Posted on 5/25/2015 by Thomas Mahar
Many people may think that they have a good dental hygiene routine, but then when they visit the dentist they are surprised to find out that there are some dental issues. Brushing and flossing on a regular basis are very important and it is recommended to visit the dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups. Whether you realize what affects your oral health or not, the following are some categories that are considered to be damaging to your overall oral health.
Sipping, Sucking and Crunching
Do you have a tendency to chew on ice after you finish your drink, or just chew on ice regularly? Not too many think about what is actually happening to your teeth while you are doing this. Extreme cold temperatures combined with the brittleness of your teeth can actually cause teeth to break or fracture. Over time, tiny microscopic cracks can develop in your enamel, leading to much bigger dental issues over time.
This may lead to cavities and cause sensitivity by exposing nerves. Other items that people may crunch on is popcorn kernels and hard candy. Chewing on these items can cause more stress to your teeth therefore stripping down the enamel and creating more small fractures. Sipping on items such as tea, soda and coffee throughout the day can lead to tooth decay over time. The constant acidity is what you need to be aware of.
Using Your Teeth for Things Other Than Chewing FoodIt may be surprising to find out how many people actually chip and break teeth by trying to use them to open items. Yes, your teeth are tools, but for breaking down food for your body to process. They were not intended to open your bag of chips or tear open plastic packaging. In order to keep a beautiful smile, you should consider that the teeth you have are the only ones you will get throughout your lifetime and they should not be used for anything other than eating.
Teeth Grinding and ClenchingThis is a bad habit that many people may not even realize they are doing at the moment. Some people clench or grind their teeth at nighttime while they are sleeping. There are special guards that can help minimize this issue that can be purchased at your local drug store. If you find that those items do not work, talk to your dentist about the problem and they will be able to guide you on how to break this habit. Many people also clench their teeth when they are nervous, upset or stressed. If teeth clenching is an anxiety issue, perhaps one should try to find stress relieving activities so they are not internalizing the stress so much.
Not Properly Brushing or FlossingThere are many people that do in fact brush and floss on a regular basis, but some may not be doing it properly. The main goal for tooth brushing and flossing should be at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before bedtime. One important key factor to remember is to change out your toothbrushes at least four times a year. They collect bacteria and become damaged after frequent use and no longer, work as well as they should.
Flossing should be done every time you brush your teeth. It does not take much time to do at all and it removes the plaque that toothbrushes are unable to reach. No matter how well you brush your teeth, a toothbrush cannot get in between all the crack and crevices within the mouth. If you are unsure of how to properly floss - ask your dentist the next time you visit. They will be glad to show you how to floss and be able to suggest techniques on how to get to all of the hard to reach places.
Toothbrush BristlesThere are many different types of toothbrushes available, which come in different sizes, shapes, but also the bristles range from very soft to firm. It is a common misconception that the firmer the bristle, the better. As you get older, gums start to recede and a softer toothbrush is recommended for regular cleaning. A firm bristle brush can do more damage than good!
These listed above are common bad habits that people usually fall into. Your smile and overall oral health are important so take a minute to think about your hygiene regimen and make small adjustments if need be.
If you are looking for other ways of improving your oral health this summer, please call us at (315) 766-2770 and have a chat with one of our experienced dental professionals.