Nail biting, teeth grinding, or eating ice are some of the habits that most of us have. While we may think that these habits do not harm us, they may be having adverse effects on our oral health. Listed below are some of these habits.
Not Flossing Regularly
When we skip flossing, we leave plaque and food particles stuck between our teeth. While we may brush our teeth enough to prevent cavities and gum disease, the areas in between teeth are nearly impossible to reach with a toothbrush. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay, damage to the gums, and even tooth loss. Make it a point to floss at least once a day to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
Not Eating Healthy Food
Not eating a balanced diet isn’t good for your oral health either. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables since these are high in essential vitamins and minerals that keep your gums healthy and strong. If needed, consider taking a multivitamin to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.
Brushing Teeth Harshly
When you brush your teeth, make sure that you are doing it correctly in order to give your smile the best chance to stay healthy. Make sure that you brush at least twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head that is small enough to reach hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, like your back molars. Also, remember to brush all surfaces of each tooth, not just the fronts. Don’t forget your tongue as well! This will remove bacteria that can contribute to bad breath in addition to staining the surface of your teeth. Finally, make sure to use gentle pressure when brushing your teeth. If you scrub too hard, you risk damaging your gums and causing a recession, which will expose the root of your tooth and create a greater risk of decay.
Using The Wrong Toothbrush
Your toothbrush should be the right size for your mouth to reach every surface of each tooth. If you only have a small mouth, you might want to try a smaller head on your brush, while someone with a normal-sized mouth should be able to find a standard size that will work well for them. The shape of your toothbrush head is also important. A flat or rounded head will be great for getting at all of the surfaces in your mouth, but an angled brush will work well for your front teeth. If you need help choosing the right one, your dentist will be able to guide you through the process.
Grinding Your Teeth
If you wake up with headaches or notice that your teeth are sensitive when you drink something cold, these are signs that you could be grinding your teeth at night. If you notice these symptoms, you may want to talk to your dentist about it and find out if custom night guards for teeth might be right for you. Night guards for teeth are created to fit your mouth perfectly, so they create a barrier between your top and bottom rows of teeth and so you will no longer damage the enamel of your teeth. This can be a great option for patients who suffer from TMJ disorder and are not able to get their symptoms under control through noninvasive treatments.
If you think that you might benefit from having a night guard made for your mouth, we will be happy to talk to you about your options. We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have so that we can make sure you choose the right treatment option for your needs.
To learn more tips to maintain good oral health, visit Bruce R. Clark, DDS, MAGD, 2550 Stover St E-102, Fort Collins, CO 80525. Call us at (970)498-8607 to book an appointment.