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How to Care for Sensitive Teeth

A little vulnerability never hurt anyone, but there's one part of you that can be too sensitive—your teeth. Here's how to toughen up your chompers.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Avoid acid & carbonation Avoid acidic foods and beverages and carbonated drinks.
  • Step 2: Wait before brushing Always wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth.
  • Step 3: Use right brush Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and use desensitizing toothpaste containing fluoride and either potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. Both help block the transmission of sensations from the tooth to the nerve.
  • TIP: Overzealous brushing, particularly with a hard-bristled toothbrush, can actually lead to hypersensitive teeth—so use a soft-bristled brush and be thorough but not too aggressive.
  • Step 4: Don't grind teeth Don't grind your teeth, which can cause increased sensitivity.
  • TIP: If you grind your teeth in your sleep, wearing a mouth guard can help protect your enamel.
  • Step 5: Visit a dentist If taking these steps doesn't help, visit a dentist. There are several procedures that might help you.
  • FACT: Sensitive teeth are usually caused when tooth enamel wears down or your gums recede, exposing tiny tubes that access nerves and cells inside your teeth.

You Will Need

  • A soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Desensitizing toothpaste

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