There are very few things I can think of that are more frightening than taking a big sip of ice-cold water then feeling an intensely sharp pain in your teeth. As you sit there with your mouth open trying to breathe or clench your jaw to try and bring some relief, remember there are several factors that come into play when it comes to teeth sensitivity. Similar to our eyes or our facial structure, our teeth are all different and have different susceptibilities. Some of us have naturally stronger enamel than others, some of us have larger teeth, and others have more sensitive teeth. Of course, ensuring we all do the tedious chore (health activity) of brushing and flossing our teeth in the morning as well as at night is the easiest way to help and even improve your sensitive teeth symptoms. Let’s examine a few other great techniques we can perform to aid our teeth sensitivity and relieve ourselves of the pesky aches it brings.
1. Toothbrush Upgrade
One of the simplest yet easiest mistakes we can make is to choose to go cheap on our dental equipment. We would never sleep on a bed of sharp and uncomfortable bristles, so why would we ever brush our teeth with them?! Using a cheap toothbrush with stiff, low-quality bristles is hard on enamel leading to a breakdown of microscopic holes and eventually worsened sensitivity. It’s vital to invest in a higher-grade toothbrush that will not only clean your teeth thoroughly but will also not cause any further harm to your teeth. Advancements in toothbrushes and bristle technology have brought a whole new factor to the game as well. On top of the manual handheld toothbrush, we now have mechanical toothbrushes available to use in all different fashions. From vibrating toothbrush heads to rotating toothbrush heads, and from round bristle formations to diamond-shaped bristle formations, the amount of toothbrush combinations seems almost endless nowadays. This is why we also highly recommend you seek your dentist’s expertise and recommendation in what toothbrush you should use as they will know your teeth better than anyone.
2. Sensitivity Toothpaste
Like toothbrushes, their companion toothpaste has also advanced and improved greatly in recent years. You name the need, teeth whitening, enamel strengthening, mouthwash infused, and everything in between; the amount of toothpaste variety is almost exhausting. Thankfully, one of the best options you can choose to help improve your teeth sensitivity is to choose a quality toothpaste made for… you guessed it, tooth sensitivity! Most often, these kinds of toothpaste already include fluoride as well as enamel strengthener; both of which aid your teeth in retaining their white look as well as helping to relieve pain by filling the tiny holes in our teeth caused by general time and use.
Another tip to keep in mind is allowing your teeth the time to get used to the toothpaste you’re introducing to them. Like everything else in our bodies, our teeth are a part of us but also their own living entity. With this being the case, it takes time and exposure for our teeth to adapt to new products and in turn enables their benefits to take hold. Too often we see patients constantly changing their products due to results not being seen or felt quick enough. Giving a product a month of time and constant use is usually always a good general timeframe to allow yourself and your teeth to reap the highest benefit of that product.
Candies, Sodas, high sugar carbs are just a few examples of harmful products that contain sugar and acids that cause major damage to our teeth. Our tooth enamel is the golden ticket and acids aim to shred it apart. One of the worst things we can do is introduce sugar and acids to our diet and thus our teeth. Worse than that is allowing those sugars and acids to sit on our teeth and allow them to break down our tooth enamel. The enamel on our teeth acts not only as of the white shine of color produced but also as the protector of our teeth sensitivity. Once the tooth enamel begins to break down, the flood gates that are tooth sensitivity are opened and the further the damage can worsen. If sugary treats and drinks are consumed, it’s important to always rinse out our mouths with water as soon as possible in order to remove those threats and give your teeth the best chance to remain strong and sensitivity-free.
4. Sleep Care
Sleep care is one of the more unknown or underappreciated tactics we can do to improve our dental health. The average person sleeps around one-third of their entire life, and a ton of activity occurs during this time. Events such as body motion, face pressure, acid reflux and teeth grinding are all factors that can also cause damage to our teeth and in turn cause more teeth sensitivity. If you did have acid reflux symptoms while sleeping, your teeth would have specific wear to them that one of your dentists would have hopefully informed you about. And if so, there are medicines available to keep the acid reflux in check. One unsung hero everyone should be using is a mouthguard that is molded to fit our exact teeth. Using a mouthguard at night helps prevent the damage caused by grinding our teeth and natural movement while we sleep at night. Not only will a mouthguard improve the quality of our teeth it can also improve our sleep by relieving our subconscious of the small pain experienced during the night.
It is understandable that we all want pearly white beautiful teeth. However, at what cost are we going to pay for a realistically small benefit. The use of dental cosmetics isn’t completely harmful or dangerous but life anything else, it’s about having control over the use of those products. Teeth whiteners or bleaches are continuing to develop and become safer but it’s still important to give our teeth a break from the chemicals in those products more often than we use the actual products. Teeth straighteners are also a very popular cosmetic used to try and enhance the appeal of our teeth. Some of these products can be dangerous and cause more harm than their worth. Having a discussion with your professional dentist about the best options for your specific teeth is always the best option before venturing into teeth-altering products.
Of course, we can NEVER FORGET our bi-yearly dental cleanings! Seems obvious but ill say it, most of us are not a dentist and we certainly aren’t our own dentist. This is why working with your dental office and getting scheduled at least a couple of 6-mouth dental cleanings and checkup is a no-brainer. Even if our teeth look great and even feel perfectly fine for months on end, physical pain is the last symptom our body gives to inform us there’s something awry occurring. Our dentists are looking out for our best interest and these bi-yearly check-ins are not there to give you bad news, they’re there to tell you how great your teeth are looking! Communicating with your dentist and following these tips will enhance your well-being and have your teeth feeling sensitivity-free in no time.