Last week we examined the causes of sensitive teeth. So what are you supposed to do now that you have sensitive teeth?
There are several things you can do at home to help alleviate your sensitivity and the corresponding pain. Coincidentally, all of these home treatments will help prevent tooth sensitivity as well.
- Good oral hygiene. You hear this all the time, but it’s the really one of the few consistencies for preventing dental problems. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, and get your teeth cleaned twice a year.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Softer bristles equals less abrasion on the surface of your teeth and less irritation to the gums. In addition, when brushing around the gumline, brush very, very gently.
- Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. There are several different brands of this kind of toothpaste for the same reason that there are several brands of pain relievers; different brands work better for different people. However, avoid desensitizing toothpaste that advertise whitening as well. The whitening agents will only worsen the situation. Tartar control toothpastes can also further irritate your teeth and gums.
- Cut back on acidic and sugary foods. Consuming highly acidic foods like citrus and sodas and foods high in sugar can gradually erode the tooth enamel and expose the underlying dentin. Acids and sugars are also known to trigger pain reactions in already sensitive teeth.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. Toothpastes and mouthwashes with fluoride can reduce your tooth sensitivity. Talk with your dentist about home mouthwashes you can use that won’t further aggravate your teeth.
- Avoid grinding your teeth. If you’re a habitual teeth grinder, talk to your dentist about wearing a mouth guard at night.
If you still have pain or discomfort after trying these treatments, contact your dentist about possible dental procedures that can help, such as bonding to cover exposed roots, fluoride varnishes for exposed roots, and dentin sealers for exposed roots.