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Be Easy on Your Sensitive Teeth

Does eating a spoonful of your favorite ice cream result in pain?

If so, it’s likely you have sensitive teeth. Living with sensitive teeth can make it seem impossible to eat foods such as ice cream or enjoy an icy cold drink, or even brush your teeth. Thankfully, sensitive teeth aren’t something that you have to live with for life. You just have to know what steps to take to minimize the symptoms and maintain them over time.

Woman putting toothpaste on toothbrush

A toothbrush with soft bristles is best for sensitive teeth.

Don’t Scrub Your Teeth Away

Scrubbing your teeth very hard or using a medium to firm bristled toothbrush can cause gum recession and abrasion to your enamel. This leaves exposed dentin, the layer under your enamel, which is extremely porous and full of nerve endings. When exposed, your tooth will become more sensitive than it already was. Use a gentle toothbrushing method with soft or extra soft bristles.

Use a Sensitivity Formulated Toothpaste

Toothpastes that are specifically formulated for sensitivity block off the pores of your sensitive teeth, protecting the hypersensitive nerves from stimuli. You may need to use the toothpaste twice a day for an entire week before you see the full results.. Continue using the toothpaste regularly as it is not a permanent fix, but an ongoing protective mechanism.

Have Us Apply a Fluoride Varnish

Fluoride varnish is a nearly instant desensitizer when applied to your tooth. Unlike conventional fluoride gels or rinses, varnish adheres to the teeth for several hours until it is brushed away. It is absorbed into the pores of the tooth, desensitizing the surfaces for as long as three months after each application.

Consider Covering the Area

For areas of moderate to severe sensitivity associated with abrasion or gum recession, you may want to consider gingival grafting or composite bonding to cover those portions of the tooth. This makes it physically impossible for stimuli to access those tooth areas and aids in the fight against sensitivity.

Some types of tooth sensitivity are completely normal while others are a sign that something is wrong. Be sure to discuss your tooth sensitivity with us during your next exam so that we can screen for other types of conditions linked with this symptom.

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