Dental cleaning and oral hygiene have been a growing concern among families. Dental problems typically emerge from everyday habits that cause gradual damage. However, these common habits often go unnoticed. This article addresses some daily habits that affect oral health and suggests ways to avoid them.
1. Sugar and beverages
Snacking, binge eating and sugary beverages are as damaging to your teeth as they are to your overall health. Foods rich in sugar, when left on the teeth, create a sticky film called plaque. Plaque is an acidic layer of germs that gradually eats away the enamel. It is recommended to consume sweet food items along with meals. Saliva flow increases during meals rather than during snacking. This increase in saliva reduces the production of acids and helps rinse the mouth. A glass of water after eating sugary diets also rinses away leftover food from the mouth.
2. Are you brushing the right way?
While the importance of brushing and flossing is commonly known, the right way of brushing is not. Brushing too hard or using a hard toothbrush can actually damage your teeth and gums. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste and brush for 2 minutes twice a day. Gentle hand movements and brushing in circular strokes is the recommended method.
3. Teeth or tools?
Your teeth are not meant for opening bottle caps or plastic bags or breaking any hard object. If you’re doing any of this, stop immediately. Such activities exert pressure on your teeth and increase the risk of tooth chipping or jaw injury. Grinding or clenching also have similar disadvantages. You will be surprised to know that you’re capable of causing harm to your teeth even in your sleep. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, especially at night, is a common issue, and almost 15% to 33% of children are affected by it. If you do this, visit a dentist immediately!
4. Avoid smoking or alcohol
Products including tobacco, like cigarettes, etc., are harmful to oral health. Nicotine causes yellowing of teeth as well as oral cancer. Chewing tobacco can be worse because if it sticks to your teeth, the associated carcinogens can affect your gums and teeth for a long period. Alcohol can also cause oral lesions and lead to malnutrition which can further worsen oral health. If you use such products, make sure they are in moderate proportions.
5. Dry mouth
Sometimes, types of medication can cause dryness inside the mouth. This dryness can inhibit saliva production leading to cavities, fungal infection, and tooth decay. Consult your doctor about your medicines and if they’re likely to cause dryness. If yes, increase water intake and reduce caffeinated drinks, sugary items, beverages, etc.