Your smile may be one of the first features people notice about you, so make sure your smile is as radiant as can be with teeth that are in optimal health. You probably know you need to brush your teeth regular to ensure they remain clean and problem-free. However, what you don’t do to your teeth can be just as important as what you do. To keep your teeth in top condition, there are a few bad dental habits you should break now.
Skipping the Floss
While most people are fairly consistent in their brushing habits, not as many adhere to a daily flossing ritual. The truth is that flossing your teeth allows you to remove food and debris that your toothbrush simply cannot reach. If you are unsure how to floss correctly, ask your dentist for a demonstration. Then, make it a habit to floss every single day after one of your teeth brushing sessions.
Ice chewing may seem like a fairly harmless habit, but it can actually be quite damaging to your teeth. The combination of the cold and the hard surface can lead to microscopic fractures in the tooth. While you may not see these fractures at first, you will experience the consequences later on as the condition of your teeth can deteriorate. While crushed ice may seem like a better option than ice cubes, both can result in some damage.
Clenching or Grinding
Clenching or grinding your teeth can wear them down over time. In addition, the action may affect your gums, causing serious recession that could require surgical treatment eventually. If you clench or grind your teeth at night while you are asleep, talk to your dentist about getting a customized night guard that will protect the teeth from the pressure and the erosion that often results. If stress or anxiety are the culprit in your clenching, find healthy ways to relieve stress like exercising or talking to a friend.
Eating Too Much Sugar
What you put into your mouth can affect your teeth as much as the rest of your body. If you regularly suck down sodas and other sugary drinks, you are putting more sugar on your teeth than they can naturally eliminate. At the same time, constant snacking on sugar-laden foods or candy can create serious problems like plaque buildup in your mouth. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy foods instead that actually provide nutrients your teeth and gums need without causing them harm.
Using Your Teeth as a Tool
Whether you use your teeth to “clip” your nails, open a bag of chips or tear off a price tag, you are running the risk of damaging your teeth. Never use your teeth for a job that there is a tool – such as scissors or a nail file – that can do the job safely. Even if you don’t see damage right away, the ongoing stress on your teeth can lead to weakening and damage over time.
Keeping your teeth in top condition is the first step in achieving a brighter, healthier smile. If cosmetic concerns are keeping you from smiling with confidence, Dr. Kohani at La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics can help you address those concerns and enhance the appearance of your teeth. To learn more about your options in cosmetic dentistry, contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry today at 858-622-1007.