The benefits of a good dental health are many. A gleaming, white smile, fresh breath and a healthy set of teeth and gums not only makes each person more attractive, it also boosts confidence and plays a significant role in the health of the entire body. Even though most people want to experience the benefits of great dental health, many of the actions they unwittingly take each day undermines their progress. If you are serious about enjoying better dental health, breaking the following bad habits can get you off to a great start.
Piercings Gone Wrong
Tongue and lip piercings are popular today, but this popularity is also causing a rise in some rather uncomfortable dental complaints, such as:
- Gum and tooth damage from the metal rubbing against the teeth and gums
- Infection issues from bacterial growth related to unsanitary piercing procedures or care practices
- Cracked and broken teeth that occur when someone unexpectedly bites down on their piercing
Helpful Tip: To avoid these issues, locate any desired piercings in other areas, well away from the lips, tongue and mouth. In addition, make sure that piercings are only done by competent professionals who follow all applicable health and safety protocols.
People are known to put an amazing assortment of things into their mouths, many of which are not good for their oral health. If you are serious about good dental health, make sure you break the habit of nibbling on the following items:
- Crushed and cubed ice is a popular nibble for many because it is cooling and calorie-free. However, partaking in this habit will greatly increase your risk of cracking or chipping a tooth and irritating your gums
- Pencils, pens, hair pins and toothpicks can also damage the enamel of the tooth or them to crack or break
Helpful Tip: Keep mint flavored sugarless gum in your pocket, desk drawer or purse and opt to chew that instead of putting ice or stray items into your mouth. The chewing action will increase the amount of healthy saliva in the mouth, while the minty taste will offer a welcome substitute for the ice.
Teeth are Not Tools
Similar to the nibbler is the person who risks their oral health by insisting on using their teeth as handy cutting and gripping tools. This habit can not only cause tooth and gum damage, it can also result in accidental swallowing of foreign objects. Are you guilty of using your teeth as tools in any of the following ways:
- Opening envelopes
- Tearing off the corners of plastic bags and snack wrappers
- Holding nails, straight pins or other items
- Attempting to loosen beverage caps with the teeth
Helpful Tip: Keep letter and bottle openers near where you open mail or uncap beverage or water bottles and make sure you use them instead of your teeth. Also, consider carrying a small folding pocket knife for slitting plastic bags open or slicing off the corners of bags and wrappers and use nail pouches and pin cushions to hold nails and pins when working.
Beware the Munchies
Late night snacking provides favorable conditions for the formation of plaque, especially when the snacks are starchy, such as these favorites:
- Chips, crackers and pretzels
- Nuts and popcorn with sugary coatings or glazes
- Chewy candies such as licorice, candy corn and chocolates
- Juices and sugary sodas
Helpful Tip: Enjoy small amounts of these foods and then immediately pause the movie or game and take the time to brush and floss within 20 minutes of finishing the snack. When attending a party or going to a movie theater, carry a travel tooth brush and dental floss in your pocket or bag and take a moment to use them.
Following the advice of your general dentistry professional, like one from Valley Oak Dental Group Inc, as well as changing any habits you may have that may be endangering your dental health is the best way to ensure that your beautiful smile will last as long as you do.