It’s been said that bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow, which is particularly true when your oral health is at stake! And while most people are aware of the more obvious habits that can affect their smile such as drinking soda or eating candy, there are many habits that impact you and your family’s dental health in surprising ways. And, since it’s much easier to prevent problems rather than getting dental work from a family dentist in Marble Falls, it’s worth it to find out which habits are putting your oral health at risk. Keep reading below for 5 common habits to give up for a healthier smile!
1. Going To Bed Without Brushing and Flossing
Brushing at least twice each day is ideal, but it’s not uncommon for people to brush only once. Unfortunately, many people also (incorrectly) believe that brushing in the morning is the best time.
However, nighttime brushing is much more important because your teeth are at the highest risk for cavities while you sleep.
This occurs because your saliva decreases, which normally neutralizes cavity-causing acids. When saliva isn’t present, the sugars and acids from your diet that day wreak havoc on your teeth.
So, if you find that brushing and flossing before bed is unrealistic because you’re too tired, try doing it right after dinner when you have more energy.
2. Playing Sports Without a Mouthguard
The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been truer than when it comes to protecting your teeth and gums with a mouthguard.
It’s so much easier to prevent breaking a tooth or knocking one out altogether than it is to get treatment afterward!
3. Putting Your Baby To Bed With a Bottle
If you have a young child and put them down to sleep with a bottle, they’re at high risk for what’s known as baby bottle tooth decay.
This occurs when a child gets severe cavities that can completely destroy the entire tooth structure of all of their front teeth. To avoid this, don’t ever put them to bed with a bottle that has anything other than water in it.
Even the natural sugars in milk can cause baby bottle tooth decay, so either use a pacifier or a bottle with water only.
4. Using Cough Drops Regularly
If you find yourself regularly reaching for cough drops for any reason, you can easily wind up getting extensive cavities. Many cough drops contain sugar, which makes them just as harmful as hard candy.
Fortunately, sugar-free options are widely available and will greatly reduce this risk.
5. Clenching and Grinding
Clenching and grinding are very common and put a huge amount of force on your teeth. Over time, this can not only increase sensitivity, but can also cause the teeth to crack or fracture.
A dentist in Marble Falls can make a custom-made nightguard to prevent these issues, so be sure to ask at your next checkup if you have signs of this common nighttime habit.
By avoiding these 5 habits, you’ll maintain you and your family’s oral health and minimize the amount of dental work you need. And everyone can agree that’s a good thing!
About the Author
Dr. Greg Ritchie is an award-winning family dentist in Marble Falls with over 18 years of experience. In that time, he’s seen the impact that his patients’ daily habits have on their oral health and always strives to educate them on making good choices. If you have any other questions, he can be reached via his website or at (830) 693-8833.