At Reston Serenity Smiles, we’re huge fans of patient education. We’ve certainly discussed which habits you should establish to keep you teeth healthy – brushing, flossing, regular dental exams – but we haven’t addressed which habits you need to break to protect your teeth. The following list contains just a few examples of harmful habits you could stop today.
There is nothing like an ice-cold beverage to beat the summer heat, but the pleasure should come from quenching your thirst, not decimating every last ice cube in your glass. Chewing ice can actually chip, break, or crack your teeth. They also wreak havoc on your dental work. To keep yourself from being tempted to crunch on ice, try drinking through a straw.
Using Your Teeth as a Swiss Army Knife
We’ve all been there; sometimes that pesky bag of chips won’t open. If there aren’t scissors within reach, the easiest thing to do is use your teeth, instead. While opening a bag with your teeth may not seem like a big deal, it’s indicative of a larger problem: using your teeth as a tool. It may seem like a time saver to remove a bottle cap with your teeth, but ultimately it puts you at risk of damaging your smile. If you end up spending hours receiving restorative dental treatments, was it really a time saver?
Piercings are as common as tattoos these days, but if you’re planning to get your tongue, lip, or frenulum (the skin that attaches your upper lip to your gums) pierced, you may want to reconsider. Piercings can chip your teeth and irritate your gums, increasing your chances of tooth loss. Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to infections of the piercing sites. If you’re determined to get that piercing you’ve always wanted, consider meeting with Dr. Kazemifar to assess the risks.
We’re not about to stand between you and your glass of Chardonnay; we just want you to know how it affects your teeth. Wine contains acids that weaken your enamel, making you more susceptible to staining. If you’re drinking red wine, the staining happens as you drink. White wine drinkers are not immune, however. White wine still harms your enamel, so whatever stain-causing food or drink you enjoy later may stay with you long after you finish. To minimize the effects of the acids found in wine, rinse your mouth out with water after you get to the bottom of that wine glass.
Brushing Too Hard
When you scrub your teeth, you damage the enamel and irritate your gumline. A soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste provide all the cleaning power you need when you’re brushing. Use light pressure and move the toothbrush vertically instead of horizontally. Don’t forget to floss to make sure your teeth are truly clean.
Changing these habits today can help you keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime. If you’re worried that you’ve already damaged your teeth by engaging in unhealthy habits, contact Reston Serenity Smiles to schedule an appointment.