Stop Bullying Your Teeth!

Are You Making These Common Dental Care Mistakes?

Are you bullying your teeth? We often take our teeth for granted, but they are susceptible to injury and decay if not cared for properly. Unfortunately, some people assume their teeth are much stronger than they are and end up bullying them in ways that lead to problems. Find out what we consider aggressive behavior toward your pearly whites and how you can start treating them better.

Brushing Aggressively

You may think, “If brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush is good, using a medium or firm bristle toothbrush is better.” Wrong! Firmer bristled wear away your tooth enamel, damaging the layer that protects the underlying dentin. When enamel is damaged, your teeth are more likely to develop cavities. Hard bristled can also irritate your gums or cause them to recede, making them vulnerable to decay, infection, and periodontal disease.

Pushing too hard on your toothbrush is also a no-no. If you scrub aggressively, you can damage the enamel. Pressing too hard on the brush may also cause the bristles to flare out instead of coming into contact with the teeth for effective cleaning. It is more important to use proper brushing techniques, including using a circular motion on each tooth, so the ends of the bristles get into the crevices and between the teeth.

Chewing Ice

Chewing on ice can be soothing and refreshing – right up to when you bite down and chip or crack a tooth. Not so cool then, is it? Even hairline cracks cause sensitivity to hot and cold foods and are prone to decay. Chewing ice regularly also irritates the gums and can cause inflammation or recession. Just say “NO!” to chewing ice and reach for a piece of sugar-free gum instead.

Refusing to Wear a Mouth Guard for Sports

Consider a sports mouth guard as necessary as a seatbelt when you are in a vehicle. If you love your family, they wear a seatbelt to protect them in a crash. If you love your teeth, you defend them when participating in contact sports. Whether you take a hit from a hockey stick or land on your face during a skateboarding trick, the result can be devastating if you do not wear a mouthguard. Just imagine how you will look and feel if you end up with missing or broken teeth. Your teeth deserve protection. Give it to them.

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth (the fancy term is bruxism) leads to chips, cracks, and excessive wear. It can also cause headaches and jaw pain. Many people grind their teeth as a reaction to stress. But is it fair to take out your frustrations on your teeth? After all, they serve you faithfully and never complain. They deserve to be treated gently. If you grind your teeth at night, do not ignore the problem and assume it is a harmless habit. Talk to your dentist about getting a night splint to give your teeth a respite from the nightly grind.

(Tooth)Picking

Using a toothpick to get some stuck food out of your mouth seems like a good idea when you have a stubborn popcorn kernel wedged between your teeth. However, toothpicks are not the best choice. They can irritate or scratch your gums, leading to infection. Toothpicks are also prone to splintering, leaving slivers of wood lodged between your teeth. Reach for dental floss and a toothbrush instead.

Bullying your teeth through improper care or rough treatment can lead to a dental emergency. If you want your teeth to be there when you need them, treat them right every day.