If your teeth feel sensitive all the time, you'll want to visit your dentist to rule out any problems, such as a cavity, gingivitis, etc. In the meantime, you'll also want to look at toothpaste that's designed to help people with sensitive teeth. If you've never used these types of products before, you may have some questions about them. Read on to learn more.

What are Some Common Ingredients in Desensitizing Toothpaste?

Like other toothpaste brands, toothpaste that's geared for sensitive teeth often contains fluoride, a natural mineral that strengthens teeth and helps prevent decay. Some products may contain potassium nitrate, another mineral that reduces pain sensitivity.

One study found that ingredients like arginine, phosphate, and calcium carbonate were beneficial to people with sensitive teeth since they seal dentin tubules. Dentin tubules are microscopic channels that travel from the enamel to the inner layers of the tooth. When dentin tubules are sealed, external sources are less likely to irritate the nerve tissue, or pulp, of the tooth.

It's a good idea to get your dentist's recommendations, as some brands may work better than others. For instance, some kinds of toothpaste may contain ingredients like strontium, which doesn't seem to help sensitivity.

Can You Use This Type of Toothpaste All the Time?

You should talk with your dentist first, but generally, over-the-counter products are safe to use all the time since they take the place of normal toothpaste that you'd use every day. Instead of brushing with two different kinds of toothpaste, you'd just need to use the specialized toothpaste twice a day.

Your dentist may recommend that you use a specialized product all the time to prevent the recurring sensitivity. However, if you have sensitivity due to a recent dental procedure, like bleaching, your dentist may not recommend specialized toothpaste since the sensitivity should only be temporary.

Lastly, if you are looking into products to use for a child, again, you'll want to talk to your dentist since children's teeth are still developing and specialized toothpaste may not be recommended.

How Long Will it Take for the Toothpaste to Start Working?

Every brand is different, but one study found that people were able to reduce their sensitivity after just three days of toothpaste usage. Some participants used dab-on products, while others brushed twice a day—both groups were able to experience several benefits.

If you don't experience any improvement after a few weeks of usage, then again, you'll want to visit your dentist since there may be an underlying problem that's not being treated. Contact a local family dental clinic for more information.