The one thing people may notice first about your appearance is your smile. Since you are only given one set of permanent teeth, it’s imperative to take care of them and do everything you can to ensure their health and radiance. Daily lifestyle choices have a huge impact on the appearance and health of your teeth. Things that you do during the course of an average day can have a negative impact on your teeth and you may not even realize it. It’s important to know what type of daily habits to avoid and to become conscientious of these habits. Making good oral hygiene and good habits a lifestyle choice will go a long way in maintaining a beautiful, healthy, and radiant smile for life.
1- Practice Good Habits
Stop using your teeth to open things or bite your nails. Over time, using your teeth as a tool for your personal use can have a negative impact on the look of them. It can wear down enamel over time and since enamel doesn’t simply grow back, it’s important to understand the importance of preserving enamel. Become aware of tooth grinding and clenching. Over time, either of these actions can wear down the teeth and even lead to painful TMJ problems. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, see your dentist for a night guard. A night guard will preserve the teeth and prevent any damage from occurring while you sleep. Since the jaw muscle is the strongest muscle in the entire body, grinding and clenching your teeth can do some serious damage over time.
2- Maintain a Healthy Diet and Avoid Acidic Drinks
Most people love their cup of morning Joe. However, coffee is highly acidic and its hot temperature combined with its high acidity can weaken enamel over time. There are many other highly acidic drinks such as fruit juices, sodas, and wine that all have the same ability to weaken enamel and stain teeth. You don’t have to completely give up the drinks you love, but it’s important to practice a few habits to offset the effects of these drinks to prevent enamel erosion. First, don’t sip acidic drinks and spend hours drinking them down. It’s best to drink these quickly so your teeth are not repeatedly assaulted with high levels of acidity. Think of it like repeatedly splashing your teeth with acidity over and over. This will undoubtedly do damage over time. Drink these straight down or within a few minutes. Next, wait to brush your teeth at least thirty minutes after drinking them. Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking acidic drinks will actually do more harm than good. “You can also offset the effects of acidic drinks by eating a slice of cheese after drinking them because the calcium from the cheese will help to neutralize the acidity in your mouth,” said Dr. Lisa A. Muff.
3- Practice Proper Brushing and Flossing Daily
While many people brush their teeth every day, an astounding number of people are doing it wrong. Proper brushing means brushing your front teeth in and up and down motion — never back and forth from side to side. You may have been taught to brush your teeth like this as a child, but this is an incorrect technique. Next, the sides and back of your teeth should be brushed in soft and gentle circling techniques with the toothbrush pointed at a 45 degree angle up into the gum line on the top row of teeth and a 45 degree angle down into the gum 23line on the bottom row of teeth. This technique will ensure that food is being brushed out of the gums. This technique will also maintain the integrity of enamel without damaging it. Practice flossing twice a day as well. Brushing simply is not enough to remove all the food from your teeth. Small bits of food will become stuck between the teeth, so it is imperative to break out the floss. When flossing, don’t simply stick the floss in between the teeth. You must scrape the side of each tooth with the floss in order to remove tartar and food buildup from the teeth. Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution or mouthwash. Practicing these habits on a daily basis will help keep your smile radiant and healthy. Health teeth will mean fewer dental procedures such as cavities or even the dreaded root canal.