We are all creatures of habit, yet some of us are more likely to adhere to certain best/worst dental habits than others. The oral health habits you develop ultimately determine if your teeth and gums stay in pristine condition or if they are rife with issues. Here is a look at some of the best/worst dental habits to give you an idea of which behaviors are particularly helpful or harmful to the teeth and gums.
The importance of your dental habits
How to Take Proper Care of Your Teeth and Gums
it is crucial to clean the teeth and gums at least two times per day. If possible, people need to clean their teeth after meals. Brush gently with small circular motions. Brush the teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks and the roof of the mouth.
People need to remember to replace their toothbrush after a couple months. It is also beneficial to get into the habit of inspecting the toothbrush bristles every few months. If the bristles are worn or bent, replace the toothbrush. It is also important to not use the toothbrush any longer than three months. The bristles will be ineffective after 100 days or so.
Avoid tobacco. Studies show smokers are four times more likely to have gum disease than those who do not smoke. In fact, using any type of tobacco, bet it cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco or cigarettes heightens the chances for oral cancer, throat cancer and oral fungal infection. Furthermore, smokeless tobacco has sugar, making tooth decay that much more likely.
Eating and Drinking the Right Foods and Beverages
One of the best dental habits people can get into is eating healthy. The foods someone consumes really does impact the health of the teeth and gums. Snack on vegetables like celery, tomatoes, squash, carrots and other foods that do not contain starch, sugar or acid.
Consume a diet full of colorful and nutritious vegetables and fruits. These healthy foods will spike the flow of saliva that remineralizes the surface of teeth to prevent tooth decay.
Worst Dental Habits to Avoid
Chewing on hard items is a terrible mistake in the context of oral health. Do not chew on ice, pen caps, pencils, fingernails or hard foods. If a person chews ice cubes, the cold temperature can actually lead to tooth fracture. It will also help to avoid popcorn kernels as they can put an incredible amount of stress on the teeth, causing them to fracture. The same is true of fruit pits.
Sipping sugary juices and drinks is akin to sabotaging oral health. If someone has a craving for such a drink, use a straw to minimize contact with the teeth. The repeated exposure to sweet and acidic beverages and foods heightens the chances of tooth decay.
Do Not Misuse Teeth
Do not use teeth to open things. Teeth are not tools and should not be the go-to tool to open bags or containers. Nor should someone use teeth to rip off price tags, straighten things out or uncap bottles. If someone attempts to use teeth for such purposes, they will weaken and possibly chip or fracture.
If someone gets into the habit of using a toothbrush with hard bristles, the teeth and gums will pay the price. Do not make the mistake of assuming firm toothbrush bristles are optimal. The gums move back and the roots of the teeth are exposed during the aging process. This exposure heightens sensitivity. If the toothbrush bristles are too firm, they will irritate the gums and likely cause tooth sensitivity.
Call (303) 502-2744 to schedule an appointment with Lotus Family Dental: Yuki Dykes DDS in our Aurora dental office.
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