Most people have at least one bad habit that may cause problems for their oral health. You probably can think of something you could do to keep your teeth and gums healthier, and there likely are a few additional aspects you could improve on. These might include changes to your oral hygiene routine, ways you actually use your teeth and certain other behaviors.
Not Flossing Often Enough
Dentists want their patients to floss every day to keep their gums healthy, but it's one of those activities that's easy to avoid. If you don't floss at least once a day now, make a commitment to doing so from now on. Put the floss container next to your toothbrush so you don't forget.
Brushing Too Often and Too Vigorously
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you're brushing more than three times a day every day, that may be too much. This is especially the case if you use a hard-bristled toothbrush and brush too vigorously. Brushing too often can cause your gums to recede, and brushing too forcefully can wear down tooth enamel.
Dentists recommend using a soft-bristled brush; if this just doesn't feel like it cleans well enough, at least switch from hard to medium bristles.
Chewing on Ice and Hard Foods
Chewing on ice may feel pleasant, but it can crack teeth. The freezing temperature and the amount of pressure you use to crunch are too stressful for your teeth.
Crunching on popcorn that didn't pop is another problematic behavior. Known as old maids, the kernels that didn't pop have an enjoyable roasted flavor, but they are too hard to chew without the risk of cracking tooth enamel.
Hard candy is another culprit for breaking teeth. This type of candy is meant to slowly dissolve in your mouth, not to be crunched on.
Chewing Non-Food Items
It's something many people do without thinking about it. They chew on their fingernails, a pen cap or an end of their eyeglasses. As with ice, the pressure you apply to chew on these objects can damage teeth. In addition, when a fingernail or another smooth item slips from between your teeth, your teeth bang against each other and can chip.
Routinely Sipping Carbonated Beverages
Even sugar-free carbonated soft drinks can erode tooth enamel because of the acidity. Dentists advise patients to rinse with water after drinking these types of beverages, but what about people who sip on soft drinks all day long? They are essentially keeping their teeth in an acid bath -- or a sugar-acid bath -- for hours on end. If this describes you, it's time to break that habit.
Eating Fruit or Drinking Fruit Juice Throughout the Day
Fruit and fruit juice contain a substantial amount of sugar in the form of fructose. Although drinking juice is technically healthier than drinking sugary soft drinks, it still can cause problems with teeth if you sip on it all day long.
Using Your Teeth as Scissors
Admit it -- at least once or twice, you've attempted to break the plastic thread adhering a price tag to an object; you didn't want to bother finding a scissors. You can chip or break your teeth while doing this. Keep a few pairs of scissors in handy places so finding one doesn't feel like a chore.
If you become more dedicated to maintaining and even improving your oral health, giving up these bad habits will be an important part of your strategy. The next time you go in for a routine dental checkup and professional teeth cleaning at a company like http://www.familydentalcentertn.com, you might even mention to the hygienist and the dentist the changes you've made. Then you can receive your deserved praise.