Causes and Prevention of Tooth Sensitivity

Do you notice that your child is complaining of tooth aches and pains when they eat hot or cold temperature foods? This is a sign your child has sensitive teeth. While more common in adults, it is definitely possible for children and teens to experience tooth sensitivity. Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry explains why tooth sensitivity occurs and what you can do as a parent to help prevent it.

Why Tooth Sensitivity Happens

If a tooth has little to no enamel, the dentin is exposed. Dentin has thousands of microscopic tubules running through it, which are connected to the nerves within the core of the tooth. Once the dentin no longer has enamel to protect it, the tooth will be more sensitive to the food and drink your child consumes. The nerves around the gum tissue are especially sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

There could be several reasons your child is experiencing tooth sensitivity. The most common reason in children is due to a cavity or a chipped or cracked tooth. Your child could also be grinding their teeth, wearing away the enamel slowly. Acidic and sugary drinks can deteriorate enamel, causing erosion.

How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

To keep your child’s teeth from becoming sensitive, it’s important to protect the tooth enamel. To strengthen the enamel of your child’s teeth, substitute milk and water for juice, soda, and sports drinks. Milk and water will help keep their teeth clean and strong.

Your dentist may recommend trying a good desensitizing toothpaste. Your child should be rinsing their mouth with water after each meal to wash away food particles and plaque. You get bonus points for using a fluoride gel for complete oral health.

It’s also important to ensure your child practices healthy dental hygiene to avoid tooth decay and sensitivity around the gum line. Brushing correctly is critical to protecting your child’s tooth enamel. If you or your child brush their teeth too hard, it can start to wear away the enamel.

If you have more questions about treating or preventing tooth sensitivity for your child, or other dental care questions, contact Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry.

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