5 Dental Habits You Need to Change
Updated: May 21, 2020
Our caring team of experienced dentists local to Geelong understand that unhealthy habits are hard to break, but it is possible. Sometimes just knowing what could go wrong can help you change your current behaviours. The sooner you put an end to harmful dental habits, the safer and healthier you will be.
1. Using Your Teeth as a Tool
Many patients have come to Barwon Heads Dental for a chipped tooth. This is because they used their teeth to open something instead of an actual tool because it feels more convenient at the time. Your front teeth or molars seem more convenient when you want to open an item right now. However, tempted as you may be, please don’t use your teeth! This action is a quick way to crack or chip a tooth, leading to pain and a trip to the dentist for repairs.
Save yourself upset, time, and money by using the right tool in the first place.
2. Chewing on Hard Objects.
Whether it’s a piece of ice or the end of your pen, the pressure from regularly chewing hard objects causes damage to teeth and gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but it can only take so much abuse until it gives way. The soft tissue inside your teeth can become irritated or infected as well. So, the next time you feel the urge to chew, try satisfying it with a stick of sugarless gum or a crunchy apple.
3. Eating Too Much Sugar.
Our previous blog talked about drinks that have lots of sugar in them. Sugar causes tooth decay, yet we can’t get enough of it. Moderation and good preventive oral care is the key to reducing the risks of consuming sugar. Soft drink, juices, sports drinks, and flavoured milk have sugars as well as acids that stay on your teeth. Sticky lollies and snacks are also harmful because they can stick in the grooves of your teeth for longer periods of time. The bacteria in your mouth thrives on sugar, eating away at the surface of your teeth. Eventually, you’ll be dealing with cavities.
4. Brushing Incorrectly.
It’s important to brush your teeth correctly to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Don’t brush your teeth too hard, it can lead to irritated gums and tooth damage. Your toothbrush bristles should always be soft or extra soft. Gently massage your teeth and gums in the morning and evening with a soft toothbrush using a circular action. Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste. Flossing after each brush is a good habit to develop as well because the floss removes what the toothbrush can’t reach.
Brushing too much and too often or too soon after a meal can have negative consequences too. When we eat, our mouths become acidic. The job of our saliva is to buffer and neutralise this acid. Wait at least 30 minutes to allow for natural mineralization of your tooth enamel.
5. Use Tobacco Products
Tobacco products cause major dental problems. Smoking or chewing tobacco leads to bad breath, stained teeth, tooth sensitivity, and gum disease. This habit increases plaque and calculus build up, inflames the salivary glands, and causes serious gum disease. Over time, your odds for developing oral cancer rise drastically. Reduce your chance of serious conditions by committing to quitting today. Contact your doctor, create a plan, and reach out for support. We know this won’t be easy, but the rewards will be worth it.
The Barwon Heads Dental team are proud to care for the locals of the Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast and Geelong. We are open 6 days per week with bookings available via our online booking system or by calling 03 4202-0678. New patients welcome!