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When I was a kid I dreaded going to the dentist. I could just look at a lollypop and get a cavity, and dealt with sealants, wisdom teeth, retainers, caps for chipped teeth, and more. But once I was an adult, I looked forward to going to the dentist. Other than needing an NTI to stop grinding while I slept, my 6-month visits were positive, with the hygienist complimenting me on my flossing and tooth care. I came to enjoy dental care, from flossing to mouthwash and brushing my teeth three times a day.
But once I hit 40 it’s like my mouth decided to get old. Suddenly I was experiencing the occasional bleeding when I brushed, and I was getting sensitivity to heat and cold. My dentist put some bonding on the most sensitive tooth, but that fell off almost instantly and left me with an even more sensitive tooth.
My dad had terrible teeth and used Sensodyne and I dreaded using it. He was a secret smoker and I think brushed his teeth to hide the smell of cigarettes and it didn’t work. It just made me think Sensodyne was crappy toothpaste. But I was sick of the electric twinges and eating strangely so I got a tube of Sensodyne Extra Whitening. I was using whitening toothpaste and didn’t want to lose that perk.
Sensodyne Extra Whitening did help with the sensitivity, but it didn’t help with breath freshening or whitening. It was… fine. I ended up using mouthwash with it because I didn’t feel fresh, and I saw my teeth get more yellow with the weeks I was using it.
I have no idea what this image has to do with the toothpaste, I found it when looking for a product shot and it cracked me up so much I had to share!
Then I saw an ad on TV for Sensodyne True White Extra Fresh Toothpaste and was intrigued. Was this the same stuff just repackaged? It’s hard to tell even on the Sensodyne website; the Extra Whitening has the active ingredients of Potassium nitrate and Sodium fluoride w/v fluoride ion and the True White (not linking to their site for this because it has an auto-play video of their ad and it's LOUD) had 5% Potassium nitrate and 5% Sodium fluoride. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try the new version.
I don't know if it's good marketing or a different formula, but I think it makes my teeth whiter, and it works just as well as sensitivity. Doesn't make my teeth as white as with Crest 3D White but I believe more than with the Extra Whitening version. And it works just as well to reduce sensitivity. But the biggest plus is my mouth feels fresher after brushing; I missed that cool tingly “aaah” feeling after a session with my electric toothbrush and I have it again with the Extra Fresh formula (though not as strong as with standard toothpaste). If you have tooth sensitivity, don’t suck it up and don’t make weird faces to try to drink that water without it touching certain parts of your mouth. Sensodyne isn’t the same crap from decades ago, and a confident smile is far more chic than a white yet painful one!
Elin Olson Glenn says
One more vote for oil pulling. My teeth have lightened 2-3 shades, per my dental hygienist, and I had zero plaque at my last dental visit. She said my teeth are so slick that nothing would stick to them. I also make my own toothpaste, for when I’ve run out of my Tom’s of Maine. Coconut oil, essential oils, a little Dr. Bronners and I’m set.
Do you mind posting your recipe for toothpaste? Approximately how much of each ingredient? Thanks!
Elin Olson Glenn says
Hi Christine. I use the recipe at this link, http://homesteadwannabes.blogspot.com/2010/11/homemade-tooth-soap-recipe-healthy.html
Sometimes I’ll use mouthwash (tom’s or young living brand) instead of the water for added flavor. I store it in silicone travel size containers. Hope that helps!
McKristie Mannan says
I had the same issues and sensitive toothpaste helped for a bit but in the long run it came back. I second oil pulling and that helps w brighter teeth for me but I also use Orawellness (from Amazon) every time I brush. I also stopped using “traditional” toothpaste and use Toms of Maine. My dentist was shocked. Gums are better, teeth cleaner and no more sensitive.
Be careful with toothpaste for sensitive teeth. My mom used synsodyne and lost sensation on parts of her tongue. This unpleasant side effect lasted for several months. Her dental hygienist said that she has observed this kind of problem with many people and that toothpaste for sensitive teeth should be used sparingly and for a limited period of time. Yuck. My best friend had very sensitive teeth to the point that she couldn’t eat any type of fresh fruit without experiencing discomfort. And I had one tooth that was very sensitive. We both tried oil pulling (using organic coconut oil for trader joes). It felt strange at first to swish oil around your mouth but is not unpleasant once you get used to it. After a couple of weeks, the sensitivity completely disappeared for both of us. Best of luck. Sensitive teeth is no fun.
Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen says
I also do oil pulling, but must admit not as often as I should. I used to do it every morning. Your comment (and the ones below) have really inspired me to get back to it!