Healthy habits like brushing your teeth, cutting back on sugary treats, and getting dental checkups are essential when it comes to keeping your smile healthy and happy. However, breaking bad habits is just as important to your oral health. There are numerous ways you may be hurting your teeth and gums every day without realizing it. Your Upper Arlington dentist reveals five ways you may be damaging your smile daily and what you can do about them.
Brushing Too Hard
If you brush your teeth too hard, you may be doing more harm than good. Since plaque is soft and sticky, forceful toothbrushing doesn’t remove any more of it than gentle brushing does. However, the extra pressure can scratch away at your enamel over time, which can lead to grayish, sensitive, and cavity prone teeth. Squashed toothbrush bristles are a good indicator that you should ease up on your brushing or try using an electric toothbrush.
The more often you expose your mouth to chips, crackers, and other snacks, the more harmful acid your oral bacteria can create. Even healthy foods like fruits contain enough sugar to fuel the formation of cavities if you snack on them throughout the day. Try to limit your eating to mealtimes, stick to smile-friendly snacks like lean meats, low-fat cheese, and raw vegetables, and drink plenty of water.
Destructive Chewing Habits
What do you do when you’re nervous, frustrated, or bored? Many people unconsciously begin to chew on hard objects like pen caps, ice, or their fingernails. Gnawing on these tough items wears down your enamel and weakens your teeth, leaving them susceptible to chips, cracks, and other damage. Instead, try chewing a piece of sugarless gum or a crunchy apple.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
It may be tempting to open a piece of long-awaited mail, a bottle of wine, or a bag of your favorite chips with your teeth. While this may save a few moments now, you may spend much more time later in the dentist’s chair with a broken tooth. Your teeth should only be used on food, so keep scissors and bottle openers somewhere easy to reach.
Skipping Your Dental Checkups
Oral health issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer can develop without you seeing or feeling them. That’s one important reason why you should get a dental checkup every six months even if your teeth look and feel fine. Your dentist is specially trained to spot and stop these problems and many more before they can cause you any unnecessary damage or discomfort. However, an even better reason to get routine checkups is to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.
About the Author
Our highly experienced team at Artistry Smile Center has been caring for the smiles of Columbus, OH since 2004. To stop oral health issues before they start, Dr. Angela Courtney recommends that patients of every age come in for their dental checkups twice a year. With modern state-of-the-art dental equipment and her extensive advanced training at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, she can help you overcome any bad oral health habits and repair any damage they may have caused your smile. To learn more, feel free to contact her via her website or at (614) 451-7393.