Prevention

6 Habits that are Ruining Your Teeth

6 Habits that are Ruining Your Teeth

We all know that poor nutrition and bad habits can affect your health, it can compromise your immune system and make you susceptible to infections and other problems. One of these problems is gum disease. Here are 6 habits that are ruining your teeth.

1. Coffee and Tea

We all grab for that hot cup of joe first thing in the morning, but habitual tea and coffee drinkers can have problems with their teeth. Both will stain your teeth and get into the grooves of your enamel. You not only end up with stained teeth but you can have a mouth full of bacteria that causes decay. If you can, then add milk to your drink that will neutralize the acids and rinsing with water afterward can help also.

2. Don’t Forget to Floss

Lots of people brush regularly but don’t take flossing as seriously. Flossing is crucial to gum health and an enormous factor in preventing gum disease. Flossing gets rid of the plaque and food particles that get stuck between your teeth.

3. Don’t Brush Immediately After Eating

We have always been told how important it is to brush after every meal, but in reality you should wait an hour or so before grabbing your toothbrush. Rinse with water to neutralize the acids from the food and drinks you consumed. Brushing right after dinner can erode the enamel on your teeth.

4. Soft Drinks

Soda is filled with sugar and sugar is bad for your teeth. Not only does sugar cause you to gain weight it can cause cavities, decay your teeth and cause gum infections. If you happen to have an addiction to Coke or Pepsi then you’re going to have a problem with staining as well. If soda is a must (we strongly urge you to give it up) then try drinking it through a straw. Rinse your mouth afterward with water and chewing gum will produce saliva which neutralizes the acids.

5. Ease Up on the Whitening

Everybody wants a bright white small and while the jury is still out on whether the bleach in the whitening kits erodes your enamel it is clear that excess whitening can increase the sensitivity in your teeth. It doesn’t matter if you are using an at home kit or being treated at the dentist’s office the whitening gels are abrasive that causes sensitive teeth.

6. Acidic Food

So far we have shown you mostly acidic drinks like coffee or wine that can erode your teeth but there are also plenty of foods that contain acids. Citrus fruits would be one example and tomatoes would be another. While they don’t directly cause cavities but they can erode the enamel on your teeth and making your teeth weaker, that in turn that leads to decay.

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Prevention

Getting Your Kids to Brush and Floss

Getting Your Kids to Brush and Floss

One of the most important aspects for good oral health is a regular routine of flossing and brushing and it needs to start early.  Getting your kids to brush and floss regularly may seem like a battle that you can’t win, but that’s not the case.  You can encourage them to form good habits and to take care of their teeth properly.  One of the challenges is getting kids to brush long enough, to reach the back teeth and to learn how to floss properly.  Not teaching your kids to floss can cause dental decay and cavities later on.  When you take your child to the dentist for the first time they will be shown how to floss by the hygienist, but after that it will be up to you as the parent to keep up the routine.

Here is how you can help encourage your children to maintain good oral hygiene.

  1. The earlier you get started the better. A toddler may not be there to be able to do it all themselves but you can help and the routine of brushing after meals and before bed will become established.
  2. As kids get older you can show them exactly what happens when they fail to brush and floss. Kids understand visuals better than they do a spoken explanation.  You can show them pictures of bad teeth that have been damaged by decay.
  3. Use a toothbrush suitable for their age. Little kids have small hands and don’t have the dexterity for a big toothbrush.  Your pediatric dentist can help you choose the right one.
  4. Let your child choose their own toothbrush from a selection, it will help them feel included and now there are all kinds of toothbrushes with superhero handles or whatever cartoon character they like.
  5. Be the example of the behavior you want to see. Brush your teeth with them after meals so they not only learn from you and develop the good habits you want them to have. You are the example that your kids look up to, even when it comes to mundane things like brushing and flossing.

When should your kids start brushing?

Your children should start brushing as soon as they have a few teeth.  Once they have teeth then you can get them used to proper hygiene, you need to help your kids have good oral health until they are old enough to manage it themselves.

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