Apple Valley, MN: Do you have sensitive teeth and worry that orthodontic treatment may increase your sensitivity?
Find out what causes sensitivity and what you and your orthodontist can do to relieve pain while having braces.
Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitivity is common. The AGD (Academy of General Dentistry) stated that at least 40 million adults suffer from sensitive teeth!
Sensitivity can occur in one or multiple teeth. You know you are prone to sensitivity if you feel pain after:
- Eating cold ice-cream
- Slurping hot soup
- Breathing in cold air
- Eating sweet chocolate or sour gummy worms
A tooth becomes sensitive when the lower layer of the tooth (dentin) is exposed. This can happen when your enamel becomes too thin or if your gums recede.
There are many ways you can wear down your enamel:
- Brushing too hard or too often
Brushing should be limited to three times a day, and it’s best to wait an hour after you eat or drink because food leaves your enamel weak for an hour, so if you brush too soon, you could brush off enamel as well.
- Tooth Decay
If you do not brush, floss, and rinse, your teeth are prone to plaque buildup and decay.
- Grinding your teeth
- Drinking acidic drinks, such as wine or coffee
- Tooth procedures such as deep fillings or crowns can leave your teeth sensitive for a few days.
If sensitivity persists, call your dentist.
- Adjusting Your Braces
Your teeth may be sensitive for a few days after your teeth are adjusted. If sensitivity persists, call your orthodontist.
Braces for Sensitive Teeth
Most adult braces will work with sensitive teeth. The pressure of braces is gentler than you think, and any sensitivity caused by them should only be in the first few days following any adjustment.
Whether you get six-month braces (yes, you can have your ideal smile in six months!), clear or ceramic braces, incognito hidden braces, or traditional metal braces, there is an orthodontic treatment that will work with your sensitive teeth.
You will want to be careful about creating any more sensitivity with braces. You will need to be cautious about removing all plaque build-up around the spots where your braces adhere to your teeth. If not, you can have tooth decay and increased sensitivity.
Invisalign for Sensitive Teeth
If you have multiple sensitive teeth and want the gentlest option, Invisalign or Invisalign Teen may be the best option for you. Invisalign typically takes longer to treat your teeth, but the trays are virtually invisible.
The clear trays are digitally created to fit your teeth perfectly, and you can remove your trays when eating, making it easier to avoid plaque build-up and tooth decay.
There is not too much of a cost difference between braces and Invisalign, so the best way to know which one is for you is by talking to your orthodontist.
If you have sensitive teeth, make an appointment with your dentist before your orthodontist. Your dentist can x-ray your teeth, check your gums, and test your teeth’s sensitivity to make sure that your teeth are free of decay and ready for braces.
Your dentist can also clean your teeth so that your teeth are rid of all plaque because once you have the braces on, it will be more difficult for you to get rid of it.
You can prevent and treat mild sensitivity at home:
- Brush with a sensitive toothpaste
Sensodyne is the most popular brand, but most name brand toothpastes have a sensitive line as well. It will take up to two weeks for you to notice a difference, and once you start using a sensitive toothpaste, you need to keep using it. (If you switch toothpaste, your sensitivity can return and will take another 2 weeks to subside.)
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash
Not all mouthwashes are the same. Find one with fluoride because fluoride builds up tooth enamel.
- Prevent tooth decay by brushing often and gently, flossing, and rinsing.
- Avoid acidic drinks such as coffee and wine.
- The day of your adjustment, eat soft foods like soup and take a mild over-the-counter pain reliever
(Sensitivity should only last a few days at most, and if it persists, call your doctor.)
If you want braces, but you have sensitive teeth, contact your ORTHODONTIST by calling 651-447-6768 or send a message.
Your doctor has had a lifelong passion for creating beautiful smiles for her patients. She and her team have a friendly, caring, and high-tech office, sure to gain your trust from the first visit.
About Your Doctor: Your ORTHODONTIST and team provide skilled and caring orthodontic treatment to patients throughout the St. Paul/Minneapolis, Rosemount, Eagan, and Apple Valley areas. Schedule an appointment today to discover why patients choose us for their new, beautiful smiles.
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