Tooth sensitivity is a common condition among many adults. And with it officially being spring, we’re quickly getting into the time of year when most patients notice their tooth sensitivity for the first time. This is because warmer temperatures mean colder drinks and treats, and the temperature of these frosty favourites can be a shock to our mouths. But as a Guelph dentist office, we’re dedicated to your comfort and wellbeing whether you’re sitting in our chair, relaxing poolside or even sitting in another dentist’s chair. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips you can use to help stop tooth sensitivity from progressing. And even if you already suffer from sensitive teeth, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favourite cold drinks and treats this season. Use the tips below to help manage your tooth sensitivity and experience as little pain and discomfort as well.
The leading cause of tooth sensitivity is toothpaste. And while that might sound crazy, there’s a reason for this. Not all toothpaste can cause tooth sensitivity, but specifically whitening toothpaste. This is because they contain miniscule abrasives that are designed to scrub away the stains on our teeth. But using these toothpastes 2-3 times a day can lead to enamel being removed and ultimately, sensitive teeth. Now, we’re not saying you have to ditch the whitening toothpaste altogether. We recommend alternating with a regular toothpaste to limit your mouth’s exposure to these abrasives without limiting the toothpaste’s effectiveness. Try using your whitening toothpaste once a day and using a traditional toothpaste for the other 1-2 times. After just a few weeks, you should start to feel an improvement in your mouth’s sensitivity.
Another serious cause of tooth sensitivity is brushing too hard or brushing with a toothbrush that is too firm. You may have thought that your dentist was telling you to brush lightly and in a circular motion just because, but patients who brush with excessive force and in a back and forth motion can have their gums recede enough to cause tooth sensitivity. You should always brush with a soft or extra soft-bristled toothbrush and use light pressure and a circular motion to avoid damaging your gums. And if that doesn’t seem to be working for you, consider an electric toothbrush that does the work for you. That way you can focus on applying the proper amount of pressure while it focuses on cleaning your teeth.
Stop Using At-Home Whitening Kits
The internet seems to have a million and one different ways to whiten your teeth at home, but like a lot of things on the internet, these DIY whitening methods can be quite dangerous. For instance, rubbing lemon on your teeth may show whiter results in just a few days, but over time, the acid from the lemon can eat away at the enamel of your teeth— exposing nerves and leading to tooth sensitivity. And over time, you’ll also notice your teeth get darker as your enamel begins to thin. Now, not all at-home whitening methods are dangerous, but it’s important to consult with your dentist before starting any whitening process to ensure the safety of your teeth, mouth and body.
See Your Dentist
And of course, we saved the best for last. The absolute best way to stop tooth sensitivity in its tracks and stop it from getting worse is to visit your dentist regularly. This not only includes maintaining a regular check-up and cleaning routine but also at the first sign of tooth sensitivity, you want to consult with your dentist so that they can provide you with the guidance and knowledge you need to ensure it doesn’t get any worse. Although tooth sensitivity doesn’t sound as serious as losing a tooth or other dental emergencies, if not treated by a professional it can quickly get much more painful and cause more severe damage to your mouth and teeth. Even if there’s a chance that your pain or discomfort is nothing, we still urge you to visit your dentist (or the nearest dentist if you are travelling).
Those are just a few of the ways you can effectively and efficiently prevent and manage tooth sensitivity before it becomes painful. With warmer temperatures on the horizon, we know the last thing you want to do is have to spend your summer worrying about what treats and drinks will cause you pain. Contact us today so that together we can start getting your mouth ready for popsicle season. And as always, if you have any questions regarding anything discussed above, a separate dental condition or anything else dental related, we encourage you to reach out to us by phone, email or on Facebook.