It is easy to pick up small habits that can cause long term damage and ruin your teeth.
Some of these things you may know cause damage to your teeth, but others you may not realise are causing you long term damage.
We should all know the obvious ones like NOT opening a beer with your teeth. Some of these habits will protect your teeth and keep them in good condition for life.
1. Chewing your Nails
Not only does chewing your nails affect the way your hands look but it also causes problems for your teeth. Chewing your nails can splinter or crack or teeth enamel. This leaves the edge of the tooth looking rough or jagged. Chewing your finger nails can introduce infections into your mouth as dirt and bacteria like to live under our nails.
2. Brushing TOO hard
Some people believe that brushing with a hard bristled toothbrush vigorously will get the best results - nothing could be further from the truth.
Being too vigorous when you brush your teeth can scratch the surface of your teeth. Continuing to brush in this way can erode your teeth on that surface and can also cause your gums to recede leaving the tooth root exposed. Brushing vigorously can also cause damage to your gums when you accidentally hit the gums causing mouth ulcers and worse. Always select a soft bristled tooth brush and hold the toothbrush loosely in your hand with just enough pressure that you can control the toothbrush but not push on the toothbrush.
If your toothbrush always looks like it has been chewed, then you are brushing TOO HARD!
3. Playing sport without a Mouthguard
Playing any contact sport can result in an accident at anytime. Wear a well fitting, comfortable custom mouthguard whenever you are playing sport or training for sport. Custom mouthguards not only protect your teeth and jaw, they also protect your pocket from expensive dental injuries. Find out more about mouthguards
4. Forgetting to Floss
No-one enjoys flossing their teeth but it is essential for your dental health. Food and bacteria build up between your teeth everyday, brushing will not remove this build up so it is important to floss to remove it. Not flossing leaves 30% of the surface of the tooth not cleaned Take your floss and push it down between your teeth and down the side of each tooth to remove an bacteria that has attached to this surface of the tooth. Also use the floss to remove and food debris that has been trapped in the pink triangle that is formed between the teeth. If floss is not enough to remove the food then other tools can be used. Flossing needs to happen once per day. Find our more about flossing
Piercing of the lip or tongue can cause teeth to be chipped when the metal repeatedly hits the tooth surface. If a piercing is accidentally bitten on, it can also crack a tooth. Piercings can also damage previous dental work such as fillings or crowns. Some people with piercings "play" with their piercing, this can cause further injuries in the mouth.
6. What you Drink
Most people realise that drinking sugary and acidic drinks such as soft drinks can damage their teeth as the sugar from the drink allows bacteria to grown on the teeth and damage them and the acid can cause erosion. I would also like to highlight that fruit juices are also full of sugar that do the same damage to your teeth. Many people believe that fruit juices are healthy, but they can be quite acidic and still contain natural sugars. USEFUL HACK: If you are drinking sugary drinks drink them in a single sitting - do not sip on them all day as then your teeth are exposed to them all day. After you drink one of these drinks consider rinsing your mouth with water or using sugar free chewing gum to minimise the affect of these drinks on your teeth.
7. Scared of the Dentist
Avoiding the dentist because of a past experience can be the most damaging thing for your dental health. Every checkup we examine your teeth for any problems that have started and deal with them while they are small and relatively cheap to treat. If you leave a dental problem it becomes more difficult to treat and usually more expensive too.
If you are scared to come to the dentist please give us a call and together we can create a strategy tailored to your needs. Dentistry has changed a lot in the last 20 years so problems that were experienced in the past are often not problems today. The first step is a phone call to see how we can help you.
Is it time for your dental checkup? If you would like to discuss how these habit can ruin your teeth and how to avoid them in the future give us a call