Top Ten Bad Dental Habits

Do you have any of these not-so-healthy habits? This year, make a New Year’s Resolution to stop.

  1. Brushing too hard. The enamel of your teeth can be worn away from things like firm-bristled toothbrushes or too much pressure. Instead, try soft bristled brushes with compact heads that move easily. Also, longer flexible handles are better than short stiff handles for reaching your back molars.
  2. Wrong toothpaste. Some of the “tartar control toothpastes” are way too abrasive. The grit in them can wear enamel down when fluoride is all you really need. If it feels gritty it’s probably not the best thing for your mouth so try a Dentist-recommended toothpaste like Mentadent, Tom’s of Maine Natural Toothpaste, or Sensodyne.
  3. Neglecting floss. There’s a reason the dentist gives you that complimentary floss when you visit for a cleaning, the bacteria build-up between teeth is the leading cause of cavities and gum disease. Floss once a day, every day.
  4. Drinking soda. Remember that science fair project when you set a tooth in a glass of soda and it dissolved? If you must have that soda, try a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.
  5. Frequent snacking. You can’t always have you dental hygiene products with you but you’re bound to have that midday snack. Try eating firm fruit like apples instead of sugary snacks, dental experts consider apples and carrots to be the next best thing to brushing and you’ll keep off the extra pounds, too.
  6. Foods that stain. Food and drink like cola, coffee, and marinara sauce can give plates and cups a stain, so think what they can do to your pearly whites. Ask Dr. Hall about safe and healthy whitening procedures.
  7. Using teeth as tools. Ever see someone open a bottle with their teeth? Although it’s an extreme example, opening plastic snack bags and loosening pesky knots can do the same thing – chip and damage your teeth.
  8. Neglecting problems. Cavities don’t fill themselves. If you’re developing one, take care of it as soon as possible before it turns into tooth loss and requires a dental implant. Bleeding gums are also a sign of gum disease. Brushing and flossing daily is your go-to prevention tool but if these problems persist, go see your dentist.
  9. Avoiding the dentist. Don’t let fear of the dentist’s office cause you worse problems down the road. You’ve probably heard that you should schedule twice yearly cleanings but some people may actually need dentist visits up to every three months.
  10. Ignoring lips. Even people with perfect dental health and gleaming Hollywood grins can’t shine to their full potential if they have cracked, dry lips. The skin of your lips is much thinner than any other skin on your body and is vulnerable to dryness. Use a good lip balm daily to keep lips healthy and supple.

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