Bad Summer Habits
If you want to avoid dental problems and dental inconveniences this summer so you can enjoy your time in the sun, then our team at Holistic Dental Center of New Jersey and Dr. G. would like to help you! One thing you can do is avoid bad dental habits that can damage your teeth and gums.
Forgetting about oral hygiene: Oral hygiene is very important if you want a top-notch smile and oral health. This is because oral hygiene keeps your teeth and gums clean and helps you avoid dental problems. So, make sure to brush every morning and night, floss and rinse (with mouthwash) daily and attend your dental checkup if you’re due for one. You should visit our office every six months for a Holistic cleaning and exam.
If these habits sound familiar, don’t worry — we have quick tips to help you break your unhealthy habits.
We’re talking about you gnawing on the ice cubes in your cold drinks. Seems harmless enough, but the cold temperatures make teeth more susceptible to fracturing and breaking. Small cracks and fissures may also form in the protective layer of enamel, leading to weakened teeth down the road.
Quick Tip: The next time you get a drink that calls for ice, request crushed ice. It is far gentler on your teeth but still gives you that crunchy satisfaction.
It’s summer. It’s hot outside, and nothing beats sipping an ice-cold, sweet, sugary beverage all afternoon long. These beverages might include sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks. Unfortunately, exposing your teeth to these sweet and acidic beverages throughout the day can lead to tooth decay.
Quick Tip: If you aren’t ready to give up your soda addiction, don’t dismay. Though switching to water or a sugar-free alternative is ideal, another solution is as simple as a straw. Sipping your soda through a straw directs the flow of plaque-causing fluid away from your teeth, protecting them while allowing you to enjoy your sweet summer swill. However, if able to make the adjustment of giving up soda, we suggest alternatives such as milk, green or white tea, and tap water. Each of the aforementioned substitutions are proved to fight cavities and work towards healthier oral hygiene.
Teeth are not Tools: Who needs tools — you’ve got teeth, right? How many times have you ripped open a package of cookies, twisted the cap off a bottle, clipped the plastic tag off a new clothing item, or ripped through the tape with your teeth? Teeth should never take the place of scissors, pliers, or bottle openers. Every time you use your teeth as a tool, you risk breaking them, and you weaken or destroy the protective enamel covering, leaving them susceptible to decay.
Quick Tip: Find a small multi-tool to carry in your purse or pocket at all times. Leatherman® makes a vast array of multi-tools equipped to handle all your unexpected moments of need. The Leatherman Berry Brown® multi-tool is one such tool with an astounding 24 functions, and it features needle-nose pliers, a stranded wire cutter, electrical crimper, 420HC combination knife blade, saw, hammer, wrench, and more — and it costs far less than a tooth restoration.
A Hard Brush: When it comes to daily brushing, “no pain, no gain” does not hold true. For the vast majority of people, a soft-bristled toothbrush is adequate for daily brushing. Hard-bristled brushes can damage gums, root surfaces, and tooth enamel while making brushing a painful chore.
Quick Tip: Use a brush with soft, rounded bristles. The perfect toothbrush will have a head that fits perfectly into your mouth, allowing you to easily get to all of the surfaces: approximately a half-inch wide and one inch tall. Visit ADA.org for a list of approved brushes. We recommend the Risewell soft head brush.
When Biting Is Bad: Remember when your mom told you, “Teeth are not for biting!” Most people accidentally bite the inside of their cheek every once in a while. Though painful, it is not overly harmful. Others, however, suffer from chronic cheek and lip biting, which can severely deteriorate your oral health by creating chronic sores that are susceptible to infection. Evidence also indicates that chronic cheek biters may be more likely to get oral cancer. Habitual cheek biting can occur when tooth misalignment causes soft tissue to get caught when the jaws bite down. It can also begin as part of a nervous habit.
Quick Tips: If you chronically bite the inside of your mouth because of misaligned teeth, talk to your dentist about getting started with corrective treatments such as invisible or traditional braces. To put an end to the habit of gnawing, try chewing on something else. When you feel the urge to bite down, pop a stick of sugarless gum in your mouth. It will redirect the behavior to something other than your cheek. If underlying anxieties are triggering your habit, take up anxiety-reducing activities such as yoga or meditation. Working with a behavior-modification therapist can be beneficial in severe cases.
Top Tips For Oral Health
Keep your teeth—and your body—in good health by following these important tips:
- Brush and Floss Properly: The foundation for good oral health is developing the habit of brushing and flossing regularly. Make sure you’re using the proper technique! If you’re unsure how to brush and floss properly, feel free to view our instructional videos below:
- See Your Dentist Regularly: If you work in tandem with an awesome dentist and dental hygienist, you are much more likely to remain healthier throughout your life. Commit to your whole-body health by starting and maintaining a relationship with a thoughtful group of oral health professionals!
- Quit Smoking: Have you heard? Smoking can kill you! Quitting isn’t easy—that’s for sure—but it’s definitely worth it!
- Eat a Healthy Diet: What you eat affects your teeth, mouth, and your whole body. Make sure you’re eating a healthy, clean diet, minimizing snacking, and trying to avoid sugars as much as possible.
- Don’t Put It Off: If you haven’t been following this advice and you’ve noticed some problems developing in your mouth, see a dentist as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate!
Ready To Take Control Of Your Health?
If you’re due (or past due) for an oral health assessment, or if you have questions about your oral health or integrative holistic dentistry, Holistic Dental Center New Jersey can help. Give us a call at (973) 718-5104 or contact us online for more information.