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6 Common Habits That Can Harm Your Smile

 

Your smile is one of the first things someone will notice about you. When you love your teeth, you smile more which is good for you and everyone around you. You can jump right into life, express yourself and experience everything. 
So we all need to take care of our smile! 

In this Tooth Fairy blog post, we will highlight the 7 common habits that have an adverse effect upon your teeth and smile: 

 

1. DRINKING TOO MANY SOFT DRINKS  

Soft drinks (non-diet ones) contain large amounts of sugar – with certain brands being much worse than others. Increased sugar in the diet will result in you having a higher risk of getting tooth decay, cavities in the teeth and also has been linked to a higher risk of getting gum disease. 

Prior to the formation of the cavities, the sugar in soft drinks causes your enamel to become thinner. This has two effects – making the layer underneath, the dentine, become more visible creating a yellow colour to the teeth as well as increasing your risk of tooth sensitivity.  

Healthier Habit: The ideal is to completely stop having soft drinks. Otherwise we recommend reducing your intake to the minimum possible and to always drink soft drinks through a straw to reduce the amount of time each tooth is in contact with the sugar in the drinks.   

 

2. GRINDING/CLENCHING YOUR TEETH  

Often grinding your teeth is an involuntary reaction and occurs during sleep therefore treatments for this vary. Perhaps the most common cause is stress. Over time, when you grind/clench your teeth it will result in increased wear of the teeth as they rub against each other for longer than recommended.  This can also result in an increased risk of tooth fracture due to the excess forces present when grinding/clenching
Ultimately, this will cause your teeth to become shorter, uneven and can feel a bit sharp on your tongue. Often the front teeth edges are the first places in the mouth to display this appearance which obviously has a negative impact upon your smile.  

Grinding your teeth also leads to other problems in the head/neck region commonly – jaw and TMJ pain and tension headaches. 

Healthier Habit: There are tension relieving exercises available from your dentist or online. For night time grinding a protective mouthguard can also be made for you.  

 

3. IMPROPER/AGGRESSIVE BRUSHING

The choice of your toothbrush is very important. If the brush/bristles are too hard this will irritate and traumatise the gums causing bleeding on brushing. If this continues, over time it will cause gum recession mimicking gum disease. Gum recession will lead to increased sensitivity as the roots of the teeth are exposed. The ideal frequency of brushing is 2 times per day – first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Don’t do it more than that. 

Healthier Habit: Use a medium toothbrush, never hard. Brush the teeth in a circular motion if you are using a manual toothbrush. If you are using an electric toothbrush, gently press and hold against the teeth. 

 

4. NOT USING DENTAL FLOSS 

In actual fact, it turns out that flossing is as important as brushing. This is because when you floss you are removing plaque and food particles from in between the teeth. This an area where the toothbrush cannot clean effectively. Therefore if you do not floss regularly bacteria will build up in these areas. The more plaque and bacteria present, the higher the chance of tooth decay and cavities forming in this area. 

 Healthier Habit: Floss every evening before brushing using waxed floss. Do not go in an up and down motion as this can cause gum irritation.

 

5. LIMITING HIGHLY STAINING FOODS AND DRINKS

Certain food and drinks are highly staining to the enamel on your teeth. Therefore having too much of them in the diet will increase your risk of dark staining occurring. With commonly staining drinks such as tea and coffee, the staining risk increases in line with how strong they are poured. The tanins in red white are another common cause of staining. Foods like blackberries, blueberries, turmeric ( found in curries), beets, and pomegranate will also stain your teeth.
As some of these are healthy foods, they are still beneficial in your diet so you shouldn’t necessarily skip them just be careful in your consumption and follow our healthier habit tips. 

 Healthier Habit: Limit your intake of these foods. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming such food or drink.

 

6. PICKING THE RIGHT STRENGTH WHITENING AND USING FOR THE CORRECT DURATION 

Whilst the effects of whitening are very desirable, there are risks associated with this procedure so having the correct strength and instructions is very important. Always be aware of the strength of the whitening you are using and where you have brought it from. The only place to buy your whitening is from a registered dental clinic such as Tooth Fairy. Here you can guarantee the legitimacy and safety of the product. Be wary of using online stores despite them appearing much cheaper in some cases. Whitening can range in concentration from 6%-16%. If a strength is higher than 20% – do not use it. 

If you leave the whitening strip or gel for too long or use it more often than advised, it will increase the risk of gum inflammation. Super white teeth may look good when you smile, not so much when they come along with inflamed gums.

Healthier Habit: Always buy whitening products from a registered dental clinic and follow the instructions from your dentist and in the leaflets provided with the gels  

 

 

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