There are some things people do that act kind of like a wrecking ball, causing serious dental problems and gum diseases. The good news is that these habits can be mitigated through diligent best practices to care for your teeth and gums. Dr. Hadley’s team is standing by to help you keep your oral hygiene in tiptop shape. In the meantime, though, don’t do these 15 things:
- Playing sports with no mouth protection is a serious risk. Having a backyard game of football is even risky; we’ve seen patients with teeth knocked out after a family barbecue from Frisbees and baseballs, not to mention the pigskin. An over-the-counter mouth guard is not something we’d recommend for serious athletics, but it might be a good idea when you’re roughhousing with the kids.
- Start good oral hygiene with your children. Don’t let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of fruit juice in their mouth. That’s just like bathing the teeth in sugar all night long.
- When your kids are all grown up, discourage lip and tongue piercings. Why? Because biting down on one can break a tooth. The constant wearing of the metal against gums also can wear away that tissue, causing big problems later on. Finally, the metal can harbor bacteria, which may cause an infection. If you or your teenagers are considering a piercing in the mouth area, talk with our team first.
- The occasional tooth grinding because your boss is mean can happen. But grinding your teeth at night can cause problems like a joint disorder called TMJ. If your partner is complaining about that “nails on chalkboard” sound at night, call us. We have night mouth guards that can protect your teeth, jaw, and gums from the wearing effects of too much grinding.
- You may not realize it, but cough drops are a significant source of sugar damage to teeth. While your goal is simply stop the hacking, sugar-filled cough drops exact a real long-term price on your teeth. Always opt for the equally-effective cough suppressing sugar-free cough drops and get better soon.
- Stop opening things with your teeth. How many packages have you ripped open with your choppers? Never open a bottle with your teeth or try to rip the cracker package to go with chili. Any of these behaviors can cause you to chip a tooth.
- Stop the sugary drinks. From sports drinks to soda to carbonated “fruit” juices, these beverages are terribly damaging – yet delicious – ways to slowly cause tooth decay. Stick with sugar free water.
- For those carbohydrate addicts reading this article, here is more bad news: Potato chips are bad for your teeth, too. Oh, we know the salty, crunchy goodness of a delicious bag of chips (or popcorn) go so well with a good moving. But the chip debris can get stuck between the teeth. Then it turns into acid and we know you can guess what that does to your teeth. If that carb craving is about to take over, try flossing and brushing after the binge. It will help!
Call Dr. Hadley’s team to get your oral health back on track. We’re here to help!