Good dental care is more than about brushing and flossing daily. While it is true that both can keep your teeth strong and healthy, you should also mind other seemingly harmless habit that can compromise your oral health. Keep in mind that engaging in one or more bad habits can sabotage the good ones and contribute to serious dental issues. Here are some of the habits you need to avoid:
Overusing over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whiteners
Although there is nothing wrong with wanting a brighter smile, you need to mind your methods for achieving it. While OTC whitening products (toothpaste, kits, and strips) promise to whiten your teeth quickly, do take note that some of these products can irritate your gums and contribute to sensitive teeth. This is especially true if you try different products all at one or use them daily.
If you want an effective and safe way to whiten your teeth, Fort Worth dental care centers suggest seeing a dentist first. This is to examine the overall condition of your teeth and gums, and determine the best option or product for you.
Sipping soda (habitually)
If you mindlessly drink soda most days of the week, you are likely to damage your teeth. The sugar in this beverage joins forces with the bacteria in your mouth to create acid, which then attacks the teeth. Diet or sugar-free soda is no different, as it also has its own acid. Each acid attack lasts for about 20 minutes and starts over with each sip of soda you take.
To avoid teeth problems and other health issues, it is best to quit or limit your soda consumption. You can also use a straw (positioned towards the back of the mouth) to prevent the sugar from coming into contact with your teeth.
Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
It is only a misconception that firmer toothbrushes can do a better job in cleaning teeth. The truth is hard-bristled brushes are likely to damage your enamel, hurt your gums, and cause tooth sensitivity. This is especially true if you brush vigorously or use too much force when cleaning your pearly whites.
Start using a soft-bristled toothbrush and be gentle when brushing your teeth. This post from the American Dental Association (ADA) shares the proper brushing technique and other recommendations for a healthy mouth and smile.
Grinding your teeth
Bruxism or grinding or clenching your teeth unconsciously will not just cause sore teeth and jaws. It could also wear your teeth down and expose the deeper layers of your tooth. Stress and anxiety are usually the cause of teeth grinding, but this can also be due to crooked teeth or an abnormal bite.
To avoid the problems related to bruxism, your dentist may suggest wearing a mouthguard. You may able to buy generic ones, but it is best to go for a custom model that fits and works better. You may also consider counseling or an exercise program if your grinding habit is caused by stress.
Other dental habits to avoid
Apart from the aforementioned habits, you might also want to avoid the following things:
- Using teeth as tools
- Chewing on ice
- Drinking too much alcohol
Don’t let these habits compromise your teeth and gums. It is also best to consult your dentist for other recommendations on keeping your smile healthy and beautiful.