Do your teeth hurt when you eat ice cream or drink hot coffee? If you're experiencing sensitive teeth enamel, erosion may be the culprit. A lot of things you do regularly can cause enamel erosion and decay, and not just cold or hot food. Acidic items (this includes red wine and foods made with tomatoes), sugary treats and overzealous brushing can all play a role, and each of these things can result in sensitivity. But don't worry. Establishing good habits can alleviate your pain and even reverse the problem.
Here are some tips to help you get back on track and live with a pain-free mouth:
1. Question Your Go-To Beverage
Think about keeping a log of what you eat and drink. You might be consuming more acid and sugar than you realize. The American Dental Association (ADA) highlights some foods you should enjoy less often, like coffee, sticky, crunchy and sweet treats, as well as sodas and certain recovery drinks after working out.
2. Brush More, Not Harder
Brush at least twice a day for two minutes to remove plaque. The ADA defines plaque as the sticky film that builds up on your teeth, and this bacteria can cause acid attacks that strip minerals from your enamel after you eat something sugary.
Try using a soft-bristled toothbrush like the Colgate® 360°® Enamel Health™ Sensitive, which includes polishing cups to gently remove plaque before it turns into tartar – which you'll need a dentist to get rid of.
3. Don't Overindulge
Limit the acidic and sugary drinks you consume during the day. If you're really craving something fizzy, use a straw so that the beverage has little contact with your teeth.
4. Consider a Mouthwash
Use a rinse like Colgate® Enamel Health™ Mouthwash, Alchohol-Free, which is formulated to remineralize your teeth over time. One of the benefits of a mouth rinse is that it touches the areas that are hard to reach when brushing. Keep in mind that between the teeth is where plaque likes to hide.
5. Sugar-Free Gum
Saliva contains a lot of minerals that strengthen your enamel. Stimulate its flow by chewing sugar-free gum after meals. Choose fruits and vegetables at snack time, as they contain a lot of water themselves.
6. Use Your Tap
Fluoride strengthens the minerals that saliva deposits on your teeth. Drink fluoridated tap water to make sure your teeth are getting the benefits of this powerful mineral.
Still other behaviors may be causing enamel erosion. Talk to your dentist if you think you might be grinding your teeth at night or if you notice a chipped tooth or a cracked filling. If you are feeling sensitive teeth enamel, erosion and decay could be a big part of the problem. Good nutrition, smart oral health habits, plus the right products by the bathroom sink may bring relief and even reverse the problem.