Some things that threaten oral health the most are the everyday habits we have cultivated. These activities you do not give a second thought to could be the most damaging to your teeth, so it is time to make necessary changes as the new year begins.
Continued improper care of your teeth could lead you to an emergency trip to the dentist’s office when you are unprepared for it. Avoid dental accidents by keeping these tips in mind.
Practices to Stop for Your Oral Health
People are usually unaware of the harmful effects of their bad habits. To make sure that your teeth will remain strong even as you age, avoid doing the following:
Grinding Teeth in Your Sleep
Teeth grinding is an activity that many do not even know they do because they tend to do it in their sleep. Even when you are awake, you may not notice that you are clenching or grinding your teeth. However, it can cause teeth to loosen and eventually break.
Awake bruxism usually happens to cope with stress. Lessen caffeine intake daily, as it can aggravate any anxiety you are experiencing throughout the day. Look into alternative stress management methods, such as meditation, exercise, or even speaking with a friend or a therapist.
For sleep bruxism, dentists recommend using mouth guards to prevent teeth grinding when you are unconscious.
Smoking Cigarettes and Tobacco
Smoking is a highly unhealthy habit that damages your lungs and leads to diseases in the future. Additionally, it is also bad for your teeth and gums.
Regardless of whether you prefer to smoke cigarettes, cigars, or tobacco, smoking weakens your immune system, which in turn also hinders your body’s capability to ward off infections. This puts smokers at higher risk for gum diseases.
If your gums cannot perform as they should, your teeth can loosen. Smoking can lead to tooth loss down the line.
Quit your smoking habit before it is too late for your teeth. Along with that, brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly.
Using Your Teeth as a Substitute for Tools
Have you ever tried to open a package using your teeth because you did not have a pair of scissors around? That small habit is harmful to your teeth, too. Depending on what you bite, you could accidentally crack your teeth or injure your jaw as you force open items or hold things with your teeth.
The simple solution to this is to not carelessly use your teeth for purposes they were not meant to fulfill. Reserve your pearly whites for chewing food. Ask someone’s help to open items or carry your stuff to avoid tooth damage.
Brushing Your Teeth Carelessly or Roughly
You can regularly brush your teeth and yet be doing it the wrong way. One way you may be harming your teeth instead is by not being thorough when you brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth for less than a minute and do not attempt to reach the other areas of your mouth, plaque can stay in the spaces of your teeth.
Alternatively, you may also be too hard on your teeth. If you use toothbrushes with hard bristles and are not careful with how you brush, you can hurt your teeth and irritate your gums.
Brush your teeth for at least two minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Apply pressure that massages your teeth by being gentle and going with wide strokes.
Eating Habits that Hurt Your Teeth
Be careful of your eating habits, too.
If you like to snack throughout the day, it is time to rethink this practice. The food you eat leaves bacteria on your teeth that could cause cavities, especially if you prefer sugary foods, such as candies, chocolates, and even carbonated drinks.
Eat healthy meals that make you feel fuller for longer so that you can avoid snacking. Should you decide to go for a snack, opt for ones that are low in sugar to protect your teeth.
Chewing on the Ice in Your Beverages
When drinking a beverage with ice, do you find yourself absentmindedly chewing on the ice? This practice also increases the risk of chipping or cracking your teeth, so it is best to let the ice be on your glass once you finish your drink. You can even forgo putting ice on your drink entirely if the habit is hard to break.
Remember that good habits should be paired with regular visits to your dentist to effectively keep your teeth in their best shape.