A look at some everyday habits that can cause damage to our teeth.
On a daily basis, our dentists see teeth that have been damaged, not necessarily by tooth decay, but often through everyday use. Whilst healthy teeth are strong and secure, there are some habits which many of us have which can cause problems for our teeth.
Whilst we are able to restore teeth extremely well here at the Confidental Clinic, we would prefer our Greenwich patients to avoid these habits wherever possible. We think that you would agree, that avoiding the need for a dental procedure is preferable to having to undergo one!
In no particular order then, here are some of the most common habits which can create problems with our oral health.
Neglecting to brush and floss – We shouldn’t really need to include this one, but it never hurts to remind patients of the importance of doing this correctly and on a regular basis. To make sure that you get the maximum benefit from this, talk to our dental hygienist about the most effective way to keep your teeth clean.
Smoking – Whilst you would expect smoking cigarettes to stain your teeth (which they do!), it is perhaps less well known that smoking increases the risk of gum disease and other oral infections. Oral cancers are also more common in smokers than nonsmokers.
Thumb sucking – If you are an adult, you hopefully won’t still be sucking your thumb! If you are, you probably have front teeth that protrude significantly. If this is the case, ask us about our modern orthodontics which can help to correct this. Mainly though, it is children who suck their thumbs. Whilst this is common, it should be discouraged as soon as possible. In addition to causing teeth to become crooked, it cal also lead to deformities in the roof of the mouth which may even affect speech.
Scrubbing your teeth – Because we want to keep our teeth clean and white, many of us brush our teeth rather too enthusiastically. Whilst this is done with the best intentions, putting too much pressure on the teeth when brushing leads to enamel wear which increases the risk of tooth decay, as well as the likelihood of overly sensitive teeth.
Teeth grinding – This is a habit that we commonly do when we sleep and is therefore hard to avoid. If you do this when you are awake, it is well worth the effort to try to stop. Damage caused by grinding, or bruxism, can include worn teeth, damaged enamel, chipped or even broken teeth. If you are doing this, there is a good chance it may be related to stress and it is worth examining your lifestyle and seeking help to see if this can be reduced.
Misuse of teeth – Teeth are for biting and chewing food. Unfortunately, we also sometimes use them inappropriately. Some examples of this include; crunching ice cubes, biting fingernails or pencils and even opening bottles. Our teeth are not meant to do this and are likely to suffer damage if you do!
Sipping drinks – Whilst sipping a cold drink on a hot day can be enjoyable, slowly sipping drinks exposes your teeth to prolonged periods of coming into contact with sugar. Drinking through a straw will help to minimise this exposure but it is better to reduce the amount of sugary drinks as much as you can. Switching to water will hydrate you whilst also reducing the risk of gum disease.
Whilst changing your lifestyle does not mean that you won’t need your regular check ups at our Greenwich dental practice, it does mean that there is less likelihood that you will need to have any restorative treatment following your check up.
To make an appointment, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8858 1422.