It’s January, time to take stock, gear up for a new year, and resolve to make those changes that will improve your health and well-being. This year, consider a resolution to do good by your teeth and gums by ending those little habits and behaviors that can do a lot of damage.
One habit that you should keep, of course, is your twice-yearly dental checkups at Charles F. Betts Family Dentistry in Decatur, AL. If your next appointment’s not yet on the books, fill out our online form or call our office at 256-274-8680.
5 Habits to Kick in 2020
- Tobacco. This one’s a no-brainer. You surely know that tobacco use is terrible for your entire body, causing cancer, emphysema, and other problems, but it is bad news for your mouth, too. It will stain your teeth, make your breath smell bad, and increase your likelihood of developing gum disease. It may even lead to cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue. We understand that a long tobacco habit is tough to break. The CDC offers resources to get you started.
- Overzealous Brushing. While we appreciate people who are passionate about getting their teeth clean, brushing with force will do more harm than good. Brushing too hard may damage your sensitive gums and even wear away your tooth enamel, leaving you prone to pain and even tooth decay. Always brush gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Grinding or Clenching. Many people get into the bad habit of clenching or grinding their teeth out of stress. You may not even realize you are doing it! This habit can have several negative effects on your mouth. It can lead to gum recession, wear down your tooth enamel, and cause problems with your TMJ, the set of joints that connect the jawbone and skull. If you suspect you grind your teeth while sleeping, we can make you a custom mouthguard that will keep your jaw in a safe position and prevent grinding.
- Opening Stuff. Your teeth are not tools. They are tough, sure, but they are not designed to open potato chip bags, rip caps off bottles, or tear price tags off clothing. If you misuse your pearly whites in this way, it’s only a matter of time before you have a dental emergency on hand.
- Snacking. Continuously nibbling throughout the day is bad for your waistline and bad for your teeth — especially if your snack of choice is anything sugary or starchy like chips or pretzels. When you eat, harmful bacteria launch attacks on your enamel, wearing it down and causing decay. If you keep your eating to mealtime, you will have only three of these acid attacks. If you munch all day long, your teeth will be under constant barrage from that nasty bacteria.
This year, resolve to treat your teeth with the care and respect they deserve. Doing so will help keep them healthy, strong, and free of pain. At Charles F. Betts Family Dentistry in Decatur, we will be happy to talk with you further about healthy and unhealthy dental habits. To schedule your next checkup, call our office at 256-274-8680. You may also reach us online.