Oral health is almost always taken for granted, if not steered clear of in common conversations. As a matter of fact, it is more comfortable to talk about daily exercises and a balanced diet than brushing your teeth or visiting a dentist. Discussing breath problems also tends to be embarrassing. The best thing we can do is make sure that we seek the best health care possible for our teeth and gums. We can do that by gaining valuable knowledge and awareness on what habits are detrimental to our teeth and gums and overall oral health. You might even be surprised to hear about some of these.
1. TOO MUCH ACIDIC FOOD AND DRINK
Enamel, which is the outer layer and protection of your teeth against different chemicals, can subsequently be worn out if not given proper care. One reason is when our teeth are constantly exposed to too much acid by drinking fruit juices, beer, soda, and other carbonated drinks. Consuming citrus fruits such as lemons, mangoes, and oranges is very acidic as well. But before you give up these fruits to prevent enamel erosion, please know that these sources of Vitamin C are important for growth and immunity to diseases (even for your teeth and gums!) They can still be eaten safely as long as you make sure to rinse your teeth with water after, and never forget to brush. Drinking with a straw also helps in preventing your teeth from too much exposure to acid.
2. TOO MUCH SUGAR INTAKE
Sugar is the most popular culprit to blame when it comes to tooth decay. However, we should understand that the reason for this is related to what was discussed above. Many types of bacteria live in our mouths. Sugar, when broken down by these bacteria, produces acid. Aside from that, sugar also attracts bad bacteria, making the mouth more acidic and eventually leading to enamel erosion and tooth decay. The key is to maintain your sugar intake to a minimum, especially the sticky ones that can stay longer on the surface of your teeth.
3. NOT BRUSHING RIGHT
“Brush your teeth” might be the most obvious no-brainer advice there is to solve teeth problems. But brushing alone is not enough. We must unlearn the wrong ways of brushing. Harder is not always better. In fact, brushing hard does more damage than good. Pick a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid wearing down the enamel. Most of the time, brushing hard comes with rushing.
Never brush brushing. It should take at least 2 minutes to do it gently. The right motions, sequence, and angles are also important. Brush your teeth 15-20 mins after mealtime to give the saliva some time to rinse off the acids before exposing your teeth to other chemicals in your toothpaste. Most people would rinse their mouth with water after brushing, but it only takes away the fluoride. Refrain from doing this or at least use a small amount of water. Lastly, brush regularly, at least twice a day.
Smoking cigarettes and tobacco does not only make your breath stink. It can make you more vulnerable to gum diseases and other surrounding areas that can affect the roots, making teeth fall out. Smoking can also cause gum infections that interfere with blood circulation in the oral area. Good blood circulation is crucial for the teeth and gums to get the proper amount of oxygen and nutrients to fight decay. Smokers’ teeth are also more prone to yellow staining. These are just some of the many negative effects of smoking on your overall health.
5. NOT FLOSSING
There are too many tiny food particles inserted in between teeth that brushing alone won’t remove. This can be a cause of gum infections, mouth sores, and tooth decay. It is better to floss first before brushing. Using a toothpick can damage your gums, so it’s better to steer clear of it.
6. NOT DRINKING WATER
Aside from keeping yourself hydrated and preventing diseases, another benefit of drinking water is that it helps you rinse off acids and food particles from your teeth and gums.
7. NOT VISITING YOUR DENTIST AND ORTHODONTIST
It’s effortless to neglect to go to the dentist, especially if we’re not experiencing symptoms like a toothache. But experts suggest going at least every 6 months for a thorough cleaning and checking your overall oral health. Besides, there can be other serious underlying conditions that only dentists can treat. Visiting an orthodontist is also beneficial to check the general structure of your teeth. Straight teeth are easier to clean and can help prevent gum diseases. After all, who does not want to have a good set of teeth to flash that beautiful smile?
The earlier we can practice good habits in taking care of our teeth and gums and maintaining overall oral health, the fewer problems we can prevent in the future. Besides, smiling, speaking, and eating are all essential to our daily lives. Can you imagine not being able to do all these normally and comfortably?
Oral health should never be taken for granted. Be mindful of your habits. Start taking care of your teeth and gums as early as now.