We all have less-than-great habits, but did you know certain routines and behaviors can seriously impact oral health? Today, we wanted to review some of those habits that could be harming your oral health:
- Skipping Brushing and Flossing
Failing to stick to a daily brushing and flossing routine is one of the worst offenders when it comes to putting your oral health at risk. Insufficient flossing leaves food particles behind, promoting bacteria growth and possible tooth infections if not removed. For optimal oral health, you should brush thoroughly for two minutes twice daily and floss at least once daily.
- Drinking Too Many Sugary Beverages
Sodas, sweet teas, sports drinks, and juice may taste delicious, but they expose your teeth to a lot of sugar. This feeds the plaque bacteria and produces acids that erode tooth enamel. If you indulge frequently, you increase your risk for cavities, tooth sensitivity, and permanent enamel loss. Limit sugary drinks and be sure to rinse your mouth with water or brush after finishing one.
Drinking with a straw can help too by avoiding contact with some teeth.
- Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth
Many people clench or grind their teeth as a response to stress. This puts extreme pressure on teeth, wearing down enamel, chipping teeth, and straining the jaw joint. If you have noticed signs you grind your teeth, make an appointment. We can fit you with a custom night guard to protect your teeth from damage during sleep. Consider better stress management, too. Incorporate exercise, meditation, or other relaxation techniques to help reduce clenching.
- Biting on Hard Objects
Using your teeth as tools can lead to cracked, broken, or lost teeth. Avoid nibbling on pens, nails, ice or hard candies. Never tear open packages with your teeth. And beware of unpopped popcorn kernels – they are notoriously hard and can easily break teeth. Treating teeth delicately protects your precious smile.
- Skipping Regular Dental Checkups
Many patients avoid going to the dentist because they think their oral health is already strong. However, we would much rather see you before you experience a dental emergency. Part of what we do is preventive care. With thorough cleanings, you get rid of the plaque and tartar buildup you miss at home. Plus, we’ll examine your mouth for any signs of an infection for easier treatment.