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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

Freelance writer

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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