Tips to use at home for treating day to day sensitivity

 In Oral Health

Tips to use at home for treating day to day sensitivity

Tips to use at home for treating day to day sensitivity

Do you experience sensitivity on a daily basis? Do you avoid your favorite foods or drinks because of it? Hopefully, these tips from your Dental Reflections Dublin team will help prevent sensitivity and get you back to enjoying some of your favorite things.

Desensitizing Toothpaste

I’m sure most of you have heard of the brand Sensodyne as it is the most common toothpaste used for sensitivity. It is our go-to when recommending a product to our patients. However, some people love it and others don’t. The good thing is that it’s not the only brand out there with the active ingredient solving the issue. Look on the box or tube of toothpaste for Potassium Nitrate 5%. The science behind it is this: sensitivity is most likely caused by thin enamel exposing the second layer of the tooth – the dentin – which has several hollow tubules that lead to the nerve. When the dentin is exposed you are much more likely to feel the effects of temperatures and sweets. The Potassium Nitrate actually clogs the tubules, stopping that sensation. The key is you must use the toothpaste twice a day for 2 weeks to feel the positive effects and continue use after. Don’t use it for 2 days and then give up!

Don’t Whiten

If you are already experiencing sensitivity day-to-day, we do NOT recommend whitening your teeth! The bleach used in whitening kits opens the pores of the enamel and is likely to cause more sensitivity. Sensodyne has a True White brand that can help with daily surface stains and with sensitivity. We recommend starting with this to be sure your sensitivity has completely resolved before trying any whitening with bleach agents. These most frequently include carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. We have heard of whitening “pains” keeping people up at night with constant zings or pain when air from breathing touches their teeth. Totally not worth it!

Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks

All of our favorite beverages and snacks are super acidic. This includes coffee, wine, soda, sparkling water and basically anything diet or flavored. We tested sparkling naturally flavored water and yep – you guessed it – it’s acidic. We were devastated too. Water is best between meals. Flavored drinks are ok with meals that offset the acid. You can also try drinking from a straw. Different levels of acidity effect people in different ways. They key is – if you are sipping all day on acidic drinks, it breaks down the enamel and causes an increase in sensitivity over time.

Try Warm instead of Cold or Hot

If you aren’t one of those people who a desensitizing toothpaste works for you, you may need to avoid extreme temperatures altogether. Go for room temperature instead of iced or warm instead of hot. We know it’s hard to get that ice cream room temperature but maybe you could opt for a milkshake you can drink with a straw to curb your craving. Or maybe the sensitivity toothpaste will do the trick!!

Soft Toothbrushes

Be sure you are using a soft or extra soft toothbrush! Remember, you can remove plaque with friction, not force. A medium or hard bristled brush will definitely damage the teeth and gums. They are not recommended anymore and we are not sure why they are still available! Aggressive brushing with a soft or extra soft brush can also lead to gum recession, which is irreversible. Your bristles flaring out on your toothbrush is a sign you are applying to much pressure. An electric brush is a great option to help prevent over brushing. Most out on the market these days even have a pressure sensor that lights up if you are brushing too hard. Technology at its finest!

If you are experiencing lingering pain or more than what feels like day to day sensitivity, be sure to call your dentist to schedule an appointment, as it may be something worse. We would be happy to see you here at Dental Reflections Dublin for all of your dental needs.


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