Ever since you were a child, you’ve known that you should brush and floss twice a day, and you’ll remember that you ought to visit the dentist twice a year. But what else can you do to keep your teeth healthy? As dentists, we pick up on a couple of simple mistakes people make, and we’re here to provide you with the tips you need to keep your teeth healthy for longer. See if you find any surprises here!
Teeth are Not Tools
While you’re presumably not one of the people who opens beer bottles with your teeth, you may be tempted to use them to snap sticky-tape or to quickly pull off a half-broken fingernail – whatever the reason (other than chewing) you’re using your teeth as tools, it’s time to stop. Save your teeth for the task they’re meant to do: chewing food!
But not all the foods you can chew are without risk to your teeth, which brings us to the next point.
Beware of Crunchy and Sticky
Sticky toffees, super-crunchy crackling, and (heaven forbid) ice aren’t safe to chew. We see countless patients every year who broke their teeth or accidentally pulled out one of their own fillings with super-sticky or crunchy foods. And if you really like ice, suck it rather than chewing it! Biting into ice cubes is a great way to break or crack your teeth. Just because you got away with it up till now doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk of damaging your pearly whites.
Don’t Drink Directly Out of Glass Bottles
Drinking direct from the bottle might seem like the easiest way to go when you’re camping, fishing, or on the road – but glass bottles can easily slip back against the front teeth causing chips or cracks. Yes, we can mend teeth easily enough, but a whole tooth that has never been capped, crowned, or veneered will always be stronger and healthier than a tooth that’s undergone repair.
Don’t Use Home Remedies or Over-the Counter Products to Whiten Teeth
White teeth look great and we can hep you to whiten them safely, but home remedies for tooth whitening are a no-no. For example, you’ll read about using bicarb or even crushed strawberries to whiten teeth. But even crushed strawberries can damage your teeth. The whitening effect comes from eating away your tooth enamel. And since your tooth enamel protects your teeth, keeping them healthy means keeping that enamel intact.
Wear A Mouthguard If….
If you like playing contact sport, be aware that “contact” could mean a collision in which your mouth takes much of the impact. Wear a good mouthguard during play and practice. Special mouthguards are also made for people who tend to grind their teeth at night. This habit wears down tooth enamel and cause teeth to crack or crumble away. Your dentist can fit a special mouthguard that’s unobtrusive enough to sleep in but protects your teeth from harm.
Talk to Your Dentist
Just talking to your dentist can help you to learn good habits that keep your teeth healthy. Does it look like you’re brushing properly? Does your dentist recommend any dietary changes to keep your teeth healthy for longer? Although dentists are great at repairing damage to teeth, we prefer to help our patients keep their teeth strong and healthy.
Absolutely no Pain
Nowadays, most dental procedures can be carried out with very little pain or discomfort to the patient. However, for those with a low pain threshold, what would normally mean only slight discomfort can translate into a great deal of pain.
Sedation damps down the neural signals that tell us we are in pain, allowing patients to experience truly pain-free dentistry no matter how sensitive to pain they might otherwise be.