Although it seems like a petty problem, tooth sensitivity is something you shouldn’t dismiss easily. Sometimes, it’s a sign of a more serious issue, like tooth decay or a gum disease. Other times, it’s a result of bad habits you do every day, which also put you at risk for those oral health problems. So, if you want to quit flinching at the bite of ice cream and quit worrying if you have tooth decay, quit these habits now:

1. Grinding teeth

Bruxism or teeth grinding can wear down the enamel, the protective layer of the tooth. Without such covering, the dentin, the layer that contains canals that lead to the nerves, is exposed. Any contact then to food or beverages high in temperature will trigger pain. Most teeth grinders aren’t aware that they have this chronic habit. That’s because bruxism often happens during sleep. If you do experience constant headaches, stiffness in the jaw, and pain around your face, you might just be suffering from this problem. Ask your dentist for a custom mouth guard. A dental appliance that fits right on your bite is crucial. If you’ve been experiencing tooth sensitivity for weeks now though, consult it immediately to your doctor. It may be a sign of infection already and may need a root canal, Littleton Co-based dentists explain.

2. Brushing too hard

Man brushing his teethSimilar to bruxism, overbrushing also strips off the outer covering of the tooth, making it more sensitive and vulnerable to cavities. A lot of people tend to brush aggressively with the aim of making the teeth cleaner. But that’s an unnecessary habit. You see, just a light swipe of the surface of the tooth is enough to get rid of plaque. On the other hand, some people unconsciously overbrush because they’re in a hurry. Not only will this wear down your tooth over time, but also may leave some area, often those hard-to-reach corners, uncleaned. So, if you’re intentionally overbrushing, quit it, because there’s no need for that. If you’re unintentionally overbrushing, don’t rush. Remember what the dentists said: you should spend at least two minutes cleaning your teeth.

3. Munching on acidic food

Unfortunately, your favorite fruits, kiwis, grapes, lemons, and tomatoes aren’t too good for the teeth, as they also attack the enamel. Sodas are a big no-no, too. But if you really can’t avoid food and beverages high on acid content, just try to limit intake. When you have strong cravings, replace it with healthier options, like fiber-rich fruits, milk, or yogurt. This helps stimulate saliva flow, which aids in counteracting acid and bacteria attacking the enamel. If you do decide to give in to your cravings though, don’t brush immediately. The acid puts your teeth in a weakened state, and so going in too fast to clean will only put the enamel more vulnerable to erosion. Wait for at least an hour before brushing.

Are Your Teeth Sensitive?

Again, tooth sensitivity isn’t a trivial problem. It’s an issue that tells something about your oral health and habits. So if it’s been a pain in the tooth to eat hot or cold food, take a closer look at your routines.