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According to a 2013 study, one in eight people may have over-sensitive teeth. Some reports have the number even higher — at about half of all dental patients.
Having sensitive teeth doesn’t mean that you’re gritting them in pain all day. Most of the time, you might not even notice them. You might not even notice that you’re developing them, since one of the most frequent causes is enamel wearing away, exposing small tubes that connect nerves inside the tooth to the elements outside of the tooth.
When it’s less protected, hot is really hot and cold is really cold. The same goes for sugary and acidic foods, which may also trigger pain.
Things like teeth whitening, flossing, and other basic dental hygiene practices can become difficult for those with sensitive teeth. They want a clean mouth and white teeth, but they might not be able to withstand the chemicals used in many dental products.
But because it’s a problem that could affect as much as 52% of the population by some estimates, sensitive oral care is an industry with quite a few good options.You can most likely still whiten your teeth or brush with an electric toothbrush without the pain — and for something as habitual as oral hygiene, it pays its weight in gold not to have to feel intense shooting pain twice a day at a minimum.
Even if you don’t have sensitive teeth now, that doesn’t mean you never will. If you whiten your teeth at home semi-regularly, it might be smart to pick your battles and opt for using a more gentle toothpaste and mouthwash. You’ll still get a fresh and clean feeling, but you won’t have to think twice before sipping tea.
Below are 7 options to consider for making life a little less painful — without sacrificing cleanliness or color:
1. A highly-rated whitening charcoal powder
Charcoal powder is an awesome way to whiten without even approaching the sensitivity concern.
The refined charcoal powder will whiten without affecting your enamel or gums. You’ll likely see a more subtle whitening than you would with strips or trays, but your teeth won’t feel any of the backlash for a brighter, whiter smile.
If you’d like to read a full review on this exact powder, you can find one here.
2. A mouthwash with natural ingredients
As well as being Amazon’s Choice, Oral Essentials’ sensitivity formula mouthwash will clean without harsh chemicals, alcohol, sugar, or artificial dyes. The key ingredient, Dead Sea salt contains minerals like calcium, phosphate, and manganese that actually make teeth stronger.
3. Whitestrips made with a gentler formula
If you still want that super-white shade, consider opting for Crest 3D White’s special formula for sensitive teeth. According to Crest, it uses the same enamel-safe, teeth-whitening ingredients that dentists use.
When we asked a dentist for the best DIY teeth whitening products, he explained that these typically have a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide, so they’re better suited for people with sensitive teeth.
4. A toothpaste made especially for sensitive teeth
If regular toothpastes irritate your teeth, consider opting for this toothpaste instead.
5. An electric toothbrush with a ‘sensitive’ mode and/or gentle brush heads
Having sensitive teeth isn’t a deal breaker for the #1 best-selling electric toothbrush on Amazon. Thanks to multiple modes (one being “sensitive”), you’re able to personalize how gentle you brush with all the efficiency and precision of an electric brush.
If you really want to cover your bases, you can use the “sensitive” mode with brush heads specifically designed to go gentle on the gums. Even if you don’t have gum sensitivity, gentle as long as it’s effective is certainly never a bad thing.
6. A soft-bristled manual brush
And if you’d prefer to still ultimately be in control, you can grab an extra soft toothbrush.
7. Floss made to be sensitive on the gums
If flossing normally irritates your gums, consider opting for this. Listerine’s cushioned design was made with sensitive gums in mind.
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