If you are part of the 30 percent of Americans that flosses daily — and you brush twice a day and schedule regular appointments with your dentist — your teeth are probably in great shape. However, brushing, flossing and regular dental appointments are not the only things you must consider if you wish to maintain a beautiful smile.
You may be surprised to learn that certain common habits put your teeth (and gums) at risk. Here, Dr. Ricardo Hernandez of Pacific Beach Smile Studio reveals the seemingly harmless habits that can hurt your teeth.
Chewing on Ice
Ice is very hard and can cause a fair amount of damage to your teeth and gums. Chewing on ice may chip, crack or break your teeth and damage existing dental restorations such as fillings and crowns. It can also wear down your jaw muscles.
Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause fractures and eventually wear down the tooth enamel. These behaviors can also throw off your bite and cause problems with your jaw joint. Many people unknowingly grind or clench their teeth during the night as they sleep; their only indication is a sore jaw the next morning. If you think you might grind or clench at night, ask Dr. Hernandez about wearing a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth.
Using the Wrong Toothbrush
It’s best to use a toothbrush with soft bristles that won’t rub the tooth surface too roughly. Also, avoid brushing with horizontal strokes. It’s better to use gentle circular strokes on the teeth and at the gum line.
Drinking Sugar-Free Drinks
You might think you’re being wise by swapping out regular sodas for diet and sugar-free drinks, but as Dr. Hernandez pointed out last year in a blog post, studies have found diet sodas and fruit juices are equally unhealthy because of the acidic additive and low pH levels. It’s best to avoid beverages that have sugar and acidic additives like citrus acid and phosphoric acid. Water is always a safe bet.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Hernandez
If you have damaged a tooth and would like to discuss your treatment options with Dr. Hernandez, please schedule an appointment at Pacific Beach Smile Studio. You can reach us by calling 858-272-6047 today.