If you wince at the thought of eating ice cream, then you must be one of the people who wonders how on earth to treat sensitive teeth. It can be a bit of a nightmare when chilled foods and hot drinks hurt your teeth! Fortunately, there are ways of alleviating the problem of sensitive teeth. So if you're prone to this problems, here are some tips on how to treat sensitive teeth …
1. Get a Checkup
The first way to treat sensitive teeth should always be to get a checkup with your dentist. Don't just assume that it will be enough to buy a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and leave it at that. Your dentist needs to examine your teeth to see if there are any problems that should be treated.
2. Brushing Technique
You may also need to reexamine your brushing technique. Are you using a brush that is too harsh, and applying too much pressure? Try switching to a softer brush and reducing the amount of pressure you use. If you find this difficult, you may benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
Once your dentist has ruled out any problems with your teeth, you can try changing the type of toothpaste that you use. There are several brands that are aimed at sensitive teeth. Your dentist may recommend a particular brand, or you can try different ones to see what works for you.
One problem that can cause your teeth to feel sensitive is if you are in the habit of grinding your teeth (usually in your sleep). This may happen if you are stressed, are prone to snoring, or have been drinking alcohol before going to bed. One solution that may help is to get a gum shield or mouth guard fitted.
Toothpastes for sensitive teeth aren't effective for everyone, so you could try a mouthwash instead. Some brands are specifically aimed at people with sensitive teeth. Use the mouthwash twice a day after brushing, and don't rinse with water, or you will reduce its effectiveness.
6. Avoid Acidic Foods
Sensitive teeth can also be helped with a little attention to what you're including in your diet. Acidic foods such as vinegar or wine can affect the tooth enamel. If you like orange juice, try drinking it with a straw to protect the teeth. It's also best to avoid drinks such as cola. These are extremely bad for your teeth (you can actually use cola to clean the toilet - that's how acidic it is!).
As well as regular brushing, it's important to carry out a complete oral hygiene routine. Do you floss every day? If not, then it's time to start. Flossing helps prevent gum disease, which can lead to erosion and sensitive teeth. Be careful not to damage the gums though.
8. Whitening Treatments
Everybody wants lovely bright white teeth! Unfortunately, there is a high chance that these treatments will cause your teeth to become sensitive. Whitening treatments contain hydrogen peroxide (ouch!). Be particularly wary of over-the-counter kits - most are not strong enough to make any real difference, but it is best to speak to your dentist if considering teeth bleaching.
Sensitive teeth can make you quite miserable, but there are lots of ways to reduce the degree of sensitivity. Sometimes it's as simple as avoiding ice cream or very hot drinks if extremes of temperature set off your sensitivity. Good oral hygiene is also essential, and always see your dentist to rule out any problems. Have you tried any home remedies for sensitive teeth?