[This article has been brought to you with the support of GSK Consumer Healthcare. However, the views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of GSK Consumer Healthcare.]
I just spent a week with my kid brother in my home town. While I call him my kid brother, knowing he’s some years younger than me, secretly I know he has surpassed me in the department of studious grey cells. He’s a dentist, with a couple of fancy degrees. Dentists. Those guys you and usually avoid, till the drum-beats of tooth ache reach our knees.
While I had no intention of opening my mouth wide before his poring eyes, knowing how I bullied him as a younger sib and fearing he may want to take it out on my teeth, I couldn’t help it this time. I felt that shudder over our favourite vanilla ice cream and mango one evening post-dinner. He noticed. (And I swear I saw an evil smile on his face right then.) The next day, with a glass of iced tea in hand, he approached me. Same evil smile in place. Yes, I had been caught red-handed with my tooth sensitivity. And this time I had to refuse my favourite drink only to go ‘aaa’ before his bespectacled gaze.
A short and not-so-sweet conversation about tooth sensitivity ensued…
I always knew you as hyper. Didn’t know it translated into you brushing with so much gusto. Do you use a very hard brush and brush with too much force? he asked. I had little choice but to be honest. Because leg-pulling apart, I was saving some money by ‘consulting’ my brother in the comfort of my childhood home.
Oh please, I retorted with an incredulous expression.
Then it’s probably because you don’t know how to brush. Plaque build-up can cause tooth sensitivity, you know.
I’ve been brushing a good three years longer than you so don’t try to act smart, okay? I was already questioning why I agreed to this “check-up” when …
Hm, then it must be all the teeth you ground at me when we were little. You see, tooth-grinders wear out their enamel which leads to tooth sensitivity. Some even do it in their sleep. You need a mouth guard to stop it. It may help in keeping you from talking too much too!
I don’t grind my teeth, thank you! Is this all that you’re capable of? Not very professional of you, really. I was confused if he meant what he said or was inventing causes for tooth sensitivity.
Finally, perhaps because my expressions reminded him of those times I play-punched him and won pillow-fights, he chucked the smart-ones and gave me the deal straight. I, in turn, lowered the magnitude of my own touchiness to hear him out.
I was told how, apart from the above mentioned reasons, tooth sensitivity can be caused by using teeth-whitening pastes. Special desensitizing toothpastes like Sensodyne should be used in case of tooth sensitivity.
Oh, and before I forget, said he, eat less! I mean acidic foods. Use your common sense and stick to foods which don’t cause shuddery moments. Which is to say, the left-over vanilla ice-cream is all mine!
And I saw that evil smile, yet again, just before I delivered a mock-punch. After all, going home means reliving childhood memories to the t, no?
But the test of patience made way for a real one soon after. My brother asked me to test my teeth, literally. While I thought it was a green to finally chew his neck down, he had this in store for me.
Go ahead! Click, confess your toothy troubles and simply check the result. Diagnosis made easy.
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