Supporting and protecting your smile is about more than simply brushing twice a day. What you do day to day—what, when, and how you eat, for example—will affect your oral health over time. That is why our Novato dentists are talking about daily habits that may actually be detrimental to your dental health. Let’s get started!
Chewing on hard treats
If you are regularly chomping on mints, hard candies, or ice, you may be causing small cracks and chips to develop in your enamel. When they first develop, these imperfections may be so small that they are invisible to the naked eye, but over time these issues will become larger and more severe.
Sipping or snacking all day
Drinking or eating sugary/acidic substances continuously will keep oral bacteria active—feeding and growing—all day long as well. The thing to keep in mind that bacteria are able to fuel up on sugars and refined carbohydrates for about 20 to 30 minutes after you finish eating or drinking. Let’s not give them too much time to thrive!
Using sharp dental tools
Picking at your smile with metal or wooden toothpicks can damage oral tissues and irritate sensitive nerves. If you are looking for a way to refresh your smile throughout the day, our dental team recommends rinsing your mouth with water or using floss instead.
Clenching your jaw
Many of us unconsciously clench our jaws during times of stress, or when we are focusing on something. Unfortunately, this results in tooth-on-tooth contact that will wear away healthy enamel over time. Try to notice times when you are grinding your teeth or tensing your jaw—take a deep breath and relax your maxillofacial structure.
When and how you brush matters. You don’t want to brush your teeth right after you eat or drink something acidic, because your enamel is softer than normal in this period of time. Additionally, make sure that you aren’t using a toothbrush that is too abrasive—most of us will do well with soft-bristled brushes, but you can ask your dental team if you aren’t sure what type of brush is right for you.
By making just a few small tweaks to your regular routine you can greatly improve the way that your smile looks, feels, and functions. Our Novato dentists are here to help if you have any questions or if you need further guidance. Give us a call to get started!