Part of good dental health is proper prevention. Patients should avoid these bad habits to maintain a healthy smile.

Smoking and Using Smokeless Tobacco

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Smoking and the use of chewing tobacco can cause serious health issues, including lung disease and heart disease. Tobacco causes bad breath, stained teeth, loss of taste and smell, mouth (canker) sores, failure of dental implants, severe gum disease and oral cancer. Avoid smoking to protect your teeth and gums.

Sugary drinks

Harmful oral bacteria feed on the sugars you eat to create acids that destroy the tooth enamel. Sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay and carbonated drinks can make acidic enamel erosion more likely. Limit your intake of high sugar drinks such as soda and sports drinks. The acid and sugar in these kinds of drinks remains on your teeth and eat away at your enamel.

Snacking on Junk Food

The carbohydrates and sugars in junk food, and candies can wreak havoc on your teeth. Watch what you’re eating. Try to get rid of any food particles and sugars on your teeth as quickly as possible. Your best bet is to sip on water while snacking. This will wash away any food particles and sugars stuck on and in between the surfaces of your teeth.

Biting Your Fingernails

Nail biting may cause your teeth to shift out of their proper position, become misshapen, wear down prematurely, and become weakened. Also, chewing on hard fingernails can cause chips in your teeth.

Chewing ice

Chewing ice is a seemingly harmless, but ice chewing can cause permanent damage to your teeth. It can cause small cracks in the enamel, and can grow larger over time ultimately cause a tooth to fracture, requiring a visit to the dentist and unnecessary expense to get the cracks fixed.

Skipping on brushing twice a day

Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important part of your dental care routine. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush for two minutes. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. Make sure the bristles cover each tooth and work their way around the sides of the tooth. Allow the bristles of the toothbrush to find their way into the spaces between your teeth. This will ensure that food particles and plaque are removed.

Not Flossing Regularly

There are five surfaces on each tooth. Only three can be cleaned with a brush. A brush can clean the front, back and top or bottom of the tooth, but cannot clean sides of the tooth, that are adjacent to other teeth.

Flossing is a preventative approach for two reasons. One, it helps prevent tooth decay caused by the presence of acid-producing bacterial biofilm between teeth. Two, it prevents gingivitis originating from an immune system-mediated inflammatory response to the bacterial biofilm between teeth.

Skipping regular check ups

Visit the dentist twice a year for regular checkups. Even with a diligent oral health routine, regular checkups with a dental professional are still important. Dentist watch for early signs of decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or other dental problems. Regular teeth cleanings rids your teeth of calcified plaque, called calculus or tartar, that can build up.

Our team has years of experience and will provide you with their expert advice and care. Contact us today for an appointment at 813-855-4269. We are here to help you have a healthy smile for life.