Dr Alex George reveals best time to brush your teeth

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“Anyone that’s suffered with sensitive teeth knows it’s no joke,” said Doctor Khaled Kasem, Chief Orthodontist at European leading orthodontics chain Impress. “Whether you get a lingering sting when biting into ice cream or suffer from unbearable levels of pain when consuming normal food and drink, sensitive teeth can make everyday life uncomfortable.” Fortunately, the expert has shared the most common triggers for teeth sensitivity as well as how to protect them.

Whether you struggle with pain when you bite into certain foods or discomfort when you sip a cold drink, the pain linked to tooth sensitivity can be varied.

Doctor Kasem said: “The level of pain can vary vastly depending on the severity of the sensitivity.

“But the substances most commonly known to increase sensitivity include food and drinks that are hot, cold, sweet, acidic, or alcohol-based.”

Acidic or sweet food and drinks

You might have noticed that the stubborn pain gets worse when you eat or drink certain things. The orthodontist explained that this might be down to the food and beverage makeup.

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Doctor Kasem said: “There are several things that cause sensitive teeth; the most common being eating or drinking very acidic or sweet foods which wear down enamel.

“If you’re a firm believer in starting your day with hot water and lemon then beware, as a high level of acid deteriorates the enamel on your teeth, exposing the sensitive dentine layer underneath.”

Wrong type of toothpaste

From price to the promise of whiter teeth, the factors that determine your purchase aren’t probably influenced by tooth sensitivity. However certain toothpastes could be causing you pain.

Doctor Kasem said: “Abrasive toothpastes which aim to whiten your teeth also cause wear on the enamel.

“Sensitivity can be a temporary or long-term side effect of attempting to whiten your teeth, so it’s best to check the ingredients before you put anything on your teeth.”

Vitamin deficiencies

Apart from foods and products that you include in your routine, what you lack could also be to blame.

The expert said: “Various vitamin deficiencies have also been proven to cause sensitive teeth.

“These include: calcium (known for strengthening our bones), vitamin D (which can cause cavities), and vitamin B12 (which can increase the risk of gum disease).”

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Stress isn’t good news for any aspect of your health and your teeth aren’t an exception.

Doctor Kasem said: “Perhaps the most shocking of all, though, is that stress could be the main cause of your sensitive smile.

“If you’re constantly stressed and begin grinding your teeth (otherwise known as Bruxism), not only will your teeth become sensitive, but you could also cause other health problems from headaches to hearing disorders.”

Other factors like pregnancy and dental treatments could also leave your teeth in pain but the expert, fortunately, shared what to do to prevent sensitive teeth.

How to prevent sensitive teeth

The expert said: “Given that the most common cause of sensitive teeth is a gradual breakdown in the protective layer of enamel, there are a few ways to prevent this happening in the first place.”

Doctor Kasem’s tips include:

  • Use an appropriate toothbrush (your dentist can recommend the right one for you)
  • Don’t apply too much pressure when brushing, as this will cause excessive wear
  • Visit your dentist regularly to maintain optimal oral health
  • Don’t consume too many acidic or sweet foods
  • Avoid home remedies for teeth whitening
  • If you grind your teeth, ask for advice from your dentist or purchase a mouth guard to wear in your sleep.

The expert added: “Sensitive teeth can be a right pain in the (mouth), so it’s best to identify what is causing it so you can learn how to prevent it.

“For any serious cases, it’s always best to consult a professional.”

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