If you wait until your coffee cools before you drink it or eat ice cream with great care because you know it will hurt your teeth, you may be one of many adult dental patients who have sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth symptoms include aversion to hot and cold foods, twinges during dental cleanings, and sharp sensations when eating something sweet.
If you have pain due to cavities, the problem can be addressed beautifully with tooth colored fillings, but the pain may simply be the result of sensitive teeth. Dr. Steven Hatcher and Dr. Mark Hyman of Greensboro, NC, have helped countless patients manage their sensitive teeth, which is often caused by thinning of the enamel. If you’ve noticed sensitivity, consider the following to prevent or stop damage to the enamel:
- Don’t brush so hard: You don’t need to apply much pressure to get your teeth clean. In fact, doing so, particularly with a side to side motion, may damage the enamel. Instead, use a soft bristled brush, held at a 45-degree angle, and use a circular motion to brush away plaque without damaging the tooth.
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages: Most patients know that soda, candy, and other foods high in sugar can cause cavities, but they don’t realize it can weaken the enamel. Try substituting tooth-friendly foods such as fruits and vegetables, cheese, and protein to keep your teeth happy.
- Don’t clench your teeth: Grinding and clenching are habits that many people have when they’re annoyed or stressed, or even while sleeping. It can cause headaches and jaw pain as well as wearing away the enamel. If you find yourself clenching your jaw, try to stop or talk to your dentist about a mouth guard.
- Be careful with whitening products: Many tooth whitening products are available over the counter. While patients love the availability of these pastes and strips, they may not be aware of the potential risk they cause to their teeth. It’s best to ask your dentist for advice before using a new product.
For more information about how to manage your tooth sensitivity, call Dr. Hatcher and Dr. Hyman at today.