You only get one set of adult teeth. That is why it is so important to take care of the ones you have. With people living longer and longer today, you are going to need your teeth for a while! If you want to maintain healthy teeth and gums and a fully functional smile, here are five habits to avoid:
- Chewing on Ice – while it can be refreshing and soothing for some, it can also increase your risk of cracking or chipping your teeth. And, chewing on ice can irritate the soft tissue on the inside of your teeth, causing tooth aches.
- Playing Sports Without A Mouth Guard – playing sports without a mouth guard leaves you susceptible to having your teeth chipped, cracked or knocked out completely. You can find mouth guards at sporting goods stores or visit your local dentist to get a custom fitted mouth guard.
- Grinding Your Teeth – grinding your teeth (Bruxism) can wear down the surfaces of your teeth and create problems with your Temporomandibular (jaw) joint. This can lead to painful symptoms like ear pain, ringing in the ears and headaches. Many people grind their teeth at night, when they sleep, making it harder to control. In this case, a night guard can be worn over the teeth at night when you sleep to prevent you from grinding and clenching your teeth.
- Eating Gummy Candy – gummy candy contains a lot of sugar. When the candy adheres to your teeth, the sugar sits on the tooth and can lead to decay. If possible, keep this type of food out of your diet. If you do eat gummy candies, you should rinse your mouth with water afterwards or, even better, brush and floss your teeth.
- Getting your tongue pierced – while this is very trendy these days, getting your tongue pierced leaves you more at risk for developing sores, gum damage and periodontal disease. If you are considering a tongue piercing, it may be a good idea to talk to your dentist about the risks before you do it and about how you can properly care for your piercing if you decide to go through with it.
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