A cone of delicious ice cream and a frosty drink on a scorching summer day… Sounds like just what the doctor ordered, doesn’t it? Yet, for many people with tooth sensitivity, these treats are definitely not what the doctor ordered. If you cringe with pain every time you dig into a cold or hot food or drink, you are one of these people.
How does tooth sensitivity happen?
Tooth sensitivity is very common and it usually occurs when there is some damage to the gums and they start to recede, exposing parts of your teeth normally protected by enamel. It can also happen when the enamel of your teeth has suffered some wear and tear from such things as too many acidic foods (i.e., soft drinks, coffee, wine, sour citrus fruits and candy), over-enthusiastic brushing, using various teeth whitening products or abrasive toothpastes, grinding you teeth, and, let’s face it – just aging!
If you do have teeth sensitivity and are considering wearing braces, you may be concerned about increasing your discomfort – braces are essential in improving your teeth and giving you the smile you’ve always wanted, but they do put pressure on the teeth and gums. This pressure will likely increase your sensitivity. But, in most cases, this should only happen during the initial period of your treatment as your teeth and gums adjust to the braces.
Helping your teeth feel less pain from sensitivity
There are options for you which should make correcting your sensitive teeth less uncomfortable. Invisalign is a good alternative to traditional braces. It is a removable appliance that uses medical-grade plastic aligners. Because you can remove it, give your mouth a break and clean your teeth, you will have less mouth irritation and less risk of developing bacteria than with traditional metal wires, brackets and bands.
If you don’t have to adjust your bite and just need the front teeth corrected, your best option is short term orthodontics (Short Term Braces). This treatment does what it says – it improves the appearance of upper front teeth or lower front teeth in a very short term – usually six months. Traditional metal orthodontic braces are normally used for the six-month braces, but you can also opt for ceramic or white brackets instead of the metal ones. This approach is faster and more precise than Invisalign.
And if you’re thinking of getting veneers and crowns to correct your front teeth because this seems like a less invasive treatment than wearing braces, it may not be the best option for your sensitive teeth. While veneers or crowns do close gaps and make your teeth look much better in a very short time, they tend to damage the protective enamel, which can possibly increase your sensitivity. Plus, veneers and crowns don’t last forever and have to be replaced (and paid for) periodically.
Having sensitive teeth should not stop you from getting braces and improving your appearance – the potential increased discomfort from traditional braces should only be short-lived, and there are also such options as Invisalign and Short Term Braces — the most natural and least invasive approach for you to improve your appearance.
Finally, in all cases of teeth sensitivity the causes have to be investigated. At times fillings are necessary to treat sensitivity but commonly special toothpastes can assist with lowering sensitivity to hot and cold substances. More on this in a future post.