Blog by our Dental Hygienist, Robin
June, 2018 | Are Your Teeth Sensitive? Here’s Why
DO YOU EVER cringe when you watch someone bite into ice cream? Are you sometimes fearful of that first sip of hot soup or drink of tea? You’re not alone. Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints we hear about!
Teeth Feel Sensitive When Nerves are Exposed
On the outside of each tooth is a protective layer of enamel. Over time, the enamel can wear away leaving an inner layer, called the dentin, exposed. This occurs due to normal wear and tear, poor dental hygiene or certain lifestyle choices.
Dentin contains fluid-filled tubules that reach into the innermost part of the tooth where all the nerves reside. Because the nerves inside the tooth are exposed when the enamel is eroded away, sensitivity is the result.
Desensitizing Toothpaste Can Help
Desensitizing toothpastes are a great way to ease tooth sensitivity. Many of our patients ask us how these toothpastes actually work! It’s simple: they are specially formulated to either block the tubules in the dentin, protecting the nerves in the tooth from exposure, or numb your teeth, in a manner of speaking, so you don’t register the pain of sensitivity.
It’s important to remember, however, that if your teeth are at all sensitive, your first stop should be your dentist’s office. Some problems that cause teeth to be sensitive can be quite serious and may require more extensive treatment than desensitizing toothpaste can provide.
Follow These Helpful Tips To Avoid Sensitive Teeth
Sensitive teeth can range from mildly annoying to severely painful. To prevent further damage to your teeth, or any sensitivity in the first place, follow the suggestions below:
- Practice proper oral hygiene. Gum disease and tooth decay are frequently the cause of tooth sensitivity. In addition, avoid smoking or any form of tobacco use.
Don’t brush so hard. If your toothbrush bristles look splayed as if you have been cleaning your floor rather than your teeth, chances are you are brushing too hard. As your hygienist, I have selected and recommend toothbrushes with very soft bristles. The bacteria we are trying to clean off of our teeth is soft and will easily be removed with gentle brushing. Remember brushing too hard doesn’t make up for not flossing and will not make your teeth whiter. It will only make them more sensitive by wearing away the protective enamel covering. My recommendation, for patients who ‘scrub,’ is to switch to an electric toothbrush. We recommend either the Sonicare or the Oral B. Both brands will let you know if you are brushing too vigorously by either stopping or lighting up. I always tell patients to expect a bit of an adjustment period when switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric but the benefit is enormous.
- Protect your teeth. If you clench your teeth frequently or have been diagnosed with bruxism (teeth grinding), make sure you protect your teeth with a nightguard provided to you by your dentist and try to be conscious of your clenching habits during the day.
- Make sure your diet is healthy. Eat sugar and carbohydrates in moderation. Drink plenty of water and eat foods that are good for your teeth such as dairy products and vegetables.
Nobody Should Live With Tooth Pain
No matter what your level of discomfort, it’s our belief that nobody should have to live with tooth pain. If you experience any kind of sensitivity in your teeth, come in and see us!We can diagnose the root cause of your sensitivity and ascertain the best way to treat it.
We are thankful for our wonderful patients!
April, 2018 | Frustrated With Flossing? Try Waterpik®!
As necessary as flossing is, it can still seem like a hassle at times. That’s why we’re so excited that old-fashioned flossing isn’t the only option. One of our favorite alternatives to traditional floss is the Waterpik® Water Flosser, the first powered interdental cleaner to earn the American Dental Association’s seal of approval.
How Waterpik Compares
Many patients find the areas in between their teeth the most difficult spots to clean and because of this it is those spots most neglected when doing their daily cleaning at home. It is no surprise that most of the cavities people have and most of the gum pockets that develop are between the teeth. If flossing is just not something you are willing to add to your daily routine, I highly recommend the WaterFlosser.
After using the Water Flosser myself, I am able to make recommendations on the best way to use this device. First, I prefer to fill my WaterFlosser with warm water (my teeth are very sensitive to cold) and a bit of antibacterial mouthwash. I use almost 2 full tanks of water (it takes 45 seconds per tank) to reach all of the areas between my teeth. I move it from space to space between each tooth beginning on the outside and followed by targeting the spaces on the inside or tongue side of my teeth. I remind patients to learn over the sink, partially close their mouths, and let the water easily flow out of their mouths.
Watch the video below to see how the Waterpik Water Flosser gives you a cleaner, healthier smile than brushing alone:
Get Your Own Waterpik Water Flosser!
Remember, the WaterFlosser we sell in our office is cordless and can be used in the shower. To date, I have found very positive feedback from patients who have used it All agree it makes their mouths feel very clean, and most can’t believe all of the food coming out even after they have brushed. As a courtesy to our patients, we currently have the WaterFlosser Cordless Advanced model available for purchase in our office.
It is $75 with a $5 mail-in rebate.
Let Us Know How You Like It!
We’d love to hear how you like your Waterpik Water Flosser once you start using it, so make sure you let us know at your next appointment with us. Until then, don’t forget to brush twice a day and use the Waterpik to “floss” once a day! Keep cleaning those gorgeous pearly whites!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.