The more I speak to patients, the more I realise they are doing certain things wrong that has a negative effect on their oral health. I will go through some tips that I would recommend in order for you to keep your teeth longer.
1. Using your teeth for open bottles or crush ice
Apart from the obvious normal uses of teeth (e.g. eating and smiling) many patients use their pearly whites for all sorts of weird and wonderful things. Some include using their teeth to open bottles top on beer bottles, crush ice, bite their nails, and chew on pens. All these weird habits take a toll on your teeth, and although you can’t see any damage, micro-fractures will be forming. Once formed, these will get bigger and bigger with repeated biting forces.
2. Avoiding cleaning in between your teeth
Tooth brushing will clean most areas of your teeth but it will miss the crucial inter proximal areas between your teeth. This is an essential area to clean as if you don’t do it, you’re likely to develop gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in the world.
3. Not brushing before you go to bed
Cleaning your teeth before bedtime is the most important time of the day to clean. All the foods you had eaten during the day will end up sitting on your teeth the whole night. This is because our salivary flow rates reduce substantially during sleep, and saliva has many beneficial properties like washing away harmful bacteria and neutralising acids they produce.
4. Not seeing the hygienist regularly
Everyone need to see the hygienist. Even dentists and hygienist who have all the knowledge, motivation, and tools to clean their teeth perfectly will build up plaque and calculus from time to time. If that’s happening to the best brushes, it’s probably happening to you as well. Seeing the hygienist regularly will help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
5. Eating sugary food and not rinsing with water afterwards
The bacteria on your teeth will use sugars from the food that you eat to feed themselves. As a by-product, acid is produced which causes decay to your teeth. By using mouthwash, this will effectively wash away these acids and neutralise the harmful effects. Water has a similar effect but will be less effective.
6. Putting off pain
Pain is generally an indication by your body that something isn’t right so it’s important not to ignore it. If problems are spotted early, your dentist can deal with them easily. Once things get more advanced, it’s a lot harder and more expensive to put things right, so don’t ever ignore dental pain.