In this post from the Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, we’re going to review some things you should absolutely avoid in order to protect your teeth, and maintain good dental health.
We have identified eleven things:
1. Chewing on hard foods
We’re looking at you beef jerky and hard candy.
2. Chewing on hard items
This includes fingernails, pencils, pen caps, and ice.
3. Grinding your teeth
If you grind your teeth, discuss it with your dentist. An appliance can safeguard your smile.
4. Eating too much sticky food
Gummy candy, dried fruit, and even protein bars can crack teeth.
5. Drinking anything besides water frequently
If your teeth are bathed in soda (sugared or diet), juice, coffee, or sports drinks constantly, you are asking for dental issues.
6. Playing sports without a mouthguard
Sports pose a major risk of tooth damage. Most children are required to wear a protective mouthguard on the playing field. But fewer adults wear mouthguards for recreational activities like mountain biking and skiing. Stock types are ready-made and rarely fit well. Custom-fitted mouthguards from your dentist are more comfortable than the cheap boil-and-bite type.
7. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush
A hard-bristled tooth brush can break teeth and cause gums to pull away. Scrub away food bits and plaque with a soft (or extra-soft) toothbrush.
8. Ignoring dry mouth
Saliva is important. This helps to rinse food particles from your mouth as well as neutralize the acids that cause plaque. It also helps clean the teeth of leftover food bits, helping to prevent plaque buildup. Constant dry mouth, or xerostomia, can lead to tooth decay. Talk to your dentist if you have dry mouth frequently.
9. Using teeth as tools
Use scissors to open a string cheese or pry the lid of a medicine bottle. Use a nutcracker if you are eating unshelled nuts. A quality dental crown can cost over eight hundred dollars.
10. Ignoring bad breath
Bad breath is often related to bacteria build-up in the mouth. It might be a symptom of accelerating tooth decay. Discuss it with your dentist. (Don’t be embarrassed. We treat bad breath all the time.)
11. Ignoring jaw pain
If you suffer from jaw pain or notice a clicking sound, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist promptly! These symptoms can be signs of a serious condition called temporomandibular disorder or TMD.
At the Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, we want each and every one of our patients to enjoy a lifetime of good dental health. We offer comprehensive family dentistry, can improve your smile with clear braces from Invisalign, and many other dental services. Schedule your next appointment with us today!