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Tooth sensitivity has a wide variety of causes, ranging from enamel erosion to genetics. Having sensitive teeth can make eating your favorite foods uncomfortable or unbearable. And while having sensitive teeth is not necessarily a sign of neglect or decay, there are things you can do that can worsen it. Here are three.

Excessive mouthwash – Who doesn’t like fresh breath? Some people use mouthwash throughout the day to maintain nice minty breath. But some mouthwashes contain acids that irritate sensitive teeth. Cutting back can help, as can finding sensitive tooth-friendly formulas.

Hard brushing – You might think that, like scrubbing a stubborn dish, the harder you brush your teeth the cleaner they will be. But, as with that dish, if you scrub too hard, you can damage your teeth. If enamel wears away and exposes the dentin inside, tooth nerves can be affected, causing sensitivity and pain. Use a softer brush or don’t brush as hard.

Whiteners – Many tooth-whitening products use peroxide-based bleaching solutions. While effective whiteners, these can cause or increase tooth sensitivity. You should consult with Dr. Raymond R. Niles before beginning any whitening regimen in order to find the best one for you.

Avoiding behaviors and practices that aggravate tooth sensitivity will help ensure better oral health and a more satisfying life. If you have tooth sensitivity or would like to learn more about any of our treatments and procedures, please call Niles Dental in Woodbridge, VA, today.