Posted on: 28 July 2015Share
Brushing and flossing daily is usually acceptable as a standard dental hygiene regimen, but if you have teeth that seem to have problems with decay or chips despite your best efforts, you may need to change or add to what you do every day.
Use A Gentle Brush
Use a brush that has soft bristles. Brushing should be gentle, and shouldn't feel like you're trying to scrape anything off the surface of your teeth. Your goal is to brush food away without harming the remaining enamel coat of your teeth. This is especially important for teeth with cavities where a hard-bristle brush may dig at the sensitive tooth underneath the missing enamel. If you have a hard-bristle brush, toss it.
If your teeth are sensitive due to decay, avoid using whitening toothpaste. These can sometimes have ingredients that are harmful to enamel, and they can make the sensitivity worse over time.
Chew Xylitol Gum
Xylitol gum helps promote saliva production and is non-fermentable, which means it doesn't promote decay. If you're worried about decay or cavities, a few pieces of this type of gum per day can help prevent the problem from getting much worse before you see a dentist.
Watch Your Diet
Cracked and chipped teeth are more susceptible to further breaking than undamaged teeth. There are a few things you can do in regards to your diet that will accomplish different things.
- Add supplements that will improve saliva production. Also consider supplements that may help the strength of your teeth, such as calcium and vitamin D.
- Avoid hard, sticky and brittle foods that can cause further damage. Toffees, ice cubes and candies are best avoided, especially if they have high sugar content; broken teeth are also more easily affected by decay, or may have been caused by decay.
Prevent Effects of Bad Jaw Habits
Certain jaw problems can contribute to sensitive teeth, such as jaw clenching or teeth grinding. Constantly grinding your teeth can wear them down and remove their protective layer, and the constant pressure can crack or chip weak teeth.
To help alleviate this, see your doctor and dentist. You can receive mouth guards to wear at night to prevent the grinding, but if your jaw tension is caused by another problem, such as a psychological issue, your doctor may be able to prescribe something to help your jaw stay relaxed.
Cover Sharp Edges
If you can't see a dentist right away and you have a sharp or jagged tooth that is causing you pain, you can temporarily fix the problem by covering the sharp tooth with sugarless gum or paraffin wax. If the tooth itself doesn't hurt, avoid trying to file it down or reduce the sharp edge, as this could expose the sensitive nerve underneath.