Your smile is one of your most important assets to your health and appearance, so you should do everything possible to protect it from harm. In particular, you should steer clear of the following dental habits that can be hazardous to your smile.
- Chewing on non-food items: Yes, enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but it’s not indestructible. Your teeth are designed to chew and process food, not fingernails, pencils, ice cubes or any other hard substances that could cause the enamel to chip or crack. It’s essential to break such bad habits to boost your long-term oral health and avoid the need for your dentist to place restorations on your teeth.
- Using your teeth as tools: Similarly, your teeth were not designed to open bottles or plastic packages or to crack nuts or do anything else that is not eating. We have tools to help us with those tasks for a reason. Don’t use your teeth for this purpose, or you could be risking serious damage to them.
- Foregoing home oral hygiene habits: We get it. Your schedule is already tremendously busy, so you want to identify things to eliminate from your routine to free up some time. Oral hygiene should NOT be one of the things that gets the boot, and it can be completed in less than 10 minutes total. Brushing twice each day, for two minutes at a time, and flossing once each day, will help to minimize the presence of harmful bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Make sure that you are using the proper technique to get the maximum benefit from your routine. Check in with your dentist or hygienist to get a refresher on how to brush and floss properly.
- Skipping dentist appointments: Oral hygiene at home, while important, is not sufficient to maintain your smile. You also need to have your teeth cleaned by a professional hygienist at least twice a year. Your teeth are also examined at these visits to identify signs of early-stage gum disease or small cavities that can be easily addressed with a small filling. Such preventive care reduces the risk of serious consequences to your oral health, so if you postpone these appointments, your smile may suffer.
We encourage you to reach out to our knowledgeable staff members if you have any questions or concerns about any habits that could be potentially harmful to your smile. Give us a call, or bring a list of topics for discussion to your next check-up.