After your adult teeth grow in, you need them to last for the rest of your life. Healthy habits can keep your teeth strong and clean, but common mistakes can lead to damage. The following common mistakes can damage your teeth and detract from your appearance:
- Using your teeth as tools: Your teeth are good for biting and chewing food, but if you use them to open bottles, tear into plastic, or other things that they aren’t meant for, you could chip or crack a tooth and cause lasting damage.
- Playing sports without the right safety equipment: Playing high impact sports like football and hockey without a mouth guard increases your risk of chipping or cracking a tooth during a play. Always wear the right safety gear during athletic activities to protect your mouth.
- Forgetting to floss: You know you should floss, but if you don’t make time for it you could be increasing your risk for gum disease and tooth decay. Make flossing a priority by flossing before you brush your teeth in the morning.
- Brushing too quickly: If you’re rushing to get out the door, you may brush your teeth for 30 seconds and hope for the best, but this isn’t long enough to get your mouth completely clean. You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes—set a timer if you need help brushing for as long as you should.
- Brushing too hard: Some people think that brushing harder will get their teeth cleaner, but this is actually a mistake. If you brush to hard, or use a toothbrush with hard bristles, you could wear down the enamel on the surface of your teeth.
- Whitening your teeth on your own: At home whitening remedies and over the counter whitening solutions put you at risk for damaging your enamel and ending up with strange splotches on your teeth. For healthy, whiter teeth, ask your dentist for advice and consider professional whitening where your dentist can make sure all the chemicals and equipment being used are safe for your teeth.
- Avoiding the dentist: Visiting the dentist’s office might not be the ideal way to spend a Saturday morning, but regular checkups are essential to keeping your teeth healthy. Don’t put off dentist visits—if you do, small problems could become much worse over time.
To learn more about keeping your teeth clean and healthy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Eric Wiitala.