Living with sensitive teeth is never any fun, but it can be particularly difficult during the holidays. Typically, sensitivity occurs because the dentin of the tooth, which is the layer right under the enamel, is exposed. This happens if the enamel of your teeth is eroded. Sensitivity can also be the result of receding gums, which is a common problem for people as they age. If your teeth are sensitive – whether that sensitivity is to sweets or hot and/or cold food and beverages – follow these tips to help get you through the holiday season.
- Use a toothpaste developed for sensitive teeth. Desensitizing toothpastes can work wonders for sensitive teeth. In fact, many people use these products on a regular basis. There are a variety of brands available, and most of them work within just a few days to decrease sensitivity. Avoid brushing too hard, since this can increase your sensitivity.
- Stay away from acidic drinks. Mulled wine is a holiday favorite. Unfortunately, wine and other acidic drinks (like cranberry and citrus juice, for example) can be painful for people with sensitive teeth. Instead, try herb tea or hot chocolate.
- Avoid fruit pies. Sad but true – pies made with fruit can be particularly painful for people whose teeth are sensitive to sweets. Not only do you have to contend with the sugar in the pie, but the sugar in the fruit as well. Instead, try pumpkin or pecan, for example. You’ll still need to deal with the sugar in the pie, but these choices don’t typically have the negative impact that fruit pies do.
- Skip the ice cream. If you do have pie, skip the scoop of ice cream on top. This frozen delicacy is also a huge trigger for sensitive teeth. Instead, try a little whipped topping on your pie.
- Pass on the candy. For people who are sensitive to sweets, passing on candy is actually not that hard. It may taste delicious, but if you’re in pain while you eat, it’s just not worth it.
- If you suffer from extreme sensitivity, consider having a dental sealant applied to your teeth. Sealants can help to decrease sensitivity, in addition to preventing decay from forming. Your dentist can provide more information about sealants and help you decide whether or not a sealant is right for you.
Our list of helpful tips may sound limiting, but if you have sensitive teeth, take heart – there is an almost unlimited variety of food and drink you can partake in without any discomfort whatsoever. Just follow these guidelines to enjoy a happy and pain-free holiday season.