The little things you habitually do every day have the biggest impact on your dental health. You may know to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once, but that doesn’t mean that you’re protected from injury or decay the rest of the time. A habit of snacking on sunflower seeds or chewing your nails could do a surprising amount of damage to your teeth over the years. Change your habits early to protect your teeth for life.
Too Much Sugar
Every sweet treat that passes your lips can trigger a proliferation of bacteria and lead to cavities. While this doesn’t mean you have to avoid all candies and sodas, it’s best to brush your teeth after eating particularly sticky and gummy sweets. Jelly beans and fruit gels cling to the teeth long after you finish eating them. Even raisins and dried cranberries can have the same effect. Stick to fresh fruits when looking for something sweet and rinse your mouth after each snack you enjoy.
Chewing Ice and Fingernails
Crunching on a piece of ice is a nervous habit for many. Others feel strangely compelled to chew ice when bored or anxious. However, this simple vice can lead to fractures that permanently ruin a tooth. One slip of your jaw on a tough chunk could leave you with a bleeding tongue or chipped cusped.
Treat your teeth with respect if you want them to last your entire lifetime. Avoid biting your nails or gnawing on bottle caps and pen tips while at work. Any non-food object (other than a toothbrush or piece of silverware) should stay out of your mouth for the sake of your teeth.
Rough Tooth Brushing
Being too aggressive when you brush your teeth can damage enamel. Many people mistakenly choose a hard or firm bristled brush because they assume it will remove more plaque. However, soft bristles are the best choice for nearly everyone due to their gentleness on delicate surfaces.
When you brush, don’t press so hard that the bristles become flattened and gnarled after just a few weeks. If you notice your toothbrush wearing out very quickly, you may be brushing much too hard in your attempts to stay clean.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
When you can’t locate a letter opener or pair of scissors, it’s tempting to use your teeth as a tool to open a package. Jars sealed with plastic tamper-evident rings can easily damage your mouth. Even paper and thread shouldn’t go into your mouth.
Invest in a multi-tool device if your work regularly requires you to open packaging. A set with small blades and folding scissors will keep you from resorting to using your teeth incorrectly when you really need to get into something. Remember to see a good example for your children and refrain from ever using your teeth to open bottles or break off a piece of tape in front of them.
Mouth Injuries and Tooth Grinding
If you enjoy the occasional bout of recreational sports, invest in a custom mouth guard from Dr. Evanson. A custom-fit product remains comfortable during the longest games and won’t irritate your gums as you wear it.
Ask Dr. Evanson if you need a night-time mouth guard as well to avoid damage from grinding your teeth while you sleep. Your teeth and gums can’t handle the extra stress and wear if you subconsciously grind your teeth back and forth all night long, and wearing a mouth guard to sleep really helps.
For more tips to maintain a healthy smile, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Evanson DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008.Leave a reply →