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10 Useful Tips For People Who Have Sensitive Teeth

10 Useful Tips For People Who Have Sensitive Teeth

If you have sensitive teeth, you are not alone-, as it is estimated that 60% of all Americans have the same problem. It seems that women are 1.8 times more likely to have this condition than men.

You may wonder what the cause is, but the fact is that when the areas of the tooth called the dentin and enamel get worn away, the exposed nerves start to complain. This leads to pain, throbbing and a general sense of discomfort.

Those sensitive areas of the teeth can be damaged by various things such as food, an inadequate toothbrush, high or low temperatures and receding gums. Here are 10 useful tips if you have this problem yourself.

1. Prevent plaque build up with softer brush strokes.

If you neglect to brush your teeth, then there is a risk of plaque building up on the tooth surface. This plaque hardens and also releases an acidic substance which can damage your tooth enamel.

Make sure you are brushing with gentle up and down strokes and that you are using a softer toothbrush. There is no need to brush so vigorously. The important thing is to brush gently for about two minutes.

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2. Switch to a sensitive teeth toothpaste.

This is not guaranteed to work, but it can save you an extra trip to the dentist and lots of money too. Look for a brand of toothpaste which is particularly designed to care for sensitive teeth.

They usually contain potassium nitrate and strontium chloride, which both help to desensitize the nerve endings in the dentin areas. You have to go on using this toothpaste on a more or less permanent basis if it is to work properly.

3. Change your mouthwash to a high flouride variety.

The experts tell us that fluoride can actually strengthen tooth enamel which has been compromised by the bacterial acids. Researchers have found that when fluoride is present, it prohibits the bacteria that causes tooth decay from sticking, so that brushing and cleaning with saliva will be more efficient.

The next time you buy a mouthwash and toothpaste, check the label for fluoride. Dental experts in the UK recommend that children up to the age of three should use toothpaste which has a fluoride concentration of at least 1,000 parts per million

4. Stop grinding your teeth.

You may not know it, but if you grind your teeth when you are asleep, you are multiplying your chances of having sensitive teeth, which will then cause you considerable discomfort. It is estimated that one in three people suffer from this condition.

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If you are aware of this problem (bruxism), ask your dentist to make you a mouth guard which you can wear while sleeping. It is an excellent, long term investment. The man in the photo above used to suffer from bruxism until he got a guard made for him. This explains the very even teeth.

5. Be careful about teeth whitening gimmicks.

Although teeth whitening should not damage your teeth, there are some studies that show that if the concoction contains hydrogen peroxide, it might cause problems. Dentists should warn people that some alterations to tooth enamel might be an issue.

If you have had restoration work done and have almagams, there is also a risk that some spotting and minor color changes could occur. Before deciding to do your own whitening program, it is always better to ask your dentist what product he or she recommends. And there are also natural ways to whiten teeth.

6. Avoid acidic foods and drinks.

You cannot avoid these completely, but it is no harm to reduce your intake. The most common acidic food and drinks to avoid are fizzy drinks like Coke, citrus fruits like oranges, wine, vinegar, salad dressing, and yogurt.

A useful tip is to use a straw when you drink acidic liquids. You can also rinse your mouth with water or milk after eating some acidic food as this can reduce the acid levels floating around your teeth.

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7. Think carefully about when to brush your teeth.

You might think it is perfectly normal to brush your teeth straight after eating. But if you want to avoid the problem of sensitive teeth, you should think again.

Experts now tell us that it is better to wait half an hour before doing so. Why? The reason is that brushing too soon can actually push all that acid deeper into the dentin layer.

8. Ask your dentist for a fluoride paint job.

If you have tried everything and nothing seems to give you relief, ask your dentist if he would consider applying fluoride gel or varnish to your teeth. You will have to go for several appointments so that the layers of fluoride can settle and build you a protective shield around the delicate dentin areas.

9. Make your own toothpaste shield.

If your sensitive teeth are bothering you before bedtime, try to apply your special toothpaste with your index finger to the sensitive tooth or teeth.

Then, let it set by keeping your mouth open. The best way to seal it is to use some sugar free chewing gum. This will give you relief while you sleep.

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10. Ask your dentist about a gum graft.

If you still cannot get relief from the suggestions above, it may be time to consider what dental procedures might provide lasting relief. Usually, dentists recommend root canal treatment which can usually solve the problem.

If the pain is caused by a loss of gum tissue and the roots are exposed, it may be wise to consider a surgical gum graft. There may be excess gum tissue which can be grafted on to the extra sensitive tooth. And luckily, solution may resolve the problem once and for all.

Sensitive teeth can be a problem for any age group, from teenage to the elderly although most people seem to experience this problem between the ages of 20 – 40. Whatever your age though, it is important to take action either by using some of the simple home remedies above or by getting in-office dental treatment.

Featured photo credit: Day 227/SuperFantastic via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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