When the thought of ice cream makes you go ouch, rather than mmm, it may be time to start thinking about what’s causing the discomfort. One of the causes can often be sensitive teeth. Sounds familiar? Let’s find out how to care for them.
How to Find Out If I Have Sensitive Teeth?
If you’ve spoken to your dentist, and the possibility of cavities, teeth and gum diseases that may cause pain have been ruled out (for now at least!), but you still feel pain in your teeth when you suddenly drink a hot/cold/sugary beverage, or even breathe in cold air, you may have sensitive teeth. Here are a few ways you can care for your delicate pearly whites.
Are You Brushing Too Hard?
When in a hurry, we sometimes tend to brush our teeth quickly and often too hard. This can sometimes strip away our enamel (top layer) and expose dentin, thus making our teeth more vulnerable and sensitive.
Top Tip: When shopping for a toothbrush, go for a soft one that is designed for sensitive teeth. Clean and less painful is always a good thing when it comes to teeth!
Could Teeth Whitening Products Cause Sensitive Teeth?
Because teeth whitening products have hydrogen peroxide in them, it is important to know that it too can affect the enamel of our teeth, causing them to be sensitive – especially in the first few hours after using teeth whitening products.
Did You Know? If you have veneers or restorations on your teeth, teeth whitening products won’t work on these surfaces, and may cause your teeth to turn different shades of white. Always speak to your dentist before using teeth whitening products, making sure they are right for you.
Can Your Diet Cause Sensitive Teeth?
We are what we eat, as the saying goes. It’s true – if sugary drinks and acidic foods (think tomatoes, oranges etc) form part of your daily food intake, you could be making your teeth sensitive without even knowing it! Acidic foods and sugary drinks can contribute to enamel erosion resulting in sensitive teeth.
Top Tip: Reaching out for a can of fizz? Swap it for some water with fresh mint. Super refreshing and no sugar in sight.
Is There a Connection Between Stress and Sensitive Teeth?
Your mental wellbeing can sometimes be connected to your oral health. This is because some of us may be grinding our teeth when nervous or stressed and this can cause a variety of issues – not only sensitive teeth! These can include: tension, flattened teeth surfaces, micro fractures to the enamel and more.
Top Tip: While your dentist will help addressing your oral health, you may need to speak to a professional about your mental health too. Stress and anxiety often weave themselves into our lives without us noticing. This is why it’s important to take care of both are body and our mind!
Speak to your dentist if you feel there’s something wrong with your teeth - don’t forget to go for a checkup at least twice a year to make sure your pearly whites are in tip top shape.