Just because you brush your teeth and floss twice a day in addition to visiting your dentist for regular check-ups, it doesn't guarantee that you will enjoy great oral health for life. Did you know that you could unwittingly be doing things on a daily basis that could jeopardise all your hard work?
Here are six things that you can do that inflict damage on your teeth and ways in which you can stop doing them.
1. Using a Very Hard Toothbrush
Rock hard toothbrushes are best kept for cleaning the tile grout around your sink. A very hard brush can cause damage to tooth enamel and could also cause your gums to recede.
Bin the hard brush and replace it with a soft-bristled version.
2. Brushing Your Teeth Too Much
You can have too much of a good thing, including brushing your teeth. Brushing too hard and for too long can damage your tooth enamel and irritate your gums.
Just brush for a couple of minutes twice a day to remove the plaque build-up from your teeth. You should also avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating, as the residual acidity in your mouth can erode the enamel on your teeth. Instead, just rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouth wash.
3. Biting Your Fingernails
Biting your fingernails can exert unnatural bite forces on your teeth, especially if you use the tips of your teeth for nibbling. This constant force eventually causes chipping and cracking.
Try chewing sugar-free gum or applying a suitable chewing deterrent product to your fingernails to save your teeth.
4. Crunching on Ice Cubes
Although munching on the ice cubes in your drink can be deliciously cooling on a hot day, it's extremely bad for your teeth. The force required to break ice cubes can break teeth and cause problems with the ligaments in your jaw too.
Remove the temptation to crunch by substituting ice for re-useable cubes that aren't edible!
5. Using Your Teeth for Opening Packages
Using your teeth to rip labels off clothing, opening packets of crisps or even unscrewing tight bottle tops will cause chips and cracks.
Invest in a pair of scissors. If you can't get your bottle of pop open, try firmly tapping the top of the bottle on the floor a couple of times. This releases the vacuum that's preventing you from opening the bottle and the bottle top will come off easily.
6. Failing to Keep Your Mouth Moist
The saliva in your mouth is very important for neutralising acidity that could damage your tooth enamel. If your mouth is continually dry, your tooth enamel could erode, leading to cavities. A dry mouth also predisposes you to bad breath.
Keep your mouth moist by sipping water during the day and chewing sugar-free gum to keep those juices flowing.
You can save your smile by avoiding doing the activities listed above. For more advice and guidance on how to keep your mouth and teeth in good condition, have a chat with your dentist.