Your teeth are made of enamel, which is the hardest substance in the body. Nonetheless, it’s not indestructible, and you should do everything possible to protect it. Your dentist can give you some tips on how to avoid damaging your teeth.
Of course, the most important steps that you can take to preserve the integrity of your teeth is to practice good daily oral hygiene at home and visit your family dentistry practice twice a year for checkups and cleanings.
Top Five Smile Don’ts That Can Harm Your Teeth
Your dentist will caution you against any actions that can damage your teeth. In particular, patients should avoid:
- Using teeth as tools
- Chewing on non-food objects (such as pencils or fingernails)
- Using tobacco
- Consuming excessive sugar
- Using poor oral hygiene techniques
The dangers of these actions can harm the teeth in different ways. For example, using the teeth as tools can increase the risk of breaking them, while tobacco use is associated with inflammation and oral diseases. Harmful cavity-causing oral bacteria can feed on excess sugar residue.
If you want to minimize the care you’ll need from your family dentistry practice for issues like cracked or chipped teeth or tooth decay, it’s important to follow this advice.
Maintaining Your Teeth in Optimal Condition
In addition to avoiding the don’ts listed above, you can take steps to be proactive in safeguarding your oral health, including keeping your teeth in optimal condition. A robust daily oral hygiene routine is the foundation of these efforts and should include:
- Brushing two times a day, for two minutes each session, using a brush that is no more than three months old
- Fluoridated toothpaste with an ADA seal of approval
- Daily flossing, using floss threaders to navigate appliances when necessary
Some patients who are prone to the accumulation of oral bacteria may also want to add an anti-bacterial mouthwash as an extra measure to boost oral health.
Your home oral hygiene habits are only one part of the equation, though. The other is adequate professional care, which includes semiannual cleanings by a dental hygienist at a family dentistry practice, along with exams by a dentist.
Such professional care helps to keep your teeth as clean as possible and gives you the best chance of having any oral diseases diagnosed and treated early before they can do extensive damage. If it’s been more than six months since your last checkup, call the office of Dr. John Morris today to schedule and get back on track.