Tips for Caring for Sensitive Teeth

seaside dental

At our Seaside dental office, we often see patients who are dealing with sensitive teeth. What is tooth sensitivity? It’s when eating, drinking or brushing your teeth causes you temporary discomfort or pain. Usually, sensitive teeth are caused by worn tooth enamel or gum recession. When this occurs, the dental nerves inside the center or pulp of the tooth become exposed to any hot and cold food or beverages you consume. This stimulates the nerves, causing discomfort. For tips on how to care for sensitive teeth at home, read on.

Switch to a Desensitizing Toothpaste

One of the easiest things you can do to treat your sensitive teeth is by switching to a desensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne. These specialized toothpastes are made with ingredients that can help desensitize your teeth, such as potassium nitrate and fluoride. After several uses, desensitizing toothpaste can sometimes help block pain associated with sensitive teeth. Because toothpaste can become more effective over time, you should keep using it even if your teeth no longer feel discomfort.

Fortunately, there are lots of desensitizing toothpastes available over the counter. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your dentist in Seaside, Dr. Scott Santos, which product might work best for you.

Brush Your Teeth Gently

If you’re a vigorous brusher, you might be taking off more than just plaque. Forceful brushing, especially right along the gum line, can wear away your tooth enamel and gums. To combat this, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Then, next time you brush, do so at a 45-degree angle. This will help keep your gums and enamel clean and strong.

You can also invest in an electric toothbrush, which is designed to brush with just the right amount of pressure. There are even electric toothbrushes that come with a pressure sensor. The sensor stops the brush bristles from vibrating or rotating whenever too much pressure is applied to the teeth and gums.

Avoid Certain Food and Beverages

Another great way to protect your tooth enamel is by avoiding sugary or acidic foods and beverages, such as soda, coffee, fruit juice, hard or sticky candy, citrus fruits, pickles and sugary carbs. This will help minimize further damage to your tooth enamel. Instead, focus on consuming healthier, less acidic fruits, vegetables and water.

If you do eat or drink something acidic, no problem. One trick is to use a straw (to limit contact with your teeth) and drink lots of water. Also, be sure to delay brushing for at least 20 minutes so your enamel can strengthen again before you scrub.

Wear a Mouthguard

There’s a chance your sensitive teeth are due to bruxism, or nightly teeth grinding. Many people with bruxism don’t even realize that they’re grinding their teeth at night, and, over time, it can wear away your enamel. If you believe you might be grinding your teeth at night, you should contact Dr. Santos about getting fitted for a mouthguard.

And, finally, be sure to brush and floss twice a day (as well as visit Dr. Santos twice a year for checkups!) to keep your smile bright and feeling good.

Ready to schedule an appointment with Dr. Santos? Contact our family dentistry in Seaside today.