Diligent oral hygiene is the cornerstone of a health smile. If you brush and floss your teeth regularly, you are definitely on the right path! However, you may be doing things — sometimes unknowingly — that may turn all of that positive effort into a downward spiral.
Here are the Top 5 behaviors that can damage teeth and ruin your smile.
1. Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Using a brush that’s too hard can cause your gums to recede and abrasion damage to tooth root surfaces. A soft-bristled, multi-tufted brush is ideal.
2. Brushing Too Forcefully and/or Too Often
Even with the right brush, you can still damage teeth and irritate gyms by applying too much force. A gentle whisking is all that’s needed to break up plaque buildup on tooth surfaces. Ask us about the proper technique if you’re not sure.
Brushing too often can also be damaging over time. Twice a day — morning and night — is sufficient.
3. Nail Biting
This nervous habit exerts “parafunctional” (outside what’s normal) bite forces that can wear down teeth and cause small fractures and chips.
4. Grinding and Clenching
Bruxism, the dental term for tooth grinding as well as jaw clenching, exerts excessive bite forces that can result in tooth wear, fractures or looseness, jaw pain, migraines and headache.
It often occurs while people sleep; a night guard can help protect against damage. There are also alternative therapies, such as TruDenta pain management treatment offered in our office, that can alleviate the symptoms of grinding and clenching.
5. Using Your Teeth as Tools
Teeth are designed for eating, not for tearing tags off clothing, ripping open a bag of pretzels or unscrewing bottle tops. Misusing them is a recipe for fractures, chips and cracks.
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THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental reconstruction and TMJ/Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.