While your diet and dental hygiene habits will have the most significant impact on your dental health, these are not the only factors that come into play. Here are three habits you should avoid that can damage your teeth and gums.
Brushing Too Soon After Eating
Postponing brushing to improve your dental health sounds counterintuitive, but brushing immediately after eating can actually have a negative effect on your teeth. Brushing your teeth can create microscopic scratches on the surface of your dental enamel. If you brush too soon after eating, you may be scrubbing food residue into these scratches that has not had time to dissolve. This makes it easier for bacteria to cling to the teeth and eat through the enamel.
Instead of brushing, rinse your teeth with water or mouthwash after a meal and wait at least half an hour before you brush. This will prevent you from embedding bacteria and food particles into your enamel where it can be difficult to reach with normal brushing.
While smoking is widely known to be detrimental to your overall health, many people are surprised to learn that it will directly impact your dental health. Tobacco smoke prohibits saliva production and restricts capillaries that supply blood to the soft tissues in your mouth. This makes it harder for your body to fight dental diseases and wash away bacteria that causes cavities and yellowing of the teeth.
Using Your Teeth as Tools
Almost everyone has used their teeth to open stubborn packaging, bite their nails, or use them for other purposes that they are not built to handle. Using your teeth as tools places undue stress on them that is not present during normal chewing. Even if you don't feel like you are putting extreme pressure on your teeth, damage can occur due to the angle at which you are applying force.
Chewing applies almost exclusively vertical force, while you often use a tearing or twisting motion when you use your teeth as tools. While your teeth are excellent at enduring vertical force, torque can easily chip or crack your teeth. Additionally, twisting or tearing force can move your teeth in their sockets, weakening the bond of the tooth roots to your gums and jawbone and making it more likely that they will become loose.
Avoid these bad dental health habits so you can maintain a strong, healthy smile for years to come. For more information, contact local professionals like Guerschon de Laurent DDS.