Do your teeth ache or feel painful when exposed to hot or cold foods and beverages? Perhaps you feel some discomfort whenever you brush your teeth. If you experience what is known as tooth sensitivity, you may be able to treat the problem by altering your daily habits. To ease your tooth sensitivity, consider the following do's and don'ts.
1. DO Be Careful About What and How You Eat
The foods and beverages you consume could be causing your teeth to hurt. Sensitive teeth may be due to acidic foods such as oranges, grapefruit, and tomatoes. Foods with a high acidic level tend to strip away the tooth enamel, leaving the nerves exposed and thus leading to pain.
Acidic foods and drinks are not the only culprits of tooth sensitivity, however. If your teeth are already sensitive, eating very cold foods such as ice cream or frozen treats may cause pain. You may feel the same discomfort when eating hot foods. The simple solution is to allow your hot foods to cool down before consuming them.
2. DON'T Use Whitening Toothpaste
If you experience tooth sensitivity after brushing your teeth, check the ingredients of your toothpaste. Some toothpastes that are designed to whiten the teeth contain hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide may cause tooth sensitivity for some individuals. If you experience such an issue, don't be too concerned, as the discomfort should go away after you stop using this product.
3. DO Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Toothbrushes made with hard bristles tend to be tough on the tooth enamel and gums. For some individuals with sensitive teeth, hard-bristled toothbrushes may make the problem worse. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles instead. At the same time, try brushing your teeth gently, because using extreme force will most likely cause you further discomfort.
Also, if you use an electric toothbrush, replace the heads as needed. Be careful not to brush too forcibly with the electric toothbrush, or you may experience enamel abrasions and gum sensitivity. If you are uncertain if your electric toothbrush is causing your teeth to become overly sensitive, consult your dentist.
4. DON'T Smoke (or Quit If You Do Currently Smoke)
You probably already know the risks cigarette smoking can pose to your general health. Did you know that smoking cigarettes may affect your oral health as well? Nicotine not only stains the teeth and causes foul breath, but it may also damage the tissue of your gums and cause tooth decay. Smoking cigarettes may also contribute to dental tartar.
Any of the above factors may cause your teeth to become sensitive. If you are concerned about tooth sensitivity, simply don't smoke cigarettes. If you do, try to quit now. You may notice not only a difference in your general health but in your oral health as well.
5. DO Be Aware of Bruxism
Do you clench your teeth when you become upset or angry? Do you have a habit of grinding your teeth as you sleep? The proper name for the above actions is called bruxism, which refers to teeth grinding or clenching.
If you tend to clench or grind your teeth, you may be damaging the enamel. Every time your teeth are clenched or grind together, the enamel wears down little by little. When the enamel wears down, tooth sensitivity often occurs. Ask your health care provider or dentist how you may be helped if your tooth grinding habit is causing sensitive teeth.
In conclusion, see your dentist regularly for cleanings and dental care. Don't neglect to have any chipped teeth treated because damaged teeth may also cause sensitivity and pain.