You can feel miserable when you suffer from sensitive teeth. This temporary condition called dentin hypersensitivity can occur when you breathe cold air or when you eat cold food and drink cold liquids. This is normally due to receding gums exposing the roots. Prolonged sensitivity requires you to visit your dentist for a check up.
There are ways to prevent the pain of sensitive teeth by practicing good oral hygiene. Here’s how.
- Keep your gums from receding by using a softer toothbrush. You should also avoid applying too much pressure when you brush your teeth as this scratches your teeth enamel. If you are used to brushing your teeth in an up and down motion, angle your toothbrush at 45° from your gums and brush up and down gently or you can temporarily switch to gentle to and fro brushing until the sensitivity disappears.
- Brush your teeth thoroughly for 2 to 3 minutes. Follow this with flossing to remove bits of food and plaque from hard to reach areas. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and make a habit of flossing after every meal to prevent plaque build up.
- Use a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth such as Sensodyne and other toothpastes that contain strontium chloride and potassium nitrate. Sensodyne directly desensitizes the tooth nerve. This type of toothpaste has ingredients that act with your saliva to form crystals that will cover the pores of your exposed root.
- Use a specially formulated fluoride mouthwash. This type of mouthwash can greatly reduce your teeth’s sensitivity. Use this product at least once a day. Check with your dentist which type of mouthwash is best for your condition.
- You can try applying of coat of this desensitizing toothpaste on your teeth and leave it on overnight to alleviate the pain. For good results, do this for two to three weeks.
- Avoid eating foods like citrus, tea and sodas that are highly acidic as these increase teeth sensitivity and negate the work done by the special toothpaste.
- If the pain does not go away after a week, consider visiting your dentist. Plaque build up may have been the cause why your gums receded and exposed the root. You need to have an oral prophylaxis to remove plaque or you may have worn down some tooth enamel that requires filling.
- Avoid eating too cold or too hot food. Also avoid foods that contain too much sugar.
- Avoid biting on hard foods like hard candy to help minimize the pressure put on your teeth. Weaker teeth may also split or break when you bite on hard food.
- Take calcium supplements to help your teeth grow stronger. Check with your dentist about using fluoride gels to help alleviate the pain.
- Eat food rich in calcium like cheese, yogurt and milk. Drink plenty of water and eat more fruits, fiber-rich foods like celery and other salad greens as well as nuts such as almonds, cashews and walnuts.
Take care of your teeth. You only get to have one full set of permanent teeth that should last a lifetime. Avoid biting on very hard food, grinding your teeth and clamping your jaws tightly.