How to Deal with Tooth Sensitivity to Cold
A bite of ice cream. A sip of an ice-cold soda. If you have sensitive teeth, these everyday cold foods and drinks can unexpectedly trigger a jolt of pain fast.
That’s because, over time, your protective layer of tooth enamel can wear down, exposing the soft, inner part of your tooth called dentin, where the nerves live. Certain triggers—including cold foods, drinks, or even a burst of air—can aggravate the nerves, causing a short, sharp pain, also known as tooth sensitivity.
Here are a few tips for dealing with cold sensitivity triggers on a daily basis.
5 Ways to Help Manage Sensitivity to Cold
1. Drink Through a Straw
Sipping on cold beverages can be painful. Instead, drink them through a straw so the liquid bypasses your teeth and will be less likely to trigger a twinge of sensitivity.
2. Eat Dessert Differently
You don’t have to give up your favorite frozen desserts—just try eating them differently. Rather than biting into ice cream or sorbet, lick it instead. This way, you’ll avoid direct contact with your teeth and get to savor it longer.
3. Breathe Through Your Nose
To prevent a gust of cold air from hurting your sensitive teeth, cover your mouth with a scarf and breathe through your nose when you are outside so your teeth aren’t exposed.
4. Practice Good Oral Care
Reduce your risk of sensitivity to cold by brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush and by flossing every day. A good oral care routine can help protect your teeth and prevent conditions like enamel wear or receding gums, which can lead to sensitive teeth.