Caring for your smile can go well beyond your daily brushing and flossing routine. Many of the things we do, without even thinking about them, every day affect dental health. In this article our Troy dental team is reviewing five habits that may hurt your teeth or gums. Let’s get started!
Chomping on ice
Things like ice, hard candies, and mints are simply too hard to chew on; doing so will create small cracks and chips in your enamel. At first, this damage may be too small to see with the naked eye. However, over time this damage can compound and become more severe. Additionally, these weak spots in your enamel are prone to collecting plaque, discoloration, and tartar.
Sipping on beverages all day long
When we are talking about being mindful about consuming beverages, we are basically talking about all drinks other than plain water. Many of our favorite drinks are loaded with sugars, acids, and staining substances. Sipping on anything other than water continuously can weaken your enamel, contribute to the development of oral infections, and stain your smile.
Using pointy toothpicks
Both wooden and metal toothpicks are too invasive for regular use. The pointy ends of these instruments can irritate oral tissue, cause small cuts on your gums, and even irritate dental nerves. Our Troy dentists strongly encourage you to reach for floss, rather than toothpicks, when you need to clear away dental debris or food particles.
Many types of gum contain sugar, which ramps up bacterial production in your mouth. And, since gum is sticky and chewy, it can get caught in hard-to-reach spots in your smile. Another potential problem with chewing gum is that it puts a great deal of strain on your temporomandibular joints, and it is often linked to TMJ dysfunction, especially jaw locking.
Stay alert for signs that you are grinding or clenching your teeth during the day. For many of us, this behavior pops up when we are feeling stressed, uncomfortable, or anxious. Some patients deal with more chronic dental grinding because their bites are poorly aligned. Either way, you want to seek treatment for dental grinding, because it will wear down your teeth and damage your temporomandibular joints.
If you think that you may have developed some of these harmful habits, our Troy dentists are here to help you get your smile back on track. The easiest way to get started is to contact our team for a personal consultation and oral health assessment.