The Don’ts of Oral Hygiene
Do you brush your teeth?
Good! Do you floss as well?
I even use mouth wash.
Perfect! There’s not too much more you should be doing to keep your teeth as healthy as possible but maybe there’s something you shouldn’t be doing!
Don’t use your teeth as tools. Tearing open bags of potato chips or twist off bottle caps with your teeth are some major no-nos! Using your mouth instead of a pair of scissors or a bottle opener might seem like a convenient shortcut but it could actually land you in the dentist’s chair. Tooth chips, cracks, and fractures can create openings for tooth decay to take hold. In serious cases, a broken tooth may have to be permanently removed, and replaced with a dental implant.
Don’t get tongue, lip or cheek piercings. Okay, that’s a little drastic but you should at the very least know what you’re totally getting yourself into. Stud or ring piercings can create complications such as infection, bleeding and swelling of the tongue, or nearby tissues. Tongue, cheek or lip jewellery can cause injury to adjacent teeth including tooth fracture, and gum recession, which can lead to tooth loss. Individuals with oral jewellery must be extra careful to avoid the damage that biting a piercing can cause, and should discuss oral management with their dentist.
Don’t play sports without a mouth guard. Common place among professional athletes in contact sports but oral protection on a recreational level is very necessary.Different styles of mouth guards are available, ranging from ‘boil-and-bite’ mouth guards to custom jobs created by your dentist. This version is pricier, but offers an exact fit as well as comfort and protection. Put your money where your mouth is because the cost of fixing damaged teeth will be considerably higher than the price of a mouth guard.
Don’t chew ice cubes. Crunching ice cubes can chip away at the enamel of your teeth, or cause a tooth to break. If a tooth has a filling, its strength is compromised to a degree so if you bite down on ice, you could damage the tooth.
Don’t over bleach your teeth. Bleaching your teeth, DIY or via the dentist, is a safe way to achieve a bright, white smile, however, science has yet to figure out how much whitening is too much. It’s believed that excessive bleaching could cause tooth pitting and nerve damage. It’s important for people to follow bleaching instructions but notice if there’s any irritation of gum
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