Your smile is important and your teeth are a big part of your smile. Keeping them healthy is a priority for many of us. Everyday oral routines are so important when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile. Brushing twice a day, getting regular check-ups with a good dentist and flossing are key factors everyone knows about. Children learn these habits early on from their parents, teachers and dental professionals. But what about other things we don’t often think about that can harm our teeth?
Brushing your teeth every day is the cornerstone for overall oral health. Twice a day, every day we should brush for 2 minutes. This habit helps to break down the plaque that builds up on the surface of teeth and washes away bacteria. It is, however, possible to brush your teeth too hard, causing harm. Using a hard-bristle toothbrush or pressing too hard can lead to loss of enamel and even cause a receding gum line. Without their protective enamel, teeth are more prone to decay and can become sensitive. Receding gums also lead to sensitivity by exposing roots. These roots are then susceptible to possible infection without the protection usually provided by gums. This can lead to periodontal disease which can open the floodgates to many other oral health issues.
How can you avoid these issues you ask? Keep your tooth brushing sessions to 2-3 minutes at the most twice a day. Don’t scrub too hard. Don’t scrub at all actually; massage your teeth, moving the toothbrush with short strokes of light pressure. Be sure to use a soft-bristle toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance on its label. And consider adding mouthwash to get that super fresh breath feeling after brushing.
We’ve all been there. Our hands are full but we have more to carry. Or we need to rip open a package that we can’t tear with our hands. Quickly glancing around for a solution, we opt to use our teeth. This can be a dangerous mistake. Teeth are not meant to withstand heavy pressure, be used as scissors or hold hard items. It may be easier and quicker to use your teeth in these situations, but it can quickly lead to disaster. Cracking or chipping your tooth, injuring your jaw or accidentally swallowing something will be a much bigger hassle in the end. Resist the urge to use your teeth as a tool and your smile will thank you.
The dentists at Foundations of Health Dental Care want your teeth and smile to last a lifetime. Diligent daily oral hygiene habits are essential, but taking care of your smile requires so much more. Should you have a dental accident, need dentures, whitening or other cosmetic dental needs, they can help. Call (816) 233-0142 with questions or concerns and they will walk you through the options available for your situation. Remember, brush lightly and don’t use your teeth as a tool to keep your smile in great shape for a very long time.