While most people aren’t excited about going to the dentist, have you ever stopped to think that maybe there are some things that your dentist isn’t very excited about either? Most of us do have the occasional slip when it comes to oral hygiene, but some things are worse than others. Here are five things we wish you would stop doing to your smile:
1. Consuming soft drinks as well as sugar-free beverages
It’s common knowledge these days that soft drinks are a disaster for your teeth. What isn’t as well known yet is that sugar-free beverages aren’t always the better choice either. Sports drinks, flavoured waters and something as common as sparkling water can cause havoc to your teeth. This is due to their high levels of citric acid – one of the main offenders of enamel erosion.
2. Sipping on drinks over a longer period of time
Staying on the subject of drinks; coffee, tea and wine are all known to cause staining to your teeth. You can still enjoy these on a daily basis, but it’s best to stay away from sipping on your morning coffee up until lunch time; your afternoon tea until home time; and then a red wine until bed time. Coffee, tea and alcoholic drinks all contain sugars and acids eating away at your teeth. Make sure to drink lots of water in between drinks and to rinse your mouth thoroughly once you’ve finished. This way, the sugar and acid won’t stay on your teeth for an extended period of time.
3. Ignoring bleeding gums
This is a serious one. You may think that having gums that bleed is a normal, accepted thing, but we couldn’t disagree more! If your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth, contact us as soon as possible to get checked for periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is severe and can have several associated side effects and health concerns. The sooner we can treat this, the better. You wouldn’t ignore any other part of your body bleeding for no apparent reason – don’t ignore your gums either.
4. Tearing and chewing of fingernails or plastic containers
Yes, your teeth are designed to tear and chew but not on things you’re not eating. Your teeth are not a pair of scissors; they are simply there to help you eat, and they deserve a little respect.
Chewing on non-edible items like fingernails, straws, pens and bottles, just to name a few, can not only cause your teeth to crack because of the pressure, but also introduces your mouth to germs and bacteria which can lead to gum disease and bad breath.
5. Do you floss every day?
Do you, really? We can usually tell when you’re not being completely honest about this and not flossing is so common you shouldn’t be ashamed to admit it. We only bring it up because we care about your teeth and your health. Next time we ask about your flossing habits, remember that if you do floss regularly, that’s perfect but if you don’t, that’s fine too but you should try more often! Flossing is really important as it removes food in between your teeth that can lead to plaque and tartar as well as improving your gum health by removing bacteria trying to colonise close to the gums. Not flossing can lead to gum infections (gingivitis) which could develop into periodontitis and eventually tooth loss – something we would hate for you to experience!
Despite what you may think, we love when our patients come in with great, healthy-looking teeth. To ensure you have the best experience possible, we as dentists ask that you take care of your teeth by following these five tips.