We all know some habits that help our teeth. Brush and floss regularly. See your dentist twice a year for preventive care. Wear a mouthguard when you play contact sports. There are other tooth-friendly habits you can cultivate, but you may not know they are important. Just as bad habits take a little time to break, so good habits take time to form. Make a deal with yourself to make these three habits routine. Ask our friendly office staff for more good tooth habits at your next appointment.
Use Nail Clippers
Use clippers to keep nails short and attractive. Nail biting is not only hard on your nails— it’s hard on tooth enamel. Each nibble of the keratin that makes up a fingernail puts stress on the enamel of your teeth. It isn’t just fingernails that are hard on tooth enamel. Stop when you catch yourself crunching ice, or chewing on toothpicks, pencils or pens.
Use A Straw
While using a straw isn’t always necessary, it does protect your teeth from both sugary beverages, and those that are highly colored and can stain your teeth over time. Having a sweet soda can be a nice treat on a hot day, but use a straw so the sugar has less contact with your teeth. Straws also protect teeth from acidic drinks like tomato juice and orange juice. Highly pigmented beverages like strong tea, iced coffee and grape juice should also get the straw treatment. If your teeth already have some surface discoloration, there are teeth whitening options to minimize stains.
Don’t Bottle Up Frustration
There are lots of reasons not to bottle up frustration. Not only can stress affect your blood pressure and weight, it can cause you to grind your teeth (bruxism), sometimes without even knowing it. Whether conscious or unconscious, grinding can interfere with your sleep or a partner’s sleep, leading to fatigue. Bruxism can also cause pain in the jaw and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Teeth subject to the pressure of grinding teeth can form microscopic fractures. If you think you grind your teeth during the day or night, a dentist can diagnose the problem and suggest solutions.