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 to maintain a healthy smile. Brushing twice daily, 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 too hard
Brushing your teeth every day is the cornerstone for overall oral health. Twice a day, every day, 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 possible to brush your teeth too hard, causing harm to your teeth and gums. 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 other oral health issues.
How can you avoid these issues? Keep your tooth brushing sessions to 2-3 minutes twice a day. Don’t scrub too hard. Don’t scrub at all; 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.
Using your teeth as tools
We’ve all been there. Our hands are full, and we have more to carry. We must rip open a package 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. Using your teeth in these situations may be easier and quicker, but it can quickly lead to disaster. Cracking or chipping your tooth, injuring your jaw, or accidentally swallowing something could result in a much bigger problem. Resist the urge to use your teeth as a tool, benefitting your oral health.
Keep on Smiling
The Foundations of Health Dental Care dentists want your teeth to last a lifetime. Diligent daily oral hygiene habits are essential, but taking care of your oral health requires much more. Should you have a dental accident or need dentures, whitening, or other cosmetic dental needs, they can help. Call (816) 233-0142 with questions or concerns, and your dentist will walk you through the options available for your situation. Remember, brush lightly, and don’t use your teeth as a tool!
This article was originally published in April 2017 and has been recently updated.