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3 Tricks with Tooth Brushing & Mouthwashes to Help Sensitive Teeth

By Dr. Scott Frey

Oral Hygiene Tricks for Sensitive Teeth

  1. Engage in Low-Abrasive Toothbrushing. Sensitive TeethExcessive toothbrush abrasion of exposed dentin will strip these areas of the protective proteins reducing tooth sensitivity. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and a low-abrasive fluoridated toothpaste to limit toothbrush abrasion. We have a pretty comprehensive list of toothpaste abrasiveness that will help you find the right toothpaste.
     
  2. Avoid Brushing Immediately Following Meals. Your teeth are softer right after meals because of dietary acids and bacterial acids, brushing following meals will abrade exposed dentin and open sensitive pores on exposed roots. Wait at least 30 minutes following meals to brush (if you have adequate saliva flow) or use a pH re-balancing rinse before brushing.
     
  3. Avoid Acidic Mouthwashes. Most of the available mouth rinses at the store are acidic because it increases shelf-life; however, with lower pH comes more eroxive potential. Erosive mouthwashes will remove the protective protein layer on teeth and in fact open the sensitive pores on exposed root surfaces even more. For a daily mouthwash, make sure it contains fluoride and try to find one that has a fairly balance pH (close or higher than pH 7), and avoid those containing citric acid or citrate. We put together a great resource on the relative acidity of mouth rinses.

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