Harmful Dental Habits to Avoid

dentist CarrolltonTeeth play a very prominent and critical role in a satisfying and happy lifestyle. Teeth are needed to speak properly helping to form words and sounds correctly. The ability to chew is essential to consume many fruits, vegetables, meats, even breads. Self-confidence wavers when personal appearance is hampered due to missing or unattractive teeth. There are many ways to maintain healthy gums, and the best place to start is with the dentist.

Advice from your dental provider to maximize excellent oral health includes:

  1. Make and keep appointments with your dentist every six months. These visits are needed to remove plaque build-up that the patient can’t prevent even with daily brushing and flossing. Teeth are thoroughly cleaned, polished, and examined to make sure they are healthy.
  2. Establish a daily regimen of brushing and flossing. Use a fluoridated tooth paste or gel that focuses on cavity protection. Brush at least twice per day; more often if you can. Floss at least once per day to remove debris from between teeth that your toothbrush does not remove. Daily flossing will also keep gum tissue stimulated.
  3. Teeth have several functions, but are NOT intended for … chewing or biting fingernails; acting like scissors to open packages; opening bottles.
  4. Teeth are very strong, but they are not invincible. Biting down on very hard items such as ice or rock candy has the potential to chip, crack, or break teeth.

A very harmful habit that may occur without realization is teeth grinding and clenching. Often happening as a result of stress, patients will generally start out grinding teeth subconsciously during periods of sleep.

A partner may be the first to notice the grinding sound, but for many their first clue that they are endangering their dental health in this way is at that semi-annual dental appointment. Your dentist will be able to see the telltale signs that become apparent when grinding teeth occurs regularly.

Other hints are discomfort in the neck, jaws, ears, or head in the morning. This can be from clenching the jaw. If you suspect you are grinding or clenching, your dentist can fit you with a custom made mouth guard to be worn at night that will help break the habit.

Teeth are intended to serve us for our lifetime, and with the proper care this can become reality. To schedule your next professional dental exam and cleaning, contact the office of Dr. Kimberly Capua at 972-418-1811 today.