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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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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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