There are many habits that can hurt your teeth but with proper oral hygiene, a balanced diet and regular visits to the dentist and hygienist you should be able to keep your teeth in top condition.
1. Over Eating Sugary Food and Drinks
Yes, we all know that soft drink, biscuits and lollies are bad for our teeth. They are the foods dentist harp on about all the time but did you realise that sore throat lozenges and sports drinks can be high in sugar? There are many foods with hidden sugars in them so check the ingredients on the packet to stay informed. You can rinse your teeth with water after consuming high sugar foods to help remove the sugar and make sure you use a toothpaste recommended by your dentist but the best way to care for your teeth is to keep the sugary snacks to a minimum.
2. Lack of Water
Skip the soft drink, sports drinks and fruit juices if you want to avoid cavities. Water is the best way to hydrate your body and your mouth. If your mouth is dry it is the perfect environment for the bacteria which cause cavities. Stick to tap water instead of bottled water as many cities in Australia have fluoride in the water which can help to guard against cavities.
3. Biting Your Nails
Stop chewing on those fingernails! It is a very common cause of chipping your teeth. It can also cause discomfort in the jaw. If you need help try one of the bitter tasting nail polishes available at most chemists.
4. Brushing Heavily
Brushing your teeth too heavily can thin the enamel on your teeth which protects them. This will make it easier for cavities to form. It can also cause the gums to recede. Talk to your dentist or hygienist about the correct way to brush.
5. Consuming Acidic Food or Drinks
Acidic foods such as fruit juice and citrus fruits can thin the enamel on your teeth and leave them vulnerable to cavities. Some citrus sparkling waters and salad dressings can also be a problem.
6. Neglecting Baby Teeth
Never neglect baby teeth. Some parents think that they will fall out and be replaced but caring for the baby teeth is the training ground children have for good oral health. Children who have bad oral health while they have baby teeth generally grow up to have bad oral health as an adult. Also, baby teeth that are pulled out too early may not leave enough space for the adult teeth to grow correctly or can shift other teeth which will mean the child is more likely to eventually require braces.
7. Thumb Sucking
This can be a real problem once the permanent teeth come in. Thumb sucking forces the teeth to move or spread apart. It can be a hard habit for a child to break. Read our blog article “Thumb Sucking and Oral Health“ for more information and advice.
Unless you have been living under a rock you will be very aware of the serious dangers smoking has on your health but there are specific issues when it comes to oral health. Oral cancer is the big one and smoking will dramatically increase your risk. The chemicals in tobacco can stain and discolour your teeth. Plaque and bacteria will also increase in your mouth which can lead to the most common reason for tooth loss…gum disease. Lastly, it causes bad breath. If you do smoke the best thing you can do for your teeth is quit.