Did you know that a lot of little things you do (or don't do) on a day-to-day basis affect your teeth's well-being and may fall under a list of bad oral habits? These include not brushing or flossing enough, eating too many sweets too often, or even using your teeth to open a bag of chips.
Break the Bad Oral Care Habit
Bad oral habits die hard, but they can be killed with better practices. Experts suggest the following tips:
Floss at least once a day. It helps remove bits of food and dental plaque in places your toothbrush can't find, helping to keep your gums healthy.
Brush after every meal, or at least twice a day. If brushing is not an option, chew sugarless gum (make sure it's sugarless!) for 20 minutes after a meal or snack to help wash out food and acid by increasing saliva production. This helps prevent tooth decay.
Clean your tongue with every brushing, either with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Bacteria that settle on your tongue can cause bad breath, also known as halitosis.
Replace your toothbrush regularly. Bristles in your toothbrush that are bent and broken don't do a good job cleaning your teeth anymore and are clear signs to let your old toothbrush graduate.
Eat a balanced diet. Snacking on sweets too often without brushing increases the acid in your mouth, giving you a higher risk of developing tooth decay. Munch on vegetables and fruit instead.
Regular Dental Visits. Your dentist is trained to do damage control in your mouth before it's too late. You should visit the dentist regularly -- every six months.
Avoid using your teeth as tools. It has the same effect as chewing on hard objects like pencils and ice cubes - it can cause chipped or cracked teeth. You don't live in the Stone Age, so there's really no excuse to use your teeth to open a bottle of beer - the bottle opener was made for that. Tools are easier to replace than your teeth, which were really meant to last you a lifetime.
Adding these to your list one at a time is a good start to kick those bad oral habits. By doing a little self-check on your daily dental care habits, you can be on your way to making sure your teeth, your mouth's health and your overall health are at their best.
If you're looking for a dentist in your area, we can help you find one.