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Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, yet 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and a whopping 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. And these numbers say nothing of the rates of tooth decay — 92% of adults and 42% of kids ages 2-11 have at least one cavity.
These eye-opening statistics should serve to remind you that a little preventive care can go a long way toward preserving your teeth.
At Smylique Dentistry, Dr. Indra Quagliata and our team are invested in your oral health, and we believe that taking a proactive approach is the best way to safeguard your teeth. To that end, we’ve identified a few bad habits that may be ruining your teeth and offer tips to correct them.
Lack of proper cleaning
Let’s start with the most obvious bad habit — not cleaning your teeth properly. The best way to take care of your teeth is to:
While brushing and rinsing may not pose too terrible a burden, many people forego flossing because of the hassle. We urge you to put flossing back on the roster. Flossing removes the food that gets stuck in between your teeth, where it settles in and forms plaque, allowing harmful bacteria to set up shop and slowly erode your teeth.
If you truly dislike flossing, consider trying one of the water flosser systems that shoot powerful jets of water in between your teeth to dislodge debris.
Brushing too hard
Before we leave the land of proper cleaning, we want to emphasize the importance of gentle brushing. All too often, people brush their teeth vigorously with bristles that are too hard. Instead, brush your teeth gently, in circular motions on the surface, and use only soft-bristled toothbrushes to preserve your protective tooth enamel.
Biting your nails
We know life can get stressful, but try not to let that stress impact your teeth by biting your nails. Your fingernails are hard, and you run the risk of chipping your teeth when you chew on them. Nail biting can also place stress on your jaw.
Clenching or grinding
People who clench or grind their teeth, which is also related to stress, can wreak havoc on their teeth and jaws. Night grinding, especially, can wear down your teeth. If you grind or clench your teeth, we urge you come in for a visit so we can outfit you with a night guard.
Another bad habit that can ruin teeth is chewing on hard substances like ice. If you enjoy chomping down on ice cubes, understand that ice is strong enough to break or chip your teeth.
Not protecting your mouth at game time
If you engage in a sport where your face may be in the line of fire, always protect your mouth and teeth with a sports guard. We can get you set up at our office with a custom sports guard to shield your teeth from whatever comes their way.
Eating hard candy
Hard candies are enemies to teeth for two reasons: First, as you slowly suck away at these sweets, the sugars linger in your mouth, which encourages tooth decay. Second, hard candies are, well, hard and run the risk of chipping your teeth.
There are plenty of other tips we're happy to share with you, but these should give you a great start in protecting the health of your teeth. For all of your dental needs, contact our office in Rochester, New York, by phone or by using our online scheduling tool to request an appointment.