Protecting sensitive teeth in hot, cold weather

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - For some people, a trip to the dentist office isn't ideal, especially if you haven't been taking good care of your teeth.

With the warm weather outside we tend to drink more, but you may want to stay away from really cold drinks if you have sensitive teeth, because it can affect the quality of your enamel. Your enamel is the outer white covering of your teeth.

If you feel a tingly zing on your tooth for multiple days when consuming cold food or drinks, you need to visit your dentist because that can be an issue.

Now extreme cold temperatures can also have an impact, because your teeth expand and contract.

When they expand they let cold air in and can cause sensitivity and when they get back to the normal temperature of your body they contract, and the sensitivity goes away.

By doing this, over time it can cause some small microfractures in your teeth.

"You can breathe through your nose during the cold weather, instead of breathing through your mouth; that way your not breathing that cold air hitting right on your teeth," Dr. Mindy Rief with the Grand Island Dental Center said. "You can use a soft bristle toothbrush that kind of helps some of the abrasion, you're not having a lot of bad recession or a lot of the wear on the teeth by using the toothbrush in hard areas, causing their gums to recede a little bit."

Dentists recommend staying away from acidic drinks as well.

"It can cause erosion on some of the enamel of your teeth and that's going to make them more susceptible to microfractures in there with the expansion and contraction of the pores," Rief said. "Really cold water, if you do have sensitive teeth, just try to stay away from it."

Dr. Rief encourages people to visit their dentist every six months.

If you have sensitive teeth, dentists want to remind you to brush your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush, use fluoride rinse daily and use sensitive toothpaste.