Do you cringe when you consume cold or hot foods and beverages? If you have sensitive teeth, you might not be able to chew or drink normally. An Anchorage dentist can help you pinpoint the source of the sensitivity. Even if you don’t know the cause of the issue, you can take steps to protect your sensitive teeth and ease discomfort.
1. Brush gently
Sensitive teeth often signal that you’ve lost some tooth enamel. There are many causes of enamel erosion, including brushing too hard. Most dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush to avoid abrading the surface of the teeth.
You should also use gentle motions and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line. Repetitive side-to-side brushing movements at the gum line can damage the teeth over time. Some electric toothbrushes have a sensitive mode, which maximizes your comfort and protects your teeth.
2. Change your dental products
People with sensitive teeth might want to choose a toothpaste that’s minimally abrasive. Whitening toothpastes are often more abrasive than other types. Even if you’re battling stains, you might want to lay off the harsh toothpastes and bleach if you have sensitive teeth.
Toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth reduces discomfort by coating the dentin tubules that transmit extreme sensations or desensitizing nerve endings. Using toothpaste with fluoride can also strengthen enamel.
3. Go to regular checkups
Gum disease, decay, excessive plaque, cracked teeth and compromised fillings can cause tooth sensitivity. A dentist in Anchorage can identify these problems at a routine visit and treat them before they become major problems.
4. Watch what you put in your mouth
You probably know that sugary candy can create dental hygiene issues that lead to decay and sensitivity. Other foods to avoid if you have sensitive teeth include:
- Acidic foods
- Carbonated beverages
- High-sugar carbohydrates
Some better options are:
- Nutrient-rich foods
- High-fiber fruits and vegetables
- Plain water
If you do eat acidic foods, don’t brush immediately after eating. Your tooth enamel might be soft and more susceptible to erosion.
5. Consider professional treatments
You can’t always remedy tooth sensitivity with at-home methods. A consultation with a dentist in Anchorage AK can alert you to more options for minimizing your discomfort. Covering an exposed root with a filling or crown may be a solution. Sealants and fluoride gels provide relief for some patients. Wearing a mouth guard at night can protect your teeth from damage if you clench your jaw while you sleep.
Every patient has different needs. The staff at our Anchorage dentist location is dedicated to finding the right solution and developing personalized treatment plans.