Secret to Having Great Teeth

Below are some tips on how to keep your pearly whites just that: white and pearly. 

We all have bad habits that we may not even have been aware are harming our teeth. There is the obvious tip to brush at least two times per day, and avoid sugar, but there are actually many things you can do to keep your smile beautiful, or to prevent damage to your teeth and gums  in the first place.

Use Your Hands, not your Teeth!

Using your teeth to open bottles or to chew objects that are not food can dull or even crack your teeth. Avoid chewing your pen at work or school, and say no to crunching down on ice or unpopped popcorn kernels. Make sure to use the right tool for the job, including a nut cracker for nut shells, and nail clippers to trim your nails instead of using your teeth.

No Milk at Bedtime

Although comforting to your child, a bottle of milk at bedtime can spell disaster for developing teeth. When in contact with your child’s teeth for extended periods of time (overnight), milk, formula and juice can cause severe tooth decay resulting in what is called ‘bottle rot’. Try to only give your child water when they are going down for a nap or sleep.

Thumb Sucking is a No-No

It is true that some adults suck their thumbs, but it is well known that children often do as well. Sucking your thumb will move your teeth out of their natural alignment. Pacifiers and bottles can do the same to children over the age of two as well.

Say ‘No’ to Tobacco

Cosmetically speaking, chewing or smoking tobacco will discolor and weaken your teeth. It can also lead to periodontal disease as well as oral cancer. Ask your doctor about nicotine alternatives.

Always Brush Before Bed

Don’t go to sleep without first brushing and flossing! Think of all the food you ate during the day, the remnants of which could reside below your gumline and between your teeth. Leaving this overnight will expose your teeth to plaque for extended periods of time making you vulnerable to gingivitis. If you are able to remove plaque within 24 hours, it doesn’t have enough time to produce enough acid to harm your teeth.

Avoid OTC Whitening Products

Always ask your Dentist before purchasing and using over-the-counter tooth whitening products. These products may not be regulated in the same way that in-office products are, as they are considered cosmetic. There is no guarantee that they are safe or effective for your teeth. Whitening is not for everyone either, so make to bring up whitening at your next dental checkup.

Sugary Candy

Avoid chewing on hard candy or sugary gum throughout the day unless it is sugar-free. Extended exposure to sugary, sticky substances can cause decay and a trip to the dentist. Stick to sugar-free options instead. Bonus points if they contain xylitol, which can help prevent cavities and strengthen enamel.

Wear what is prescribed by your Dentist

If you have gone through the time and effort (and expense) of having braces or orthodontic treatment, wear your retainer! If you don’t wear your retainer, your teeth may relapse, and begin to move back to their original position. Alternately, if you tend to grind or clench your teeth at night and have been prescribed a night guard, wear it! Not wearing your night guard can cause extra strain on your bite and your jaw joint (temporomandibular joint). Not wearing your night guard can risk cracking or chipping your natural and artificial crowns. Neglecting your dentist’s advice in this way can void the warranty of some restorative work.

Don’t Share Your Toothbrush

Every person’s mouth has its own balance of good and bad bacteria. Using someone else’s toothbrush can harm your mouth by exposing you to bacteria that your body is not used to.

Say No to Tongue Piercings

Getting your tongue pierced can be detrimental to your dental health. It can cause excessive drooling, infection, and swelling. Cosmetically, a tongue piercing can chip your teeth. In extreme cases, the device can cause enough trauma over time to cause the lower front teeth to fall out.

Posted on by Dr. Ashnaei in Blog

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