Most of the time we use our mouth for something we don’t stop to think, “is this okay for my teeth?”
Whether we are eating, speaking, chewing gum, or holding something in our mouth while our hands are full, we often don’t thing about what we shouldn’t do with our mouth and teeth.
To help you protect your mouth, Alex Bratic Dental Care suggests some simple things you can avoid doing to protect your pearly whites. Encouraging your children to do the same and stopping bad habits now may save a lot of pain down the road.
Although most of the habits we will discuss here do not cause immediate harm, many can affect your smile over time.
Dental Habits Gone Wild!
Brushing too much – Brushing your teeth twice a day (in the morning and the last thing at night) is just right. Some people brush more than the recommended number of times per day – especially after a big meal, thinking that this is protecting their teeth. But brushing within 30 minutes of a big meal, can actually lead to worse damage.
It can drive acid deeper into your teeth, causing their surfaces to corrode. So wait at least an hour after a meal before brushing – this will give your saliva a chance to neutralise any acid in your mouth.
Brushing too hard – Some people take the “scrubbing the dishes” approach to brushing their teeth. But brushing your teeth with extreme pressure is not good for them. Even though you might be removing unwanted bacteria and food, you could also be causing your gums to recede!
Receding gum lines can lead to further complications with your teeth and gums over time. So, when it comes to brushing, it is best to use a gentle approach and leave the scrubbing in the kitchen sink.
Using teeth as tools. Do you tear open bags of crisps, or twist off bottle caps with your teeth? Using your mouth instead of a pair of scissors or a bottle opener might seem like a convenient shortcut, but it could actually land you in the dentist‘s chair. The fact is you shouldn’t use your teeth to open bottles, or to rip open packages.
There is too much of a potential to fracture a tooth. If you’re using back teeth, you can damage a filling or crown. Tooth chips, cracks, and fractures create openings for tooth decay. In serious cases, a broken tooth may have to be permanently removed and replaced with a dental implant.
Chewing ice. Tooth enamel is a crystal. Ice is a crystal. When you push two crystals against each other, one will eventually break. Most often it’s the ice, but sometimes the tooth or a filling will break.
Chewing anything! Tooth enamel is hard, and it has the toughness to stand up to most foods you eat. However, enamel’s hardness cannot stand up to objects that you shouldn’t chew on, like toys, pens, random bits of plastic. This is also true of hard foods, including hard candies.
If you do need something to chew on, consider sugar-free gum, which is much safer for teeth surfaces and structure, and can even improve your overall dental health!
Open mouth breathing. During intense exercise, people tend to breath heavily with an open mouth. Mouth breathing dries out your mouth, reduces saliva flow, and creates an environment for bacteria to thrive. Adding corrosive sports drinks to the mix only makes things worse for an athlete’s teeth.
Sports drinks. Many athletes prefer to rehydrate by drinking sports drinks or energy drinks. Although the electrolytes found in these beverages can help your body refuel and stay hydrated during a workout, they can also take a major toll on your teeth.
In fact, a study published in the clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry found that there is so much acid in sports drinks that damage can occur after as little as 5 days of consistent consumption.
Contact sports. While all of Australia was congratulating Jeff Horn on his recent victory (Alex Bratic Dental Care joins in on congratulating him on winning the WBO World Welterweight Championship!), we particularly noticed his happy, winning smile. Jeff wears a custom-made mouth-guard to protect his pearly whites from damage in the ring.
If you, or a loved one, play any contact sports, you should come by Alex Bratic Dental first, and get your own custom-fitted mouth-guard – it’s an investment in your dental health and smile!
Your Trusted Dentist in Beenleigh
Alex Bratic Dental Care is the perfect combination of comfort, convenience and excellent care in Beenleigh. As part of our dedication to our patients, we are also fully committed to an anxiety and pain-free dental experience!
Alex Bratic Dental Care is located on City Road near the Pacific Motorway near Beenleigh Station, with convenient public transport nearby and free onsite parking.