Having sensitive teeth or gums is a common problem, whether it is a temporary problem in the weeks following a dental procedure or you have long-term problems with cold or sweet foods. A good oral care routine and lifestyle modifications that specifically target reducing sensitivity can have long-lasting effects on your comfort and dental health.
Invest In The Right Toothpaste
Your average toothpaste is not enough to help with sensitivity and some types can make the problem worse. If your current toothpaste has baking soda or is specifically formulated as a whitening toothpaste, not only are you increasing sensitivity, but this may be the underlying cause of new sensitivity problems. Although baking soda and peroxide can be excellent ways to have a whiter smile without the high price, not everyone can tolerate their use, especially daily.
There are many types of toothpastes for sensitive teeth and they work differently. Following the directions closely will give you the best results. In most cases, the toothpaste may take several days or weeks before you notice any benefits. Additionally, you may need to avoid rinsing, eating or drinking for up to 30 minutes after using the toothpaste. You do not want to prevent the toothpaste from working effectively. Enhance the effects of your toothpaste by using a mouthwash for sensitive teeth that helps rebuild your enamel.
Try A Different Toothbrush
You should always use a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid damage to your teeth and gums. If you find that even a soft toothbrush is uncomfortable, you may want to try a silicone toothbrush. There are multiple benefits to switching to a silicone toothbrush, even without tooth sensitivity. Silicone toothbrushes work well for cleaning your tongue and massaging your gums without causing discomfort. Unlike traditional nylon bristles, silicone is not absorbent, which keeps your toothbrush more sanitary by reducing the chances of bacteria or mold growth.
Use Spot Treatments
If you have a specific tooth or area in your mouth that is more sensitive, you may want to try various over-the-counter (OTC) spot treatments. OTC toothache relieving gels can be used before brushing or eating to reduce pain. The gels typically contain benzocaine, which is a topical anesthetic. You can use a clean cotton swab to place the gel in a specific area. Within a few minutes, you should notice a numbing sensation.
Some sensitivity treatments are available as strips that are applied to the affected area and help temporarily close weakened areas on your tooth. These weak areas are where food and beverages may seep in and make contact with the nerve, causing pain.
Work From The Inside
Your dietary and nutritional habits can have a long-lasting effect on tooth sensitivity. While you are changing your oral care routine and using other methods to reduce pain, consider increasing nutrients that can help strengthen your enamel. Calcium and vitamin D are important for strengthening teeth and the surrounding bone. It is important to make sure you have adequate amounts of vitamin D to facilitate the absorption of calcium.
You should consider limiting foods and beverages that are acidic because they contribute to the weakening of enamel. Obvious culprits are citrus fruits and juices, but tomatoes, soda and coffee also have high levels of acid. Be cautious about when you choose to brush after eating or drinking. Although you should brush after meals, you should wait longer to brush after consuming anything acidic. Your enamel is more vulnerable after being in contact with acid. Try waiting at least an hour after consuming your acidic foods and beverages before brushing your teeth.
Before finding a routine to combat tooth sensitivity, make sure you know you have a genuine sensitivity problem. Many serious problems, such as gum disease, cavities or tooth damage can be mistaken for sensitivity, and require professional treatment. For more information, contact a specialist like Smile Makers Dental.