A healthy mouth is about much more than just an attractive smile. In fact, research has shown that oral health impacts the wellness of the entire body and is directly linked to risk levels for heart disease, pneumonia and other conditions. While it’s common knowledge that everyone should brush and floss daily, we tend not to talk enough about what people are not supposed to do to their teeth.
Here is a look at 6 of 12 harmful dental mistakes that can be putting the health of your teeth and your gums in jeopardy:
Neglecting your oral hygiene
Seems obvious and straightforward enough, but instead of just advising patients to brush and floss daily, it’s important that people understand by not doing so, you can put yourself at risk for tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems. This is why establishing a daily oral hygiene routine is so critical to our overall health.
Treating your teeth as tools
Your teeth are not bottle openers or package rippers. When we use our teeth for tasks outside of their primary purpose (chewing), we can experience structural damage like cracking and chipping among other problems.
The Surgeon General’s warning exists for a reason! Tobacco has been linked to a long list of health dangers and this includes concerns related to our teeth. Smoking and using other tobacco products can stain teeth, cause bad breath, and increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
Filing your teeth
…and no, we don’t mean in the way that you file papers or emails; we mean that some people use a nail file to file down their teeth so that they’re all the same height/length. This action can cause irreversible damage to your teeth as once your enamel is gone, you cannot grow it back. It’s not like filing your nails! Plus, you run the risk of introducing bacteria from your nail file into your mouth, too. Moral of the story is that this might lead to tooth sensitivity for some people, while it may mean root canal therapy for those that file it down too close to their nerve.
Brushing teeth too hard
Brushing harder doesn’t mean you will get your teeth cleaner or shinier! The misconception is that brushing harder will remove plaque and bacteria more effectively. However, brushing too hard can negatively impact your tooth enamel and cause tooth wear or sensitivity. While brushing twice per day is key to good dental health, using too much force can backfire against your overall goal.
Not drinking enough water
Water is important to your overall health and to your dental health. After eating or drinking something sweet, consuming water can help rinse your teeth, especially if you’re unable to brush right after. It’s important to keep saliva flowing in your mouth by drinking water so that you can prevent tooth decay and cavities from forming.
Stay tuned for our second part in this series where we explore six additional dental mistakes we make that can cause serious harm to our teeth.
Have questions about any dental health concerns? Contact us – we’re here and happy to assist you!