The Yuba City Dentistry Group has a few tips to help our patients maintain oral health and strong teeth for life. Besides visiting us semi-annually for an oral exam and cleaning, and brushing and flossing twice daily, there are other things you can do to keep your mouth healthy. Our Yuba City family dentist, Dr. Cheema, suggests that you start by avoiding the following bad habits!
Don’t Bite Your Nails.
Nail biting might be a coping mechanism for stress, but it’s not good for your teeth and jaw, and it puts germs in your mouth. Think about when you are tempted to bite your nails and plan for alternatives. Try using sugar-free gum or baby carrots. Some people apply bitter nail polish to help stop. Whatever works for you, set small goals to help you stop biting. Get a manicure or treat yourself to rewards as you improve and enjoy better looking hands and a healthier mouth!
Don’t Brush Too Hard or Too Often
Brushing harder isn’t more effective – it’s actually just the opposite. Brushing too hard or too often can actually wear away the enamel and irritate the gums. The best way to brush is using gentle, circular motions with a soft bristle brush for two minutes each time, two to three times per day. Keep your enamel and gums strong by not abusing them with harsh brushing habits.
Avoid Clenching the Teeth
For some, it’s easy to hear this advice, but hard to follow. If you are a jaw clencher or teeth grinder, think about getting a custom mouthguard from our Yuba City dentist. Grinding and clenching teeth causes stress on your mouth and jaw, resulting in headaches, neck discomfort, and prematurely worn or cracked teeth. A custom mouthguard, for use during the day or night, helps prevent all of these issues and can even help improve your quality of sleep.
Don’t Chew Hard Stuff
Ice is hard and teeth are hard, but over time ice wins and teeth lose. Besides problems from ice, our dental practice sees broken and cracked teeth from chewing on all kinds of hard things. Avoid the pain and extra dental bills that come with repairing a broken tooth by drinking your beverages without cubed ice, if you are tempted to chew it. Find ways to break the chewing habit, just as we discussed under the topic of chewing your nails.
Constant snacking isn’t good for your teeth because it feeds cavity-causing bacteria. This bacteria then creates acids that break down your tooth enamel. So snacking all day creates a perfect smorgasbord for bacteria and makes it very hard for teeth to recover from this microbial activity. To avoid snacking, eat healthy meals with a big glass of water while sitting at the table. Make time to eat and enjoy your food. It’s healthier, reduces stress and contributes to weight loss.
Teeth Are Not Tools
Teeth are for eating food, not opening packages or acting as an extra set of “hands.” When teeth are used to tear open packages or open cans, you risk cracking them or injuring your mouth, lips and tongue. If you’re in the habit of using your teeth as pliers or “extra helpers” to get a job done, think about whether it’s worth the risk of an emergency dental visit to repair a broken tooth or stitch up a laceration.
Your oral wellness is vital for a healthy body and the dental team at Yuba City Dentistry Group is here to support you. Schedule an appointment today to continue your dental care and make sure your mouth is at its best!