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Budgeting for your health should always include great oral care. Not only is it important to factor in routine dental checkups, but you should consider the cost of your daily home care as well. Employ these three low-cost methods at home to lessen the pain without breaking the bank.

Chew Sugarless Gum

Although chewing sugarless gum isn’t a treatment per se, it is a technique you can use to lessen sensitivity by tackling its underlying causes. Sensitivity in teeth occurs most commonly when the enamel wears down or gums recede, causing greater exposure to nerve endings and, in turn, higher sensitivity to extreme temperatures. However, chewing sugarless gum increases saliva production, which has been found to help strengthen tooth enamel, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). This simple addition to your oral care is inexpensive and easy to keep up. But always make sure you choose a sugarless gum, even if you don’t have sensitive teeth; sugary foods can contribute to tooth decay and further your risk for sensitivity.

Treat It with Toothpaste

Special toothpaste may be a common sensitive teeth treatment you can do at home. It works by topically applying special agents that can reduce the size of the tubules on your teeth that can be causing the sensitivity.

Commit to a ‘Remineralizing’ Diet to Help Harden Enamel

You can strengthen your enamel by including remineralizing foods in your diet. These are foods that include essential minerals known to strengthen the surfaces of your teeth. There are foods from every food group that can help strengthen enamel. In studies reported by the National Institute of Health (NIH), vitamin K has also been shown to help in bone mineral density and plays a part in maintaining your calcium levels.

A great way to treat sensitive teeth is to include the following foods in your diet:

  • High-protein foods, like poultry, eggs, and fish. These contain phosphorous, one of the main minerals that keep bone and enamel healthy.
  • Tea naturally contains fluoride, the main defense in keeping enamel strong.
  • Milk and cheese are both high in calcium, which can keep the enamel and surrounding jaw bone strong as well.

Keep in mind that choosing a diet rich in the right minerals and vitamins will help curb teeth sensitivity over time, with the bonus that they’re great for your overall health at the same time.

Don’t employ a “do it yourself” sensitive teeth treatment as your only course of action. Once you notice your teeth are sensitive, make it a priority to schedule a visit to your dentist to identify the cause. Even more importantly, great oral care means taking steps early on to prevent sensitivity before it happens: Brush regularly to reduce plaque, and stay away from high-acid and high-sugar foods, which can accelerate tooth decay. Watch out for teeth grinding, too, which can wear away your enamel gradually while you sleep. Keeping the focus on prevention will be one of the best budget-friendly choices you’ll ever make.