Almost all adults are familiar with routine cleanings. We go in, the dental hygienist and dentist make sure all plaque and tartar are removed, leaving our smiles feeling extremely clean. Clean enough that we can’t help but run our tongues across our teeth. But there is more to routine teeth cleanings that meet the eye.
In many cases, especially in children, fluoride treatments are dispensed. However, adults realize that having fluoride treatments as they get older is just as important. Sensitive teeth typically happen as we age, and they can range in severity from only mildly irritating to full-blown pain.
In this article, we’ll address fluoride and how it may help with sensitivity, what causes tenderness in the first place, and tips for preventing sensitive teeth.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Several factors can contribute to a person having sensitive teeth. Sensitivity can be expressed when eating hot or cold foods or when there is a change in air pressure. While mild cases aren’t a substantial problem, extreme tooth sensitivity can impact a person’s overall quality of life. Some reasons you might be experiencing tooth sensitivity could include:
- Using a firm bristle toothbrush.
- Aggressively brushing (too firm while scrubbing).
- Poor dental hygiene, which promotes tooth decay.
- A diet rich in acidic foods and beverages including wine, citruses, and tomatoes.
Fluoride can reduce teeth sensitivity
One question many patients have is whether fluoride will actually help with their sensitive teeth? More often than not, those with sensitive teeth will try an array of over-the-counter products looking for a solution. They will even switch to sensitive toothpaste. But is the solution found at their dental office instead, in the form of a simple fluoride treatment? The short answer is yes. But to learn by you have to understand the process your teeth go through between office visits.
Everything you eat and drink, as well as bacteria, eats away at the minerals of your teeth. This process is called demineralization. As you lose essential minerals in your teeth, the enamel starts to wear down, which makes the nerves in the teeth more receptive. When you add fluoride treatments to your routine, you’ll be adding back the minerals and strengthening the enamel once more.
Though you might be getting fluoride in your tap water or toothpaste at home, it may not be enough to resolve sensitivity with your teeth. Talk with your dentist if additional fluoride treatments are right for you.
How to prevent sensitive teeth
Preventing sensitive teeth starts with proper oral care habits. You should be seeing your dentist twice a year for preventative treatments, as well as solving any conditions that may be present like gum disease. At home, you should consider using fluoride toothpaste and brushing after you’ve rinsed and flossed to get the maximum benefits of the toothpaste. When it comes to diet, avoid overly acidic foods when possible, and when possible brush following the meal.
Fluoride is an essential mineral that our teeth need to remain strong. Because it depletes between visits to the dentist, it is vital that individuals use fluoride toothpaste to replenish. You should also see your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and fluoride treatments.
Do you have sensitive teeth? Are you tired of not being able to enjoy the food and drinks you’d like? Schedule an appointment with our office today for a cleaning and fluoride treatment.