18th May 2018
No doubt you’ve all heard since you were very young that you should always brush your teeth and floss. Like sitting too close to the television giving you square eyes, the need for good dental health has been imparted on us all only this advice is true. But do you have certain habits that you think you’re managing to hide form your dentist? We see all, and we want you to be aware of these habits affecting your dental health…
If this comes as a surprise, then you haven’t been spending enough time at our Stafford dental practice. Smoking can affect the colour of your teeth, yellowing them, and also your breath. Aside from these cosmetic factors, you can dramatically increase plaque and tartar build up, making it much harder to clean your teeth at home. Smoking has even been shown to affect your gum tissue function. It loosens the attachment of your gums and bone to your teeth, inflaming the tissue and leaving you exposed to gum disease and infection. Your dentist definitely wants you to address your smoking habit, because it can affect far more than just your breath.
Sugar and acidic drinks
I’m sure you’ve heard all of the usual culprits: fizzy drinks, coffee, black tea, juices, and energy drinks are all guilty of attacking your teeth. They’re overloaded with sugar that can sit on the teeth after you’re finished with your drink, forming cavities. However, sugar is just the beginning. Drinks with high levels of acid coat the surfaces of your teeth and erode the enamel very quickly. Energy drinks may be some of the worst for this, especially sports drinks, as many of them contain the aggressive citric acid. If you would like to treat yourself to these drinks, then drink them quickly and don’t sip! Sipping over a long period of time gives the liquid more time and more opportunities to sit on your teeth to work their devilish ways.
Grinding and clenching
This is a habit your dentist will be sympathetic to, because you may not even realise you’re doing it. Known as bruxism, grinding and clenching happens most commonly during your sleep, so it can be difficult to break. If you’re experiencing symptoms like headaches, jaw pain, facial soreness, and sensitive teeth then you may be clenching in your sleep. Extreme cases can lead to tooth fractures, bone loss, and worn down teeth. This could lead to restorative dentistry being necessary, and we’d always prefer to save the natural teeth first. Being treated with a mouth guard may be beneficial to you, which we can help you with, but otherwise steer clear of coffee and alcohol to relax the muscles.
Chewing pen lids and fingernails
Chewing hard objects that aren’t food and therefore aren’t broken down by our teeth or saliva can have huge impacts on our teeth. Thre nervous chewing of a fingernail or pen lid can chip away at your enamel and ultimately your teeth. Over the long-term, such habits can cause the teeth to shift, leading to more serious alignment problems. You’re also introducing new and foreign bacteria to your mouth, endangering your overall health. You could even use this habit as a signifier of a bigger problem, possibly related to stress or anxiety. Talk to your dentist about your nervous habits and we could offer you some friendly advice.
Unhealthy dental habits aren’t just linked to your diet and forgetting to brush your teeth. They can lie far more in our unconsciousness, absent-mindedness, or general lifestyle habits than we may think. Should you need any help addressing these, your dentist at Abbey House Dental in Stafford would be more than happy to talk you through your options. Book your appointment today.