Many people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their teeth. They simply eat and drink what they want without giving it a second thought. That is, unless they have sensitive teeth, in which case they probably spend more time thinking about their teeth than they’d like to!
If you can count yourself in the latter category, it’s a good idea to see a Virginia Beach dentist since sensitivity can indicate a bigger problem such as decay. In the meantime, start by reading this blog for five great tips for preventing or reducing sensitivity as soon as possible!
Use the Right Tools
The toothbrush and toothpaste you use will make a big difference in any sensitivity you may be having. First, use a soft-bristled brush to avoid wearing away the enamel. If you’re using good technique and brushing for two minutes, you’ll still get your teeth clean – without damage!
Second, there are several toothpastes designed for sensitivity that will put a protective coating over the teeth to prevent temperature or pressure from stimulating the nerve. The effects are cumulative, so it may take 2-3 weeks of consistent use before you notice a difference.
Minimize Acidic Foods and Drinks
Some people have a sweet tooth; other people have a “sour tooth” and love all things acidic or sour. Some patients have even been known to suck on lemons, which can severely wear away the enamel over time and expose the sensitive layer underneath called dentin.
It’s a good idea to keep these foods and beverages to a minimum. Here are some examples:
- Citrus fruits or lemon in water
- Carbonated beverages – even diet soda or carbonated water
Topical fluoride (e.g., a toothpaste, rinse or professional treatment) has multiple benefits. Not only does it make the enamel harder and more resistant to cavities, but it also reduces sensitivity.
That’s because fluoride will put a coating over the teeth, which plugs the microscopic “pores” on their surface and prevents temperature or pressure from stimulating the nerve.
Use Sugar-Free Gum And Rinse With Water After Snacks
Food debris and sugar that remains on the teeth too long can wear away at the enamel and cause sensitivity. Since it’s not always practical to brush and floss after every meal or snack, you can still get a lot of benefit from simply swishing with water a few times or chewing sugar-free gum.
This will stimulate salivary flow, which counteracts the effects of acids that contribute to sensitivity. It also helps to wash away food debris, plaque and bacteria.
See Your Dentist
Finally, it’s always a good idea to see a dentist in Virginia Beach for sensitivity. They can rule out any serious problems, apply a professional fluoride varnish, and prescribe special toothpastes that are excellent for sensitive teeth.
With these tips and tricks, you won’t have to go through another meal thinking about your teeth. You can go back to enjoying your favorite foods and drinks like you once did!
About the Author
Dr. Asra Javeed is a general, restorative and cosmetic dentist who understands the impact that sensitive teeth can have on her patient’s lives. By carefully assessing each patient’s individual history, she can offer targeted recommendations to help them reduce their sensitivity. If you have any questions, she can be contacted through her website or at (757) 383-7151.