Protect your teeth and gums by avoiding damaging habits.
If you are committed to keeping your smile healthy and beautiful, you have likely established a good oral hygiene routine that includes regular brushing and flossing. Unfortunately, even with a proper regimen in place, it is possible to cause damage to your teeth and gums. Certain habits may be causing your smile more harm than good without you even knowing it — read on to find out what factors could be affecting your oral health and what you can do to prevent further damage…
1. Overbrushing your teeth
In order to maintain optimal oral health, you must brush your teeth at least twice a day. It will help get rid of plaque, bacteria, and other debris and keep issues like tooth decay at bay. When you brush your teeth, be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t brush too aggressively — in fact, it is possible to damage your enamel by brushing too hard.
2. Grinding your teeth
If you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, you may be causing excessive wear and tear to your teeth. These habits can also cause muscle and jaw pain, as well as a range of other uncomfortable symptoms. Many people are not aware that they grind their teeth because it often occurs subconsciously or during sleep. For this reason, it is important that you see your dentist for regular check-ups — your dentist will be able to identify any possible signs of grinding and clenching and recommend a treatment plan to prevent further damage.
3. Consuming too much sugar
One of the most damaging habits for oral health is regularly sipping on carbonated soft drinks. These drinks tend to be both sugary and acidic (even sugar-free versions have high levels of acidity) and can erode the enamel over time. Try to limit your soft drink consumption and opt for water or milk instead.
Similarly, snacking on sugary foods frequently throughout the day can also cause harm to your teeth. Every time you eat something sugary, the bacteria in your mouth digest these sugars and contribute to the build-up of decay-causing plaque. If you enjoy a sweet treat every now and then, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
4. Biting your nails and other hard objects
If you bite your nails, it is advisable that you try and quit the habit — for the sake of your smile. Nail biting can cause issues like chipped teeth and can even lead to jaw dysfunction because it causes the jaw to sit in a protruded position for extended periods.
It’s also a good idea to avoid biting and chewing on other hard objects that can cause your teeth to chip and break. Ice, for example, is a common culprit when it comes to damaging teeth and dental restorations like fillings. Try to avoid using your teeth to open packaging as well — this habit puts you at risk of chipping or cracking a tooth.
5. Putting off dental visits
Even if you practise healthy oral hygiene habits daily, there is no substitute for regular dental check-ups and cleans. One of the best things you can do to protect your smile is to see your dentist every six months and to take advantage of any preventative care that your dentist might recommend. If you feel any pain or experience any other uncomfortable symptoms, don’t delay treatment. By seeking professional help early, it is often possible to avoid more problems down the line.
How can we help?
At Access Dental Care, we are always available to provide the information and advice you need to maintain optimal oral health. If you have a question for us or a concern you would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to come and see us.
To book an appointment, please contact us here or give us a call at (08) 9485 0600.