Refreshing fizzy drinks, delicious velvety ice cream, and a quick stop in the Great Glass Elevator Candy shop – in Whistler, summer is the season to indulge. But that sharp pain you feel as you take a bite of your favourite summer snack is enough to stop the fun in its tracks.
Summer is too short to let sensitive teeth rule your life, and we believe you should still be able to treat yourself every once in a while. Unless it’s severe and persistent, tooth sensitivity doesn’t usually require a trip to the dentist. Here are a few easy and smart changes you can make to your routine that can help relieve sensitive teeth.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is characterized by soreness in one or more teeth caused by hot and cold temperatures, and sweet or sour foods and drinks.
The inside of your tooth is made up of dentin, which contains microscopic tubules filled with tiny nerve endings. A hard outer layer of enamel, and a layer of cementum that extends down to the root of your tooth, protect this dentin.
Dentin hypersensitivity occurs when dentin loses its protective enamel or cementum coating, and the nerve endings are exposed to certain foods.
How can you protect your teeth?
#1 Upgrade your brush
While it’s important to practice good oral care, and brush your teeth at least twice a day, overzealous brushing on a daily basis can aggravate sensitive teeth. Try switching to a soft bristle brush, as it helps to keep your teeth’s protective layer as strong as possible because you aren’t scrubbing away the enamel protecting your teeth. Also, remember to change your brush every two to three months!
#2 Check your toothpaste
Ultimately, we recommend you avoid store-bought whitening products, and opt for another safe whitening method. Whitening strips, toothpastes and mouthwashes are abrasive on the enamel of your teeth, and can aggravate your teeth and gums.
If you’re not ready to ditch the whitening products altogether, try alternating between a whitening toothpaste and a less abrasive option, to see if it alleviates sensitivity. Oral-B’s Gun and Enamel Repair is one of many great toothpastes specially designed for sensitive teeth.
#3 Avoid fizzy drinks
In Whistler we are spoilt by an array of stunning lakes, and nothing quite beats relaxing by the waters edge with a cold drink in hand. However, fizzy drinks, acidic foods, and smoking all speed up the wearing away of your teeth’s enamel.
We recommend keeping consumption to a minimum, and if you really can’t survive barbecue season without some bubbles, drink through a (re-useable or recyclable!) straw, so the liquid won’t come into contact with your teeth.
#4 Don’t brush immediately after food
Acidic food and drink, such as fruit and wine, soften enamel and make your teeth weaker and more sensitive. To prevent damage, brush your teeth last thing at night and first thing in the morning, instead of immediately after consumption. You can also try drinking water or milk after eating acidic substances, as these help to balance the acidity levels in your mouth.
Here at Whistler Dental, we’d never want tooth pain or discomfort to interfere with your summer plans. If you’re still experiencing sensitivity, visit your dentist ASAP- you may have a cracked tooth or excess plaque. You can book an appointment online with us today, or get in contact here.