Last week, we started a conversation on the worst habits for your teeth and gums including biting your nails, binge eating and smoking tobacco. If you missed that post, you can go back and read it by clicking HERE. This week we’ll pick up where we left off and discuss 5 more of the worst habits for your teeth and gums, and how you can stop doing them to better protect your oral health.
#5 Drinking Too Much Coffee
Many people rely on that first cup of coffee to get their day going, and we agree – coffee is a delicious start to your day. However, to drink coffee all day long is a bad idea. For one, coffee can stain your teeth to a dull yellow color. But, when you add sugar to your coffee (which many people do), it can add additional health problems such as weight gain and cavities. While we can certainly help you whiten your teeth and fill your cavities, your Raleigh dentist highly recommends that you reconsider your coffee addiction instead and maybe stick to one cup a day.
#4 Playing Sports Without a Mouthguard
We recently discussed How to Protect Your Kids’ Teeth During Fall Sports with one of the key takeaways being to have your child wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Regardless of whether you’re playing a team sport or just playing with friends, wearing a mouthguard is an effective tool for protecting your mouth because it can easily absorb the impact of a hit or fall while preventing a cut to your gums or a tooth falling out. While some sports such as football, baseball, basketball, rugby or lacrosse often require the use of a mouthguard, we recommend that you wear one anytime you’re playing a sport with the potential to fall or be hit.
#3 Grinding Your Teeth
Teeth grinding or bruxism is a common problem associated with anxiety, and we’re seeing more and more cases as the pandemic goes on. In fact, your Raleigh dentist may have recently noticed that your teeth are looking much more worn down than your previous visit, which could be a result of unconscious grinding at night. Left untreated and you may experience frequent headaches or notice wear in your enamel. That said, you can protect your teeth from this behavior by wearing a nightguard while you sleep.
#2 Inconsistent Brushing and Flossing
Your Raleigh dentist recommends that your regularly brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. These daily habits will make the biggest difference in your dental hygiene, and we can tell when you’re inconsistent.
#1 Brushing Your Teeth TOO Hard
Finally, the #1 worst habit for your teeth and gums is to brush too hard. Brushing harder does not equate to better cleaned teeth. In fact, you may be actually doing more harm than good because as you brush, you could be cutting your gums unknowingly. If you’re finding that you’re spitting blood everytime you brush, it’s possible that you’re putting a little too much power behind your brush (alternatively, you need to floss). Try brushing gently in a circular motion or using a softer brush.
In conclusion, we’re all guilty of a few bad habits that can negatively impact your teeth and gums, but when we know better – we should do better. As such, consider now a great opportunity to look for ways to reduce or eliminate these bad habits from your life for good! And, if it’s been more than six months since you’ve seen the dentist, call Dr. Katherine E. Garrett and schedule your appointment. New patients are always welcome, and we are proud to provide dental care for your entire family. Don’t wait until you have a dental emergency, call our office today!