You know how essential it is to your oral health to brush and floss your teeth daily. But have you ever stopped to think about other daily habits that may affect the health of your teeth and gums? Dr. Robert Milner recommends avoiding the following habits, all of which can take a toll on your oral health.
Using Your Teeth as a Tool
Do you use your teeth to rip price tags off clothing, uncap bottles or open packages? Your teeth aren’t tools. Using them for these types of tasks puts you at risk of chipping or fracturing a tooth.
Chewing on Ice
The brittleness of ice cubs can cause your teeth to crack, chip or fracture. Even a small chip or crack is risky, as it can get bigger and eventually cause the tooth to fracture.
Playing Sports without a Mouth Guard
If you play hockey, basketball, soccer, football or another contact or collision sport, you must protect your teeth and jaws from a sudden impact. The best way to do this is by wearing a custom mouth guard that cushions your teeth and jaws from the impact of any forces.
Biting Your Nails
Biting your nails can chip, crack or wear down your teeth. It can also transfer bacteria from your fingers to your mouth!
Brushing too aggressively or with a hard toothbrush can damage your teeth and irritate your gums. Instead of scrubbing your teeth, lighten your pressure and use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
Constant Snacking on Sweets
Snacking throughout the day on things like cookies or candies can expose your teeth to high amounts of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. If you find yourself hungry in between meals, avoid sticky, sweet or starchy foods and instead snack on fresh fruit or vegetables, like apple slices or celery sticks.
Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth can wear them down, making them more susceptible to damage. If you know that you grind or clench at night, ask your dentist for a night guard to protect your teeth from the pressure. If you suspect the grinding is caused by stress, consider stress management practices such as yoga, deep breathing exercises or counseling.
Holding Items with Your Teeth
Do you hold items in between your teeth when your hands are full? This can lead to a cracked or broken tooth. Whether you decide to make two trips or ask for help, stop holding things with your teeth.
For more information about how to enjoy a healthy smile for life, please contact Dr. Milner today.