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How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity As You Age

How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity As You Age

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As my teeth become more sensitive over time, I sometimes think back on the good old days when I could enjoy ice cream sans tooth chill, visit the dentist without anxiety, and eat crunchy foods without experiencing random, sharp pains.

After consulting with my dentist about my increased tooth sensitivity, I found out that I could easily modify my teeth-cleaning routine to prevent the problem. My dentist confirmed that some of my oral hygiene habits were, perhaps, a bit too aggressive; brushing the teeth and gums can cause damage when not done properly.

As it turns out, applying too much pressure while brushing and using abrasive toothpastes are common brushing blunders. Find out how you can alter your brushing routine and other daily habits to prevent tooth sensitivity.

Brush Gently

Recession of the gums and wearing of the tooth enamel can increase sensitivity of the teeth. That is why it is so important to control the amount of pressure applied to the teeth and gums while brushing. Some individuals find that using an electric toothbrush encourages them to brush more gently; others prefer to use a traditional toothbrush with soft-bristle brushes.

Use Less Abrasive Dental Products

Manufacturers of dental products have responded to American men and women's concerns about having bad breath and getting cavities by offering toothpastes and mouthwashes that promise to eradicate 99 percent of bacteria, work for 12 hours straight, and prevent a slew of dental problems. The problem with some of these products is that they are simply too harsh for certain individuals. Those who experience any sensitivity of the teeth may be better off using less-abrasive products while maintaining proper oral hygiene.

Brush Soon after Consuming Foods with High-Acidity Content

Foods with high levels of acid, including certain fruits and yogurts, can wear down tooth enamel. That is why it so important for individuals to brush their teeth as soon as possible after eating these types of foods. Otherwise, the remnants of acid will continue to break down tooth enamel until the next time the teeth are cleaned.

Avoid Grinding the Teeth

Teeth grinding can occur when men and women are sleeping or if they become stressed and nervous. While the act of teeth grinding is largely subconscious, it can cause severe damage to the teeth over time. In some cases, the causes of teeth grinding can be treated by a dentist; others may need to be fit with a mouth guard to protect the teeth from becoming damaged while they sleep.

Avoid Foods That Can Crack or Chip the Teeth

Chewing on ice, hard candy, and other foods can chip or crack a tooth, sometimes resulting in immediate pain and the need for dental repair. At the very least, crunching away on ice or hard foods can wear down the protective tooth enamel that prevents sensitivity.

Consult a Dentist before Using Teeth Whitening Products

There are dozens of at-home teeth whitening products available to consumers. However, many men and women have found that increased sensitivity of the teeth is an unfortunate side effect of whitening products. Consulting a dentist prior to using over-the-counter or professional teeth whitening products can help you avoid this problem; in many cases, your dentist can recommend a less abrasive whitening product or provide you with a fluoride treatment to help prevent tooth sensitivity.

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