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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

More by this author

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 August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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