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Around a quarter of all Americans suffer from sensitive teeth. Your Kansas City family dentist has talked before about how to protect your oral health during the winter, but if you have sensitive teeth you might be more concerned with the fact that the sensitivity seems so much worse during the cold winter months. There are actually several reasons for that and ways that you can help mitigate or prevent it!
1. Serious Cold Weather – Oftentimes, tooth sensitivity is exacerbated by heat and cold. Hot foods or cold drinks can cause tooth sensitivity to flare up, and cold weather can do the same thing. Here in Kansas City, winters can get mighty cold.
2. Sugary Food and Drinks – Many of us go a little overboard on the sweet stuff around the holidays. It’s only natural with so many sweet treats around. And those hot chocolates that feel so cozy on a cold day are usually pretty packed with sugar. Unfortunately, excess sugar increases your risk for gum disease and tooth decay, which can also leave your teeth feeling more sensitive.
3. Brushing Too Hard – Sometimes we try to overcompensate for all those sugary snacks by brushing a little too aggressively. Brushing your teeth too hard can actually wear away your enamel and lead to sensitivity and other problems. The key to good dental health isn’t in brushing hard; it’s in brushing regularly and thoroughly.
4. Clenching and Teeth Grinding – Life can be stressful. For most of us, the last few months seem like they’ve been especially stressful. Stress can lead to grinding or clenching of your teeth, even in your sleep, which can lead to tooth sensitivity or pain and can wear away your enamel or potentially even crack teeth. You might want to ask your Kansas City family dentist about a night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Does any of this sound like you or a family member? If so, we have some good news: You can take steps to help reduce sensitivity and protect your teeth all winter long! What can you do?
For starters, switch to a softer-bristled toothbrush during the winter months. (You should change your toothbrush or electric brush head every three months or so anyway.) This will help protect your enamel while still allowing you to brush your teeth twice a day, as you still should. You can also use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
Whatever else you’re drinking during the winter months, be sure you also drink plenty of water. Sure, a tall, cool glass of water may not seem as refreshing on a cold winter night as it is on a hot summer day, but it’s just as important to your overall health, and staying hydrated can also help protect your teeth from sugary residue.
Finally, schedule a trip to see your Kansas City family dentist, especially if you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can help identify the problem and start you on the road to correcting it.
At Blacker Family Dental in Kansas City, we’re here to help you and every member of your family with any dental need that you may have, from sensitive teeth to cosmetic dentistry to sleep apnea. Call (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment today!