Are you guilty of taking less-than-perfect care of your pearly whites? We all do things that aren’t necessarily the best for our mouths. But some daily habits are less obviously harmful than others. We want our patients to have the best possible chance of succeeding in their oral health. To that end, we’re offering up a few healthy reminders of habits that you should try to cut down on – if not for your teeth, for your whole body.
Improving Your Daily Habits for Healthier, Happier Teeth
This post focuses on the negative things you could be doing – if you’re looking for some habitual suggestions, check out our post on tooth healthy habits.
When it comes to your smile, certain practices can be highly damaging. Avoid the following to see a boost in your oral health:
- Grinding your teeth – The scariest thing about chronic grinding (also known as bruxism) is that it can be unnoticeable. Most grinding takes place at night, making it difficult to notice that it’s happening at all. When you’re stressed out or your jaw isn’t properly aligned, you can routinely clench and grind your teeth at night. This kind of force is unnatural, and will end up damaging your enamel. If grinding continues long-term, it can cause broken dental work and even tooth loss. If you’re waking up with a sore, tired jaw or tender teeth, it could be a good idea to look into a mouth guard.
- Using your teeth as tools – Our teeth just aren’t meant to sustain some forces. When you use your teeth to open plastic packages, bottles, or nuts, you’re putting them in harm’s way. Take the time to grab scissors or a bottle opener instead.
- Drinking too much juice – Juice tends to come with a mental “healthy” label, and it is filled with nutrients that can be good for the body. Unfortunately, those nutrients come along with an incredible amount of sugar, and a highly acidic pH. These factors combined lead to cavities and enamel erosion. If you drink juice often, try to use a straw to prevent it from washing over your teeth.
- Choosing dried fruit as an alternative sweet treat – As we just mentioned, fruit can be tricky. Non-citrus fresh fruit can be great for your body (and teeth), but dried fruit is comparable to candy in terms of negative after-effects. The sticky fruit adheres to your teeth, where it remains in place and kickstarts cavity formation. Try to choose non-chewy, non-fried fruits for snacks.
- Biting your nails – Like the “using your teeth as tools” tip, this has to do with exposing your enamel to more than it can handle. Ongoing nail biting is bad for your front teeth, and can lead to broken dental work or chipped enamel.
- Forgetting to floss before bed – We know, flossing isn’t the most exciting part of the day. But neglecting to pick up the floss will lead to bigger wastes of time – like spending hours in the dental chair having your cavities filled. Flossing removes food particles from the gum line, in spots that brushing can’t reach. Regular flossing will keep gingivitis at bay, and help hold off gum disease. Before heading to bed each day, take an extra moment to floss. We promise that you won’t regret it.
Working with Your General Dentist in Oakland
When it comes to your dental care, we hope to serve as your supporting players. No matter the problem you’re facing, Summit Dental Care can help. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or concerns (or if it’s time to schedule your next exam).