Are You Ruining Your Teeth with These Bad Habits?

Are You Ruining Your Teeth with These Bad Habits, dental car, tooth decay, gum erosion, and even permanent tooth loss

You take pride in your smile and love to show it off. But taking care of your teeth means being aware of and breaking bad habits that could lead to tooth decay, gum erosion, and even permanent tooth loss.

At Soft Touch Dentistry in Sacramento, California, Dr. Owyoung and our hygienists want you to keep your beautiful smile for the rest of your life. Here are a few habits they’d like you and your family to break — before your teeth do:

Chewing ice and other weird stuff

Sure, ice is just water in a different form, but that form wreaks havoc on your teeth when you bite into it. You can actually crack a tooth from chewing something as hard as ice. Extreme cold (like extreme heat) raises your risk for developing tooth sensitivity, too.

Don’t chew on any non-food item — like pens, straws, fingernails — and use your molars to bite down on carrots and other hard foods to minimize your risk of chipping or breaking a front tooth. Never use your teeth as a tool by biting open a package or twisting off bottle cap.

Piercing your tongue or lips

A tongue or lip stud knocks against your teeth, damaging and cracking the enamel.  The studs can rub against your tender gums, too, creating pain, infection, and erosion that could lead to tooth loss. Talk to Dr. Owyoung about how to sport the latest fashions safely.

Indulging that sweet tooth

Whether you like candy or soda, or even use cough drops when you’re feeling a bit unwell, eating or drinking sugar puts you at increased risk for developing cavities. Sugars turn into acid. The acid eats through your tooth enamel, creating channels that allow bacteria to travel into and infect the sensitive pulp of your teeth.

Even so-called healthy sugars are bad for your teeth. Avoid or limit the following foods, and be sure to rinse well with water afterward if you do indulge so that your teeth aren’t bathed in sugar for any length of time.

Chewy candies or lozenges that remain in your mouth or on your teeth for long periods of time are especially bad for your teeth.

Snacking and night eating

Even if you avoid sugar, starchy snacks like potato chips also turn into acids that erode your teeth. Rinse your mouth and clean between your teeth if you can’t brush.

Constantly eating or eating at night also gives acids and bacteria eight hours or more to erode your enamel. Try to time your meals so you can brush afterwards. Don’t eat a midnight snack without brushing your teeth afterward

Brushing too much

What? The adults in your childhood — from parents to dentists to teachers — indoctrinated you on the importance of brushing your teeth thoroughly and often to keep them clean and cavity free. They were right, of course, but brushing your teeth too often, too aggressively, or with too hard a brush wears down the protective enamel on your teeth and harms your gums, too.

There’s a reason why we call ourselves “Soft Touch” Dentistry. When it comes to your teeth and gums, you have to be vigilant about cleanliness, but gentle, too. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently sweep your teeth clean no more than three times a day.

Forgetting the mouth guard

Whether you play sports where you could get hit in the mouth (think high-speed balls, bats, and racquets) or have the (mostly unconscious) tooth-grinding habit known as bruxism, a mouth guard or night guard protects your teeth. If you don’t wear a mouth guard, you’re at risk for broken and chipped teeth or getting a tooth or teeth completely knocked out. If you grind your teeth at night and don’t wear a protective night guard, you’ll end up with flat molars, and possible jaw pain and alignment problems.

When you come in for your annual checkup, Dr. Owyoung checks for signs of bruxism. He custom designs a night guard to keep your teeth safe. If you play sports, ask about a custom-designed mouth guard, too.

Neglecting the dentist

In addition to gently brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, visiting Soft Touch Dentistry twice a year ensures you get a thorough, professional cleaning and examination that identifies any oral health problems as soon as possible. Phone our office to book your biannual appointment or click the online button to get in contact with us.

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