Even if you visit your dentist in Oakville Ontario on a regular basis, you can still have problems with your teeth. Why, you ask? The simple answer is that we all suffer from bad habits that can affect the health and appearance of our teeth and gums. Proper oral care cannot only be accomplished by the dentist. You must also take an active role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. This is especially true since research has now made the link between poor oral health and illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure. With that in mind, here are five bad habits your dentist in Oakville Ontario wants you to break right now.
By now, we all know that smoking is bad for us. In addition to causing a host of health problems including cancer, smoking directly impacts your teeth and gums. Aesthetically, smoking causes your teeth to yellow and makes your breath unpleasant. The real danger, however, is how smoking affects the health of your mouth.
Smoking rapidly increases the amount of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. This not only makes it hard to keep your teeth clean between checkups but also places you at greater risk for developing gum disease and oral cancer. Smoking damages the soft tissue of your gums and can cause them to recede. When the tissue of the gums recedes, the roots of your teeth are exposed. Exposed roots of teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold and more likely to develop cavities.
A lot of people crunch ice cubes, bite their fingernails and even chew on pens or pencils. This bad habit is especially damaging to your teeth. Your teeth are not meant to chew things that are not food. As such, chewing on hard objects regularly can chip the protective enamel on your teeth and cause you to chip the teeth themselves.
In addition to the bacteria entering your mouth through your nails, pen, etc., chewing these hard objects can cause your teeth to shift out of place. This can cause pain and the need for more dental procedures in the future.
Sugary and Acidic Drinks
Most people indulge in at least two sugary or acidic drinks per day if not more. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just soda that is a cause of concern for your dentist in Oakville Ontario. Coffee, tea, energy drinks and even fruit juices contain sugars and acids that can damage your teeth. The high levels of sugar and acid contained in these drinks stay in your mouth when you do not brush. These beverages also cause your mouth to dry out because they decrease saliva production.
Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense against plaque and when your mouth is dry it has no way defend against the buildup of plaque. As the sugar and acid sits on your teeth it can destroy your enamel and disintegrate your teeth causing cavities. Avoiding beverages containing sugar and acid is not always possible but you can help minimize their impact on your teeth.
First, do not sip these drinks. Drink them quickly and use a straw if you can. While brushing immediately after consuming these drinks is ideal, it is not always possible. If you cannot brush rinse your mouth with water.
Your dentist in Oakville Ontario understands that breaking these bad habits can be difficult. However, if you succeed, you will reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease. Remember, your mouth is the gateway to your body and keeping it healthy and disease free will help keep your overall health in check.