Your teeth are a precious asset. Not only do they help you chew food, but they’re also part of how you present yourself to the world. Taking care of your smile can spare you from pain, enable you to enjoy a robust diet, and give you confidence in social situations. Unfortunately, many people don’t protect their pearly whites like they should. In fact, they may be engaging in everyday activities that can endanger both the function and the appearance of their teeth. A dentist in Colorado Springs is here to warn against common habits that could harm your smile.
A Lack of Caution
Any type of accident could lead to facial trauma, which can break teeth or knock them out altogether. It’s prudent to always be aware of your surroundings and be cautious around any potential hazards. For example, walk carefully in parking lots during winter, when hidden patches of ice might cause you to fall. If you like to play sports, always wear a mouthguard.
Using Teeth as a Tool
Your teeth are indeed a tool, but they aren’t a multipurpose one. You should use them only to chew food, not to open packages or trim your fingernails; such activities greatly increase the risk of breaking a tooth. Carrying a small pocketknife or pair of scissors with you can help you resist the urge to use your teeth for any purpose other than what they’re intended for.
Drinking Dark Beverages
Tooth enamel is porous, so pigments in what you eat and drink can seep into the teeth and lead to discoloration. Coffee, tea, and other dark beverages are some of the worst culprits behind tooth stains. Be sure to consume your favorite colored drinks in moderation, and remember to rinse your mouth with water afterward.
It’s easy to tune out and mindlessly snack on popcorn or other goodies while you’re watching a movie, but doing so could lead to tooth damage. For example, accidentally biting on an unpopped popcorn kernel could break a tooth. Biting into a bone in your meat could have a similar effect. Always try to be aware of what you’re putting into your mouth so you don’t end up with a painful dental emergency.
Overenthusiastic Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing are essential for your oral health, but doing them incorrectly could actually damage your teeth. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when you’re brushing; short, gentle strokes are best. When you are flossing, never snap the floss between your teeth, and never use a harsh, sawing motion. If you have questions about how to properly clean your mouth, talk to your hygienist during your next routine dental appointment.
Are you guilty of any of the above-listed habits? If you are, make an effort to change your ways so you can prevent damage to your teeth and maintain a strong smile for decades to come.
About the Author
Dr. Erick Anderson is a general dentist who is proud to serve families in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. If you would like to learn how he can help you adopt mouth-friendly habits, or if it is time for your next checkup, contact our office at 719-593-0988.