Moms and dads everywhere always seem to be reminding their children, no matter the age, to look after their teeth. And of course, once again, they are right. Taking care of your teeth can allow you to feel proud and want to show-off those pearly whites to everyone in sight, and not only that, it can also help you improve your overall health and, of course, your personal hygiene. It is, therefore, important for us to do as we’re told by our moms, dads and dentists, and look after our teeth! Unfortunately, just relying on brushing on a daily basis doesn’t cut it anymore. Nowadays, due to scientific research and modern discoveries, orthodontists have realized that dental care is much more involved than that. Below are a few tips on what to do and what not to do when it comes to looking after your teeth to ensure that you have a healthy and happy mouth.
1) Brushing too hard
When it comes to success, it is important to find a middle ground, and this is just as true when it comes to brushing teeth. While brushing too softly can’t always get the job done, brushing too hard can bring on negative outcomes. Many believe that really putting some elbow grease when scrubbing their pearly whites is the best way to remove bacteria and tartar build-up, but get ready for this shocker - brushing too hard can harm your enamels, make your gums swell with infection and can even give you cavities! So go easy on them.
2) Teeth grinding
This is a bad habit that many of us do, especially those of us that have a lot of pent up stress. Oftentimes, we do it unconsciously and sometimes even in our sleep! If you are aware of your teeth grinding, do everything in your power to stop yourself from doing it because it can cause teeth and jaw fractures. If you grind your teeth unconsciously or in the night, tips that may help you avoid doing this include wearing a mouth guard while you sleep (protect your teeth), meditating to reduce stress levels (research shows that teeth grinding is a direct result of stress), and doing diaphragmatic breathing exercises before bed and throughout the day to help alleviate stress.
3) Biting your nails
Ah yes, yet another horrible habit. This one is bad for a few reasons. First of all, the millions of germs hiding beneath your nails get into your mouth and add to its overall bacteria. Also, nail biting can cause your teeth to erode and, in a worst case scenario, fall out. So keep those nails away from your mouths ladies and gentlemen. And just in case you haven’t got a clue on how you may accomplish this, well here’s a tip - the best way of cutting out nail biting is by cutting your nails (using a nail clipper of course)!
4) Drinking soda
Sugar is a substance that most of us love very deeply but, sadly for us, our body doesn’t. And this fact is especially true when it comes to our precious teeth. It’s no mystery that sugar causes cavities, and that soda is full of sugar. So the answer to this one is simple - just don’t drink it. And if you do drink it, at least don't let your kids see you doing so. It will help their overall long-term health so much if they grow up knowing (and seeing from mom and dad) that soda is not good for you.
5) Overdoing lemon juice
Although lemons look innocent enough, they can cause havoc in your mouth if you suck on too many of them. Reason being, their acidic levels can harm the enamel surface of your teeth and can eventually result in the corrosion of your teeth. So by all means, enjoy your lemons, but don’t forget that the key here is moderation.
6) Contact sports without mouth guard:
So you like sports? Well, just remember while you are on the field that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. In other words, be sure to put that mouth guard to good use while you are in the game, especially if what you are playing is a contact sport. Doing so can save your teeth from cracking, breaking and/or falling out. Save your teeth and wear a mouth guard.
7) Opening things with your mouth
As convenient as opening things with your mouth may be, it is certainly not recommended. And the reason for it is, we would imagine, rather obvious. Doing this can allow you to chip or break your teeth, as well as cause fractures, which, as a result, can lead to decay. Save yourself time, pain and dental woes by getting up to fetch that opener instead of using your teeth as a kitchen tool.
8) Chewing on ice
The mere thought of doing this sends shivers down my spine, but, truth be told, some people like to chew ice, especially on a hot day after having finished a cold, refreshing cocktail. Word to the wise - don’t do it. It will damage the enamel coating on your teeth and eventually cause them to erode and decay. Instead of chewing on ice, toss it, or better yet, make yourself another drink with it!
In a nutshell
Teeth are nice to have, and that’s a fact. So you must look after them to make sure you can enjoy them for as long as possible. Obviously, brushing them daily is a requirement that will help your dental hygiene. But, consider yourself warned - in order to look after them properly you must do more than just brushing. There are many factors that can harm your teeth and cause them to break or fracture, and as a result, cause infection and decay. Sometimes, depending on how bad the situation is, your teeth need to be extracted, and we all know that this isn’t a pretty sight or a fun affair. Prevention is key when it comes to keeping your mouth happy, and in order to help you look after your teeth we provided you with a list of suggestions on the dos and don’ts in dental care, such as using mouth guards, avoiding acidic or excessively sweet foods, and even chewing on ice, so that you can be all smiles, all the time.