How We Take Our Teeth for Granted

Dentistry of Johns Creek doesn’t want you to take your teeth for granted because we use our teeth every day. We have been taught what to do – brush twice a day and use floss. But most of us have not been taught what we shouldn’t do to keep our teeth strong and whole, our gums healthy, and your smile white. The following list of activities and often unconscious habits will hopefully prompt you to consider the whole family’s chompers valuable enough to deserve protection from harm.

What Can Damage the Health of Your Mouth

Grinding Teeth. Grinding and clenching teeth puts tension on the teeth, jaw muscles, and the jaw joint, and often causes pain, as well as wearing away the tooth enamel. Wearing a custom-made mouth guard overnight and practicing stress reduction techniques can help.

Taking Advantage of Teeth as Hard Surfaces. Although gnawing on pencils, chewing ice, ripping open packages, or using your teeth as a can opener seem like harmless habits, using your teeth for anything besides smiling, chewing, and speaking is highly discouraged. These habits can produce cracks in the enamel, chip the tooth, or lead to a fracture. Teeth are not tools, so take an extra second or two to use your hands and the proper tools to get the task done. If you are feeling nervous and need to nibble on something, chew sugarless gum with xylitol. It also stimulates saliva production.

Mouth Guards Necessary for Any Sports. It doesn’t matter if you are on or off a game timer – a mouth guard should always be worn when participating in a high impact sport. And that doesn’t mean only school sports – how many skateboard injuries end up with two cracked front teeth? Not only does a mouth guard cushion impact to the teeth and jaw, and also prevent bitten tongues and lips.

Fashion Statements Best Avoided. A pierced tongue or lip is a dangerous “fashion” trend that dentists and physicians highly discourage. Sensitivity, gum recession, fractured or chipped teeth, and bacteria buildup is a steep price to pay for “beauty”. Not to mention impediments to speech with a foreign object in your mouth. Just “thay” NO.

Hidden Adversaries Exist in Food and Drink. So many of our favorite foods and beverages including coffee; wine; sugars; gummy or sour candies; cough drops; fruit juices; starchy foods; sodas; and sports drinks can undermine healthy teeth. These items essentially bathe teeth in sugar and acid, which erodes tooth enamel, and when you add bacteria, tooth decay occurs. Also be aware of grazing and snacking throughout the day, or binge eating, because this can allow food debris and plaque to linger on your teeth. Even giving a baby a bottle of milk or juice at can lead to enamel loss and tooth decay, even before a tooth has erupted. Brushing, or at least rinsing with water and chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol to stimulate saliva production and neutralize pH within 30 minutes of consumption of these foods is recommended. Even better, opt for healthier food choices, or try sugar-free versions.

Smoking. In addition to heart and lung disease, contracting gum disease is more likely for those who use tobacco products. Smoke dries out the mouth and without adequate saliva, plaque buildup increases. Smoking has also been linked to oral and throat cancer. Quitting is probably the most important thing you can do to promote overall health.

Dentistry of Johns Creek Dentistry and Your Oral Health

Your teeth are unique – just like everyone has distinctive fingerprints. Dentistry of Johns Creek keeps tabs on your oral health with our efficient records and provides you with the preventative oral care tools to keep seemingly innocent habits from becoming damaging habits. Don’t wait until your teeth have yellowed, decayed or you feel the pain to make an appointment. Dentistry of Johns Creek welcomes patients from Alpharetta, Cumming, Duluth, Milton, Suwanee, Roswell and Johns Creek, GA.

© 2015 Dentistry of Johns Creek. All rights reserved.

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