Most of us know how critical it is to take proper care of our teeth. We brush, we may floss, and we visit our dentist regularly, but we may not give thought to other habits that we have that may be derailing our oral health efforts.
Habits that we acquire in life may cause long term damage to our mouth, teeth, and gums. Once we are made aware of the destructive effects that these habits have on our oral health, it becomes essential that we establish better habits to preserve our teeth. Here are some “bad” habits you should consider cutting out of your life in the interest of good oral health and wellness:
Eating sticky, sugary foods. Sugary substances can stick to teeth, causing enamel to erode. Once damage is done to enamel, you are at risk for developing cavities that can further compromise teeth and gums. If you must indulge in the occasional sugary treat, do what you can to brush your teeth soon after to rid your teeth of harmful, sticky residue that can cause damage to enamel.
Drinking soda, sports drinks, and juice. You may not think that something that passes over teeth and gums would be destructive to enamel, but it is. Sugar in drinks is also sticky enough to cling to teeth, causing damage and erosion over time. Switch to non-sugary teas and fresh, clean water for best oral health.
Opening packages with your teeth. It can be tempting to rip open that plastic packaging with your teeth on a toy that your little one is clamoring for but take the extra few minutes and get a scissors. Spare your choppers from potential damage that can come from attempting to open things that shouldn’t touch teeth.
Playing contact sports without a mouthguard. Many sports require players to use a mouth guard, as contact sports can cause blows to the mouth and teeth that can be quite devastating. The use of a mouthguard when playing sports like lacrosse, football, and even wrestling can help prevent injuries and the need for reconstructive surgery after a painful blow.
Smoking or chewing tobacco. Cigarettes and tobacco products can stain your teeth, and they can dramatically increase your chances for periodontal disease. Over time, the gradual degeneration of soft tissue and bone in your mouth can lead to tooth loss.
Chewing on ice, pencils, and pens. It can be tempting to sometimes clamp down on pens, pencils, and even ice as you are deep in concentration, but resist the urge. These hard substances have little give, and they can quickly chip and crack teeth to the point that you’ll need repair to save them. If you must chew on something, stick with sugarless gum to satisfy that urge; it’s better for your teeth, and it promotes the secretion of saliva, which also has a protective effect on teeth and soft tissues.
Grinding your teeth. Bruxism, or tooth grinding, can occur any time of day, but it is most commonly done at night while you are sleeping. Stress and other emotional imbalances can cause this movement in the mouth, and it will cause teeth to wear down over time. If you have jaw pain upon awakening, take a close look at your teeth to see if you have been grinding your teeth. If you determine that this is a problem for you, see your dentist for proper treatment of this condition.
Brushing too long or too hard. It is possible to brush teeth too much and too hard. Using a brush with hard bristles can cause damage to enamel and even wear away at the gum tissue that protects sensitive nerves in your mouth. Practicing proper brushing techniques with an ADA-approved toothbrush will be ideal for promoting optimal oral health.
Dr. Krueger: Promoting Optimal Oral Health
Promoting and teaching the basics of optimal oral health is a passion of Dr. Gordon E. Krueger, DDS, MS, PA. He and his talented team of associates believe that oral health is an essential part of overall health. A combination of comprehensive dental care, restorative work, and specialized knowledge ensure that all of your oral health care needs will be met. If you want to uncover your brightest and best smile, contact us today! Visit https://www.gordonekruegerdds.com/ for more information.