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You may not realize that some common habits may actually be damaging to your teeth.  When we plan meals, grab drinks or other activities we do not give a second thought to how they may harm the health of our teeth. Twenty five percent of adults over age 65 have lost all their teeth.  Consider these tips to help protect your own teeth.

1. Use a soft bristled toothbrush.

Use a soft bristled toothbrush to avoid brushing your teeth too hard, which may lead to receding gums and gum disease. Do not scrub your teeth but instead meticulously brush from side-to-side in a circular motion around the gum line to remove plaque buildup, which causes tooth decay.


2. Avoid grinding and clenching of your teeth.

This habit often occurs at night while we are sleeping and is very destructive to your teeth. You may need a night guard to help protect your teeth and jaw muscles at night.  If you feel like you may have a sore jaw line or a headache in the morning, this is often a sign that you are grinding your teeth at night. During the day, make a conscious effort to relax your jaw and keep your teeth slightly apart.


3. Avoid regular snacking and grazing.

Depending on what you choose to eat, especially if it is sugary snacks or other refined carbohydrates, bacteria will buildup which causes a constant churning of acids that attack your tooth enamel. Making healthier food choices will help keep your teeth healthy and avoid tooth decay.


4. Stop chewing ice cubes.

Unfortunately chewing on ice or other hard objects like pens, and pencils will cause wear and tear on the tooth and enamel surfaces covering your teeth.  If you chip or wear down your teeth you will damage the tooth structure.


5. Do not use your teeth to open objects.

Your teeth are not tools and should not be used to snap off bottle caps, remove clothing tags or open plastic bags. By using your teeth in ways that they were not intended to be used, you risk damaging your teeth.


6. Avoid Sugary and Acidic Drinks.

Energy drinks, sodas that are sugar free or not, and acidic foods will wear down the enamel on your teeth and promote tooth decay, especially if you are sipping drinks through out the day.


7. Stop biting your nails.

This is a bad habit that may cause teeth or fillings to chip or wear away.


Dr. Ted Melchers and his staff are here to help address any of your dental health issues and decide the best course of treatment for their patients.  Contact us today at info@oldmtpleasantdentistry.com to see how we can best meet your dental care needs.