Practicing good dental care seems obvious: brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly, and see your dental professional for check-ups and cleaning. What else is there to do?
In fact, there is much more that you can do—or, perhaps more accurately, not do. There are many bad oral habits that people practice, knowingly and unknowingly, and which can lead to serious issues. Eventually, they may even require you to visit your Bala Cynwyd oral surgeon.
Not Using Teeth as Tools
Do you ever open bags with your teeth? What about bottles? Do you ever try to straighten items with your teeth? Or do you pull out pins or other small items by using your teeth like pliers?
If you are using your teeth as openers, instead of a pair of scissors, bottle opener or pliers, you may be putting undue pressure on your teeth. Using your teeth like a tool may lead to cracks in your tooth enamel, or even cause the edge of weakened teeth to chip or fracture. Eventually, you may need restorative dentistry to fix the problem.
Avoid or Prevent Grinding Teeth
Whether awake or asleep, grinding teeth can wear them down and ultimately can lead to tooth damage, sensitivity, and even loss. Grinding can cause many other problems as well for your jaw (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), nose and ear (sinus pains and ear aches), and even head (headaches and migraines). People grind their teeth for different reasons, including anxiety, abnormal bite, or missing or crooked teeth.
Whatever the reason, the problem needs to be actively managed. A mouth guard at night may be an easy solution.
Stop Unnecessary Crunching
It is tempting to crunch ice cubes which land in your mouth as you consume cold drinks. But the brittleness of ice combined with its cold temperatures can actually cause teeth to fracture. Miniscule cracks can develop in the enamel surface of your teeth, which over time can lead to more serious dental problems.
Similarly, crunching on popcorn kernels or fruit pits can also lead to cracks in teeth enamel.
Avoid Vigorous Brushing and a Hard-Bristled Toothbrush
Brushing teeth is not like cleaning stains off carpets. More vigorous brushing is not going to clean your teeth better. In fact, vigorous brushing can actually damage your mouth by weakening tooth enamel and damaging gums. It’s best to brush gently and in regular motions.
A hard-bristled toothbrush is also not better. As gums push back in the mouth with age and expose teeth roots, a hard toothbrush may irritate gums and sensitive teeth. It’s best to use a soft or electric toothbrush.
Practicing good dental care is not complicated, but does require ongoing conscientiousness.
Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center