We’re tough on our teeth–chugging coffee, slurping sweets, chomping ice chips–we stain them, we chip them, ultimately, we damage them daily.
While some of the damage is obvious, there are likely dental mistakes you’re making everyday without even knowing it.
We’re naming just 9 of the many dental mistakes you may be making. Give them a look and consider the ways you’re being a bit too brutal on your teeth.
Dental Mistakes that Can Get Dangerous–Take Note!
- Skipping Appointments
You should be visiting the dentist once a year. Of course, it’s ideal to stop in every 6 months, but if you find you can’t make the time, schedule an annual visit at the very least.
The X-Rays and regular cleanings standard to most office visits are key to maintaining good oral health. Letting too much time pass between appointments can result in small issues becoming big issues and/or other health issues related to poor dental health (we’ll get to those later).
- Bad Toothbrush Care Habits
That’s right, the first step to good tooth care may actually be good toothbrush care.
How long have you had your toothbrush? Are the bristles bent and frayed? Is it clean?
As the toothbrush is the primary tool for maintaining good oral health, it’s important to treat it right:
- Keep it clean–don’t encourage bacteria growth. After all, you’re brushing your teeth to rid your mouth of microorganisms. Store your toothbrush in an open air container to allow it to dry between brushings.
- Replace frayed and worn down toothbrushes. If your bristles no longer have structure, they will be less effective.
Regardless of the apparent condition of your toothbrush, opting for a new one every 3-4 months is ideal. This will ensure you’re using strong, clean bristles, and making the most of your fundamental oral health efforts.
- Believing Braces are Just for Beauty
When your dentist recommends braces, rest assured it’s not just because he or she thinks your smile isn’t quite as nice as it could be.
Braces play a big part in your overall dental health. Teeth that are twisted, turned, or just not quite where they need to be can increase the likelihood of plaque and tartar build-up, ultimately encouraging cavities and other oral issues. Take a dentist’s braces recommendation seriously.
New York-based orthodontist Dr. Jennifer Stachel confirms, “Teeth that are not aligned properly in your mouth cause what dentists call ‘malocclusion.’ Left untreated, malocclusion can lead to periodontal disease and create abnormal amounts of stress on teeth and jaws, which leads to premature wear.”
If you have already had braces, take special care to maintain your professionally straightened smile. Wearing a retainer is much simpler, not to mention cheaper, than returning for a second round of braces.
- Ignoring Other Oral Health Issues
If you’re experiencing other mishaps in the mouth region, you should address them immediately.
Though dental mistakes may bring to mind troubles with the teeth, in particular, oral health issues such as mouth sores, bleeding, etc. may not only indicate, but could actually lead to, bigger issues involving your whole mouth, teeth included.
- Thinking it’s All About Pretty, Pearly Whites and Fresh Breath
Dental health means more than just a million-dollar smile. The impact of good oral hygiene is much more far reaching than just looking good in pictures. Rather, it’s tied in many ways to your general wellbeing.
Since your oral health helps control the amount of bacteria that enters the body, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene.
On that note, certain illnesses may lower your natural oral health defenses. Just one more reason to make regular office visits.
- Biting Your Nails
Seems pretty harmless. Maybe it’s just a nervous habit, or more an impulse, but biting your nails is actually one of those unsuspecting dental mistakes that may lead to some unfortunate damage–think splintered enamel, broken teeth and shifting. Not pretty.
- Acid Overload
Regularly consuming highly acidic foods, like sucking on lemons and sipping sodas can eat away the enamel on your teeth, making them a much more suitable environment for cavity formation and other damage.
Particularly without regular dentist visits (see above), these conditions can quickly get out of hand. So minimize the acid intake, or in the least, make the time to see your dentist to ensure you’re still in good shape.
- Brushing Too Hard
When brushing your teeth, tread lightly. Sure, it’s good to be thorough, but thorough doesn’t mean manic.
Brushing too hard won’t do your teeth any favors. In fact, you may be damaging your gums, making them vulnerable to infection and erosion, and potentially wearing down the enamel on your teeth.
Your enamel acts as a shield for your teeth, without it, you may experience sensitivities and may be more susceptible to cavity formation.
- Chewing Ice
Ice is hard and cold. It’s bad for your teeth because it can lead to chipping or breaking.
Although it feels like your teeth make an easy job of crunching the cubes, it’s a risk that’s not worth taking.
Not to mention, it’s one of the easier dental mistakes to correct.
Can’t resist? Try ordering your drinks without ice to eliminate the temptation.
- Using Your Teeth as a Tool
It’s what separates us from…well, you’ve heard the saying.
Using your teeth as a tool is just a bad idea. And it’s always unnecessary; scissors are never far out of reach–make the extra effort to find them. By avoiding chomping off price tags and tearing open snack bags, you’ll save yourself a lot of potential dental damage. This isn’t limited to new damage. You’re putting previous dental work at risk too.
It’s not worth it!
Ready to start correcting your dental mistakes? Give us a call to schedule your next cleaning today!