Habits that Harm Your Teeth & How to Break Them in the New Year
Bad Oral Habits = Bad Oral Health
We all have bad habits. Maybe you’re not good at texting people back, or you crack your knuckles, or watch too much reality TV. We get it, but bad oral habits are dangerous. It’s easy to forget to make good oral habits, but we’re here to help. Even if you don’t think you have bad habits that are harmful to your teeth, keep reading.
Once you’ve grown your adult teeth, that’s the only set you get, and we’d like to help you keep those teeth in good shape forever. Today, we’d like to show you three habits you should break now for a healthier 2020 and beyond.
Cut the Carbs and Sugar
Sugar is the enemy of healthy teeth. When it comes to sugar affecting your teeth, you might immediately think of soda, but it’s not the only thing that contains sugar. Carbohydrates in food get broken down into sugar, even the carbs found in fruits and vegetables. Don’t stop eating your fruits and vegetables, just watch out for sugars that linger on your teeth.
Sugars and artificial sweeteners, especially in drinks, are often accompanied by citric and phosphoric acids. These eat away at your teeth, making them weaker.
- Drink water during and after meals to rinse sugars and acids off your teeth.
- Do the same when consuming sugary or acidic drinks like soda (including diet soda), coffee, and wine.
- To strengthen your teeth against acid, use a fluoride rinse daily.
DON’T Grind Your Teeth or Your Gears
Bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth) is a destructive habit that many of us don’t realize we have. To be fair, it often happens in our sleep when we can’t help it.
Clenching your teeth, especially the edges of your incisors and canines, damages the structural integrity of your teeth and can cause pain in the mouth, jaw, face, and head.
Your teeth should touch as little as possible. Here are a few tips:
- Try a mouth guard for nighttime to protect your teeth, jawbones, and facial muscles.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools! Don’t use them to break, open, or scrape things. Not only does it weaken, chip, or even break your teeth, but it introduces bacteria.
- Don’t be hard on your teeth while eating. Be careful if you like to chew ice, and don’t chomp down on bones.
Make Friends with Dental Floss
We talk a lot about flossing because it’s so overlooked and underappreciated. Brushing gets all the attention, but flossing is even more important than brushing. Not flossing is a major cause of decay and bone loss, and it’s a bad habit harmful to your teeth.
The spaces between teeth and all-around your gumlines are where oral biofilm (plaque) collects, and plaque is what damages your teeth. Brushing helps, but it doesn’t do enough.
- You need to use dental floss to remove the biofilm by cleaning the sides of your teeth thoroughly and gently removing what has collected between your teeth and gums.
- It might not look like you have anything between your teeth, and that’s part of the problem. Plaque is all too often a hidden enemy.
- We wash our bodies even when we don’t have any visible dirt, and we should do the same to our teeth and gums.
And remember to schedule your routine teeth cleaning at least twice a year, or as often as your dentist recommends.
Show Us Your Smile!
Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to break those bad habits that harm your teeth. Call Dr. Blum and Associates today to make an appointment and learn how to put good oral health habits in place. Clean, healthy teeth and gums are truly the gift that keeps on giving.