After a fun-filled day shredding some fresh powder on the slopes, you make your way back to the ski lodge for a hot mug of tea. However, as soon as you take a sip – ouch! – you feel a sharp pain shoot through your teeth.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, at least 40 million men and women suffer from sensitive teeth in the United States. Tooth sensitivity can make it tough to eat and drink your favorite foods and beverages. Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to avoid or overcome this common dental condition – just check out the oral care tips below!
#1: Do Not Brush Aggressively
When you brush your teeth, do the bristles of your toothbrush appear crushed? This is likely a sign that you apply too much pressure when cleaning your teeth. Brushing too forcefully can erode enamel, the hard protective layer of teeth, and lead to tooth sensitivity and receding gums.
To keep your enamel clean and strong, brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush for a full two minutes each time. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use short, circular strokes. Remember, brushing your teeth is not a race! Take your time and relax when practicing oral hygiene at home.
#2: Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks
Reducing your tooth sensitivity may require you to make a few adjustments to your diet. Specifically, you should try to avoid eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks, such as sports drinks, citric fruits, sodas and high-sugar carbs. All of these items contain acids that eat away at enamel. For tooth-healthy alternatives, try consuming more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, along with more fish, yogurt, cheese and milk.
#3: Wear a Mouth Guard at Night
Even if they do not realize it, many people grind their teeth at night due to stress, anxiety or bite problems. Grinding teeth slowly wears away tooth enamel, so it is important to protect your teeth while you sleep. Talk with your dentist about getting fitted for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth from nightly wear and tear.
#4: Visit a Dentist in Littleton
Finally, be sure to visit your dentist in Littleton for a routine dental exam and professional cleaning. Biannual checkups are critical to maintaining a healthy smile. If you are experiencing persistent tooth sensitivity, be sure to let your dentist know! He or she may recommend one or more of the following dental procedures:
- Bonding, crowns or inlays to address a tooth flaw or decay that is causing sensitivity
- Fluoride gel or varnish
- Surgical gum graft to protect exposed tooth roots
- Applying dental sealants to exposed root surfaces
- Root canal, but only as a last-resort treatment for severe tooth sensitivity that cannot be relieved by other procedures
Sensitive teeth can be distracting and uncomfortable, especially when they interrupt an otherwise enjoyable day on the mountains. However, if you follow the tips above, you will soon be able to grab that hot mug of tea without hesitation!
About the Author
A second-generation dentist, Dr. Cale Beasley strives to provide high-quality, personalized dental care to the Littleton community. The proud graduate of the University of Missouri at Kansas City dental school regularly takes continuing education classes and maintains an active membership in the Colorado Dental Association. For more oral care tips, visit the Littleton Dental Studio website or call Dr. Beasley at 303-794-1707.