Small Changes For A Big Impact On Your Smile
It may seem easy to take care of your smile – brush, floss, repeat, right? – but there are several pitfalls in our daily routines that could hinder our smile. If you feel that you are doing all you can to take care of your pearly whites but something is lacking, you might be making an absentminded mistake with your daily care.
Multitasking while you brush – If you’re brushing in the shower or while checking your social media accounts, you could be missing all of your tooth surfaces. It’s best to brush your teeth in front of your bathroom mirror where you have a greater chance of doing a more thorough job because you’re not distracted.
Using social media as your dentist – The internet is full of seemingly helpful but weird dental tips, such as rubber band braces or whitening with peroxide. Dentists have years of training to be able to safely care for your teeth, so leave the DIY projects to curtains and cakes, and trust your dentist with your smile.
Avoiding X-rays – Many people avoid X-rays because of fear of radiation, but radiation exposure associated with dentistry represents a minor contribution to the total exposure from all natural and manmade sources. X-rays are important because it allows the dentist to examine what they can’t see with the naked eye, including cavities between teeth or a cyst or other pathology in the jaw.
Storing your wet toothbrush in a travel case – We all know that bacteria thrives in moist environments, so try to make sure your toothbrush is dry before you pack it away, or at least take it out to dry once you reach your destination.
Keeping your tongue or lip piercing – Keep the piercings out of your mouth. Patients with tongue or lip piercings have a greater chance of fracturing or chipping their teeth from biting on their piercings. Also, some patients have gum recession and other soft-tissue injuries from the piercings coming into repeated contact with tender areas of their mouth. Studies show that problems increase the longer you have them, so now is the time to put your smile first.
Ditching your retainer – If you’ve ever had braces or Invisalign, you know just how smart it is to keep wearing your retainer most nights, forever. Your teeth are constantly shifting so even if you have perfectly straight teeth after treatment, the teeth will move and you’ll be without your newly found perfect smile. If you’ve lost your retainer, visit your dentist for a new one and make sure you consistently wear it.
Skipping dental appointments – If your dental anxiety makes you hate visiting the dentist, the best way to cope is to visit the dentist. Most patients don’t like to visit their dentist because, when they eventually do go, they are told they need a lot of work. If you see your dentist every six months for routine checkups, you are less likely to run into problems and will, therefore, not hate the dentist as much. Additionally, there are some dental offices that are designed like spas with serene-like settings to quell dental anxiety, so find a dental office that fits your needs.
Not drinking enough water – Lucky for us, Delray Beach’s tap water is fluoridated, which means that the simple act of drinking tap water can help strengthen your teeth. You can also find that some bottled water is fluoridated, but if not, make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride. Rinsing with water and drinking water is also very important for rinsing sugars and acids from your teeth after you eat, so remember to hydrate as often as you can.
Using a brush that’s too hard – Like wooden toothpicks, hard-bristled brushes are too tough on your teeth and gums. Not only will hard bristles erode your enamel, research indicates that your gums will suffer as well because hard-bristled brushes are more likely than softer brushes to cause gingivitis and tissue damage.
Getting addicted to juicing – We all love our juices and the tons of vitamins and nutrients we get from them, but juices also bathe our mouths in everything from corrosive acids (from ingredients like lemon juice) to a high concentration of sugar. If you love your juicing too much to give it up, minimize the damage to your teeth by rising with water after consuming acidic juices, and be sure to brush your teeth after fruity, sugar-rich juices.
These everyday tips should help keep you smiling happy and healthy, so incorporate as many of them as you can into your daily routine. Also, be sure to talk with your dentist and hygienist about any concerns or questions you have because they are here to help!