Dental Habits: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

beach-blondThe right dental habits can keep your teeth healthy, strong, and beautiful. Bad habits can destroy your appearance and take a devastating toll on your oral health. Here’s what you need to know:

The Good

Simple, every day habits are some of the most important. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and drink plenty of water.

Other good habits include:

  • Getting enough calcium, whether it is from a calcium supplement pill, milk, yogurt, broccoli, oranges, or salmon
  • Drinking juice, coffee, and other beverages through a straw so there is less contact with your teeth
  • Using mouthwash to kill bacteria
  • Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and celery
  • Getting vitamin C from orange juice, strawberries, kale, green and red bell peppers, and other healthy fruits and vegetables

The Bad

Bad habits that can damage your teeth include:

  • Drinking sugary beverages, especially soda
  • Sucking on hard candy or eating chewy sticky candy
  • Chewing on hard objects like ice or pens
  • Drinking too much coffee or wine that can stain your teeth
  • Using your teeth to open things or cut things
  • Clenching your jaw

If you’re guilty of any of these bad habits, work on replacing them with healthy habits today. In some cases, you may need to ask your dentist or doctor for help—for example, you may not be able to stop clenching your jaw on your own, especially if you do it while you’re sleeping.

The Ugly

Below are some of the worst habits that damage your teeth and often harm your overall health:

  • Smoking cigarettes—in addition to the many harmful side effects for your health, smoking can leave yellow stains on your teeth.
  • Chewing tobacco—this habit is not an alternative to smoking. It destroys your gums and your teeth and can result in life threatening cancer.
  • Avoiding the dentist—ignoring problems won’t make them go away. If you have a cavity, recessed gum, toothache, or other problem, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Waiting will only make the problem harder to solve and in some cases you could end up losing your teeth all together.

To learn more about establishing good habits and protecting your teeth, visit Peters Dental Associates.

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