how painful and uncomfortable that condition can be. Some people are sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks, while others feel sensitivity to sweet foods. Some people experience sensitivity when they brush and floss, making it extremely difficult to maintain a regular oral hygiene routine at home. If your teeth are sensitive in any way, you should know that there are steps you can take on your own to help reduce that sensitivity and other things you should avoid altogether. We’ve compiled this list to help you live with your sensitive teeth.
The “Do” List
- Use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. These products are an absolute must for anyone who experiences sensitivity. There are a variety of them available over the counter, and most work surprisingly well. Once you start to use a desensitizing toothpaste, you should begin to notice less sensitivity within a week or so.
- Brush your teeth properly. Sensitive teeth are often the result of damaged enamel, so it’s important to brush in a manner that doesn’t further damage that outer layer of your teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in a circular motion rather than from side-to-side, which can further harm your enamel.
- Watch what you eat and drink. Foods and drinks that are acidic can erode your enamel even more, which in turn makes sensitivity worse. Avoid foods like citrus, citrus juice, sodas and wine. If you do eat acidic foods, have another non-acidic food at the same time to neutralize the acid – fruit and cheese is a good example of acidic and non-acidic foods that pair up nicely.
- Try using a straw when you drink. This is an excellent way still enjoying a beverage while bypassing contact with your teeth.
The “Don’t” List
- Don’t whiten your teeth. Whitening products will make your sensitivity worse. And if your sensitivity comes from worn-down enamel, which is often the case, whitening products won’t work anyway. There are, however, some whitening products that are designed for sensitive teeth, so talk to your dentist to find out which of these would work for you.
- Don’t grind your teeth. Teeth grinding (also referred to as Bruxism) wears down your teeth, especially the outer layer of enamel. And that leads to increased sensitivity. If you grind your teeth and can’t stop on your own, talk to your dentist about effective ways to deal with this issue.
- Don’t be too aggressive with your brushing, and don’t brush too often. Too much of a good thing is never good. This is particularly true when it comes to brushing teeth with worn enamel. It’s important to take care of your teeth and gums, but brushing too hard can further damage the enamel layer, and that will increase your sensitivity.
Following these tips should make it easier to live with your sensitive teeth. For more information, talk to your dentist.