Patient Q&A: When Should I Use “Sensitive” Toothpaste?

October 2016

Viewing posts from October , 2016

Patient Q&A: When Should I Use “Sensitive” Toothpaste?

We get questions all the time about sensitive teeth and what to do about them. If you are experiencing sensitivity, you may want to consider using a special toothpaste that can help to alleviate your symptoms. Here, we’ll dive into why your teeth might be sensitive and what your options may be for treatment.

Teeth sensitivity

According to the American Dental Association, about 12 percent of people will experience tooth sensitivity at some point. By definition, teeth become sensitive when one of the following occurs:

  • The enamel that covers teeth gets thinner, due to aggressive brushing or acidic foods/drinks.
  • There is gum recession.
  • There is decay or a break that exposes the dentin of the tooth.
  • A patient has recently had a dental treatment, such as a filling or teeth whitening.

You will definitely know when your teeth have gotten sensitive. You will feel it when you have food or drinks that are hot or cold, or when you eat very sweet or very acidic items. Some people even experienced the feeling when breathing in cold air. It is also possible for the sensitivity to come and go.

Treating the issue

It’s always a good idea to discuss any oral issue you are having with your dentist in Ballantyne. We can help determine what the cause may be. For example, a cavity may be at the heart of what is going on. In that case, we can treat the problem to help eliminate your symptoms.

In other cases, we may recommend that you use a desensitizing toothpaste. These products work because they contain elements that will actually block the feelings that travel from the surface of your tooth down to the nerve. Be aware that it may take a few brushings in order for the toothpaste to work.

When the toothpaste is not enough, you should come to our office, where we have other options available. For example, we can apply a topical agent that is stronger than the toothpaste to do the job.

Have a question or concern? Please call us and let us know! (704) 540-4252.

Eat Candy AND Keep a Healthy Mouth! Here’s How

Trick or treat! It’s that time of year when you can send your kids out with a costume and a bag and they will magically return with all sorts of delicious snacks: chewy candy, hard candy, small candy, big candy and – one of our personal favorites – peanut butter cups. Adults and kids alike can enjoy these treats without having to worry too much about their health – including how that candy can have an effect on your teeth.

Ready for a guilt-free Halloween? Here’s how to do it:

1. Choose Wisely

Let’s get the bad new out of the way first: There are some candies you should probably avoid if you are concerned about your teeth. For example, when you chew hard or sticky candy, it can get stuck in your teeth. At our dentist office in Charlotte, we have seen how over time, food stuck in your teeth breaks down and can lead to tooth decay. The exception to this is a sugar-free candy.

2. Pair It!

You know what goes really well with candy? Water! Make sure you are drinking fluoridated water, especially after eating candy. Water rinses the mouth of leftover pieces of food, and that fluoride will help prevent tooth decay.

3. Take With Food

When you eat a meal, your saliva production increases. This is because your body knows it needs saliva to break down foods. As a bonus, saliva also rinses out food particles from your mouth. Therefore, if you are going to eat candy, make sure to do it with your meal or shortly afterward, when saliva production is high.

4. Chew Gum

If that bag of treats has sugarless gum in it, chew it! When you chew gum (has to be sugarless) for 20 minutes after eating a meal, it can help to reduce tooth decay. This is again because of our old friend, saliva. Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva.

5. Brush and Floss

Halloween can be tiring. There’s a lot of walking, chasing the kids and staying up late while the sugar high subsides. No matter how tired you are, though, please remember to floss and brush those teeth before going to bed! Treats like popcorn and certain types of candy can get stuck between your teeth, and flossing can dislodge those pieces before they become a problem.

Lastly, everything in moderation. If you binge-eat candy, odds are it won’t be good for your health. So pick a small piece and treat yourself!

We hope you have a safe, healthy and very happy Halloween!