If you are like many of Dr. Jerry Strauss’s New Jersey dentistry patients, you are likely very familiar with the cornerstones of good oral hygiene: brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist at least once a year for a check-up. But what you may not know is the daily habits that can possibly hurt your teeth. Dr. Strauss reveals those habits here.
Do you chew on ice cubes to mimic the feeling of eating without the calories? Ice cubes are incredibly hard — sometimes stronger than your teeth — and can break or fracture the teeth. Keep in mind that even blenders have special blades to crush ice, so “cool it” on the crunching.
Clenching Your Teeth
Clenching or grinding your teeth due to stress or a nervous habit is dangerous to the integrity of your teeth. Continually grinding or clenching could cause micro fractures or actual fractures or other structural damage. If you are aware that you grind or clench, inquire about a nighttime mouth guard to protect your teeth. Also, try to address the stress or anxiety that is causing you to clench or grind.
Nicotine is terrible for the health and appearance of your teeth. Not only does smoking yellow the teeth, it can also lead to oral cancer and other dental problems. Chewing tobacco comes into contact with the gums and soft tissues of the mouth and should be avoided.
Brushing Too Vigorously
Brushing your teeth too hard can wear down tooth enamel and irritate the gums. It can also lead to tooth sensitivity and possibly even cavities. One way to circumvent the problem of brushing too hard is to look for a toothbrush with the American Dental Association mark that indicates the bristles are firm enough (but not too firm).
Playing Sports without a Mouth Guard
Certain contact sports like football and rugby put you at risk of sustaining a sudden blow or trauma that breaks the teeth or even causes them to fall out. If you aren’t wearing a mouth guard during practice or a game, you should pick one up at a sporting goods store or have your dentist fit you for a custom device.
For more information about keeping your teeth and gums in optimal health, please contact Dr. Jerry Strauss at Aesthetic Dental Care of New Jersey by calling us or sending us an email.