Don’t let bad dental habits ruin your smile. While some normal wear and tear is unavoidable, much of the damage to our teeth is self-inflicted. Some damage is immediate, such as cracking or chipping your teeth, but many bad habits do harm over a long period of time. Most of the time we aren’t even aware that we’re doing them.
Do you want to maintain a healthy smile? Protect your teeth by eliminating – or avoiding – these damaging dental habits.
When you eat, cavity-causing bacteria feast on leftover food, producing an acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth. This acid can leave holes, aka cavities, in your teeth. After snacking, chewing a piece of sugarless gum with xylitol or eating crunchy foods, such as carrots or apples, can help remove the residue.
Drinking Sugary Beverages
Sugary drinks are the most common cause of tooth decay. The normal bacteria present in your mouth starts to eat the sugar residue which produces acid on your teeth. This acid eventually eats your enamel away, causing teeth to become weaker and thinner. Weakened teeth are vulnerable to cavities. Switch to water and be sure to use a straw whenever you sip a sweet drink.
We’ve all heard the excuse – “I’ll start flossing tomorrow”. However, if you neglect to clean in-between your teeth, then 33% of your teeth are ignored. Do you dread traditional flossing because of pain or bleeding gums? Then consider using a water flosser such as our Poseidon Oral Irrigator. The Poseidon Irrigator produces a stream of water that cleans between teeth, under the gum line, under bridges and braces. It cleans places where traditional string floss simply cannot reach. The Poseidon is a gentle but effective way to remove food particles that lead to decay and bad breath.
Putting off Your Dentist Appointment
Don’t skip your twice-a-year checkups. Visiting your dentist regularly enables him to take care of small issues before they become big problems. That cavity isn’t going to go away, and taking care of it early could prevent a future root canal!
Not Brushing Long Enough
Brushing for two minutes twice a day is one of the best habits you can get into. Need some help in that area? Our Professional Sonic Toothbrush has a two minute timer, and after 30 seconds, it indicates that it’s time to move on to the next quadrant of your mouth. There are three brushing modes: clean, soft and massage, which makes it easy to use the sonic toothbrush on sensitive teeth.
Biting Your Nails
Not only is this unsanitary (think of all the germs under those nails) it causes your enamel to wear down and creates uneven biting surfaces. The stress on your front teeth can cause them to become misaligned. It can also spread warts on your fingertips and around your nails.
Brushing Too Hard
Scrubbing your teeth does not make them any cleaner. Instead, it causes tooth sensitivity, gum irritation and wears down your enamel. Our Professional Sonic Toothbrush deep cleans your teeth with minimal effort. If your prefer using a manual toothbrush such as our 13Clean, ease up on the pressure and avoid mashing the brush against your teeth.
Using an Old, Beat Up Toothbrush
Are the bristles on your brush bent or spread out? An old brush is no longer effective for cleaning teeth, and it can be easy to forget when you last changed your toothbrush. Our 13Clean Toothbrush comes with a new head for each month, plus a starter brush so you can start using it as soon as you receive it. No more guessing how old your toothbrush is – the month is printed right on it!
Using Your Teeth as Tools
Your teeth were not created to pry objects apart, open bottles, rip open plastic bags, or to be used as a substitute for a pair of scissors. Using your teeth as tools can cause them to chip, fracture and cause jaw misalignment. Take a minute and grab the proper tool for the task at hand.
Chewing on Objects
Whether it’s your pencil, pen, or glasses chewing on these items can cause teeth to chip or crack. Also, keep in mind germs live on the ends of pens, so this habit can expose you to nasty pathogens like cold viruses, mouth sores and cold sores. If you can’t kick this habit, you’re best bet is to chomp on a piece of sugarless gum.
Grinding Your Teeth
You might be grinding out of stress or frustration but crooked teeth or an abnormal bite could also cause you to grind your teeth. This habit causes teeth to wear down more quickly. Being mindful of the habit can help you to curb it. If stress is an issue practice some stress relief exercises to prevent grinding. To prevent grinding while you sleep, visit your dentist who can recommend a mouth guard for nighttime use.
Chewing on Ice
Crunching on the ice in your drink seems like no big deal. Unfortunately, the combination of cold and hard can cause some serious damage to teeth. In addition to cracked teeth, it can lead to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder(TMJ). TMJ symptoms include chronic jaw pain, headaches and even neck aches.
Brushing after acidic foods
It’s great that you want to brush your teeth after a meal; however brushing immediately eating acidic foods, even healthy ones like oranges, puts your teeth at risk. The corrosive acid combined with the abrasive action of brushing can cause the enamel to erode. It’s best to rinse your mouth with water after sipping lemonade or tomato sauce and waiting 30 minutes to use yourProfessional Sonic Toothbrush.
Playing Sports without a Mouth Guard
Do you really need to look like a NHL player? Teeth get chipped, cracked and knocked out during many sporting events. Protect your teeth and wear a mouth guard. A mouth guard can also help you perform better by relaxing your jaw.
Getting Aggressive with a Toothpick
Getting food caught in your teeth is annoying and uncomfortable, but jabbing a toothpick or, worse a fingernail, into your gums can cause trauma. For your overall health, avoid sticking your fingers in your mouth! Be careful when using a toothpick or, better yet, use your Professional Rechargeable Oral Irrigator to irrigate out the offending item.
Sucking Your Thumb
Sucking on your thumb or fingers can cause your teeth to become misaligned. It’s best to wean your child of this habit before his or her permanent teeth come in. It can cause permanent changes to the structure of the jaw and teeth, which may lead to difficulty breathing and eating.
Ignoring Bleeding Gums
Don’t stop using your Oral Irrigator because of bleeding gums. That’s an indicator that plaque has built up and needs to be removed. Regular brushing and flossing can fix that. In rarer instances, this is a sign that something else is wrong. If bleeding persists, make an appointment to see your dentist.
You know smoking is bad for your health. Here’s what it does to your mouth: causes yellow teeth, gum disease, delayed healing after dental procedures, salivary gland inflammation, tooth loss, increased risk of jaw bone loss and oral cancers. Join a smoking cessation program or see your doctor for tips on how to quit.
Smokeless tobacco is no safer for teeth and gums than cigarettes. In addition to bad breath, it causes plaque and tartar buildup, stains your teeth and increases your risk of oral cancer.
Slacking on Vacation
You’re more likely to indulge on those sugary sweets on vacation that you are while at home. You might also be tempted to skip brushing after a long day of fun. Stay vigilant about brushing with our Sonic Travel Toothbrush. This small brush gives your teeth the same thorough cleaning experience that a larger brush would provide.
If you want a healthy smile, you need to take good care of your teeth. Good dental hygiene and avoiding damaging behaviors go a long way toward keeping your mouth healthy. Correcting these habits will also save you money on dental bills and spare you the lecture from your dentist and hygienist. Some key things to remember are:
- Visit your dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups
- Brush with your Sonic Toothbrush twice a day
- Use your Oral Irrigator to floss your teeth once a day
- Limit sugary foods and beverages
- Rinse your mouth with water between meals or chew on sugarless gum
- Stop using tobacco
Breaking up with your bad habits may seem challenging, but the end results will have you smiling!