Can I Get Braces with Sensitive Teeth?

If you have sensitive teeth, you’re not alone. According to the Journal of American Dentistry, one in eight Americans suffer from tooth sensitivity. Having sensitive teeth can cause pain when brushing, flossing, eating, and drinking. Oftentimes, this pain is worsened with temperature variances, making eating or drinking cold or hot food and drinks challenging. Wincing in pain when crunching ice, drinking hot coffee, or sipping on a frosty beverage is not fun. And if you’ve considered getting braces, you may have asked yourself if you can get braces with sensitive teeth. The good news is that even though braces put some pressure on your teeth, you can get braces with sensitive teeth as long as you follow a few steps to protect your enamel.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

To understand how you can have a pain-free experience wearing braces with sensitive teeth, it is first helpful to understand what causes tooth sensitivity. Your teeth are comprised of enamel, dentin, cementum, and pulp. One possible cause for tooth sensitivity is the wearing down of your tooth’s enamel, which is the visible substance that covers the tooth’s crown. When the tooth’s enamel wears down, the tooth becomes more prone to breakage, chipping, and tooth sensitivity. It’s also possible you are brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, or have gum recession. To have a pleasant experience with wearing braces on your sensitive teeth, make sure to follow proper oral hygiene practices. 

Cut down on consuming acidic substances

Acidic food and beverages, such as fruit drinks, coffee, wine, citrus fruit, and sour candy can wreck havoc on your teeth. Try cutting down on the acidic substances that you eat or drink. Typically, you should brush and floss your teeth after eating. However, do not brush your teeth immediately following the consumption of acidic foods or beverages because these acids can weaken tooth enamel and brushing too soon can remove enamel.

Practice proper brushing and flossing

Of course, it is essential to practice good dental hygiene, including brushing and flossing your teeth, but, you should also make sure that you are not over-brushing your teeth with hard bristles. To improve tooth sensitivity, use a soft-bristle toothbrush, brushing softly up and down, rather than a hard-bristle toothbrush moving vigorously from side-to-side.

Cut out ice chewing if you have braces with sensitive teeth

Chewing ice can cause microfractures in the tooth’s surface. This slowly wears down your tooth’s enamel. Chewing ice can cause cracked, chipped, and sensitivity teeth, so you should avoid this practice to improve the overall health of your teeth,

Get a mouth guard

Sleep bruxism is characterized by tooth grinding and jaw clenching during sleep. Approximately five to eight percent of Americans experience sleep bruxism, which can be extremely damaging to your oral health. Grinding and clenching your teeth can cause wearing down of your enamel, which, as you now know, is a leading cause of tooth sensitivity. Ask your orthodontist to fit you for a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.

You can help improve your tooth sensitivity by following the practices outlined in this article. Implementing these practices will get you on your way to wearing braces even if you have sensitive teeth.