6 Habits That Can Ruin Your Smile
When it comes to losing teeth there are two real reasons why it happens: gum disease and tooth decay. But those two big baddies of the dental world get a lot of help from your habits and lifestyle choices. There are things you do every day that slowly take a toll on your oral health – some of them you may not even realize!
At New Albany Implants we specialize in the restoration of lost teeth, but that doesn’t mean we want to see healthy mouths ruined! The best way to avoid ending up with lost teeth is to watch out for these bad habits and to start practicing some good ones – like making an appointment to see us today!
Too Much Sugar
That’s an obvious one, right? Sure sugar ruins your teeth, but it doesn’t do it alone! Sugar is metabolized by your oral bacteria and turned into acids that erode your teeth. Over time that erosion leads to decay, toothache, and infection.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush twice a day, floss every evening, and get a cleaning and exam every six months. By being diligent about your oral health you can easily fight off most cavities and minimize your chances for serious trouble.
Brushing Too Soon After Eating
Brushing your teeth is good for you, right? Not always! The acid attack we mentioned above goes on for about a half an hour after you eat. During that window, and for a little while after it, your teeth are softened by that acid – that’s how they wear your enamel away.
If you take a brush to your teeth within an hour of eating – even gently – there’s a good chance you’re going to scratch or scrape enamel away. Over time this can lead to even greater chances of developing cavities – you’re simply helping that bacteria along!
Excessive Tooth Whitening
We all want to look good, and our smiles are an important part of that. In fact, nearly 50 percent of people say that the smile is the first thing they notice about a person. If that’s the case you probably want a white, bright one, but don’t overdo it!
Excessive teeth whitening doesn’t just leave you looking unnaturally white, it also causes sensitivity and can weaken your teeth. If you’re not sure what “excessive” means for your teeth just ask us next time we see you – it can vary from person to person.
If you don’t drink enough water – and we mean water here, not sugary substitutes – you’re taking serious risks with your teeth. Your mouth needs moisture to stay healthy – your saliva is actually a big component of a healthy mouth. Saliva rinses away bacteria, food particles, and acids to prevent decay, and without it the environment is ripe for tooth decay.
The feeling you get when you have a dry mouth isn’t just due to it being dry – it’s due to an excess of bacteria, microscopic food particles, and acids – not exactly a pleasant thought! Make sure you’re getting your recommended intake of water every day!
An old brush is a dirty brush, no matter how innocent it looks. Not only is your toothbrush collecting all the bacteria from your mouth, but it’s sitting out in the air the rest of the day. We all know our bathrooms aren’t the cleanest rooms in the house, and all that gunk that’s floating around is sharing the air with the brush that goes in your mouth twice a day!
A dirty toothbrush can cause infections, make you sick, and endanger your teeth – don’t keep it around for more than three or four months before replacing it. Some brushes come with wear indicators and other gimmicks, but don’t trust those – just keep track of when it’s time to buy a new brush.
Not Seeing The Dentist
Even if none of those bad habits ring true for you there might be one that you’re a bit neglectful about: making regular six month appointments for a cleaning and exam. It’s essential that we have a chance to examine your mouth and remove hard-to-reach bacteria, otherwise you’ll end up with problems no matter how well you take care of yourself.