Your Teeth: Handle Hot and Cold Foods Well
I’m not asking you to chomp through a popsicle as though it were a cob of corn. (Cringe!) That being said, your healthy teeth should withstand a reasonable amount of hot and cold foods without pain. For this, you have your strong enamel to thank.
Think of your tooth enamel like a coat of armor. Made up of hard, calcified tissue, it is the first defense protecting your teeth from all of the curveballs life throws at them. Directly below that armor is your dentin. Dentin contains microscopic canals that serve as a highway leading directly to nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
Decay fractured teeth, weak enamel, and worn fillings allow food and drink to breach the enamel and reach the center of your tooth via those tiny canals. Do this and alarm bells sound. Likewise, an exposed root can also be sensitive. Hot or cold beverages, sweet or acidic foods, or even a quick intake of cold air can cause sharp temporary pains. This is your mouth’s way of telling you to back off and see your dentist.
To keep your teeth from becoming sensitive in the first place, take these important steps:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Avoid acidic foods that break down enamel
- Consider a bite guard if you grind your teeth
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Ask your dentist about in-office fluoride treatments