Try these tips on breaking bad habits instead of your teeth
It’s the new year and perfect time to brush away some bad habits ~ especially those that can harm your teeth and wreak havoc on a winning smile. Here are just some of the common ways we damage our teeth and tips to overcome them.
- Nail Biting:
It’s not something everyone does nor taste good. But this nervous habit can do more than chip teeth. Placing pressure in a protruding position for sustained periods of time can cause jaw dysfunction. Solution: Start by recognizing some of the triggers that cause nail biting and try to keep your hands and fingers busy. Other ideas include bitter-tasting nail polish and stress reduction toys or tools.
- Brushing Too Hard:
We all know the mantra – brush teeth for two minutes twice a day. However, brushing forcefully or with a hard toothbrush can often do more harm than good, including damaging both teeth and gums. Solution: A first step is to use an ADA-approved soft toothbrush and the motion should be more akin to a massage than scrubbing the bathroom floor.
- Grinding and Clenching:
This habit is one that is sometimes so subconscious that we don’t realize we are doing it. Especially when it takes place while sleeping. This can result in chipped or cracked teeth but also sore muscles and joints. Solution: Relaxation is key and yes, easier said than done. In such cases, certain exercises can help. If this occurs primarily when asleep, a mouth guard may be needed overnight.
- Chewing Ice Cubes:
Imagine two crystals pressed against one another. That’s the same as tooth enamel and ice – both are crystals. While more often teeth win, chewing on ice can cause a tooth or filling to break. Solution: There are a couple ways to curb this habit, including drinking cold beverages without ice or use a straw.
- Constant Snacking:
Who can resist noshing throughout the day but sugary foods and drinks can really put your teeth at risk for cavities. The on-going presence of bacteria produces acid and damages a tooth’s outer shell. Solution: Step one is to eat well balanced meals. This helps you feel fuller, longer. Yet snacking is far too tempting so choose something low in fat and sugar. When your sweet tooth does takeover, have a big glass of water to wash away leftover bacteria.
- Using Teeth As Tools:
The only job teeth should be used for is eating. They are not a vice when hands are full nor scissors to tear a plastic bag. Such actions can cause cracked teeth, injured jaws and accidental swallowing. Solution: Take a moment to find someone or something else to help with the job at hand.
So, start the year of right and break those bad habits and not your teeth. If questions or conditions arise, contact any member of the Amsterdam Dental staff or any dental professional.
We turn the spotlight on preventing periodontal disease.
September is National Gum Care Month and Amsterdam Dental turns the spotlight on preventing periodontal disease – a common condition that can often have no warning signs.
Simply defined… periodontal disease (or periodontitis) is a serious gum infection and one of the major causes of tooth loss in adults. While often preventable with proper oral hygiene, early symptoms of red, swollen or receding gums should not be overlooked. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious dental conditions, such as tissue damage and jawbone deterioration. In addition, periodontitis has also been linked to heart and other diseases.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, research has indicated the bacteria and inflammation related to periodontal disease may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also have a negative effect on existing heart conditions. Evidence has further shown a relationship between periodontitis and other diseases, including diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and respiratory-related illnesses.
At-A-Glance: Signs & Symptoms
- Swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums
- Receding gums or those that move away from the tooth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Loose teeth
- Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
At-A-Glance: Risk Factors
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Genetics and/or age
- Crooked, hard to clean teeth
- Certain medications (steroids, select anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives)
At-A-Glance: Gum Disease Prevention
- Brush teeth daily
- Floss teeth daily
- Swish with mouthwash
- Know gum disease risk factors
There is good news! Periodontal disease is treatable using special dental procedures to clean the pockets around teeth and prevent damage of surrounding bone. In advanced cases, periodontal surgery may be required. As with all diseases, early detection is best. If you have questions or show symptoms, the team of Amsterdam Dental Group periodontists can diagnosis, create and manage a personal, case-specific treatment plan.
So as we celebrate National Gum Care, keep your healthy with good oral hygiene.
Tailgating is always fun! And, yes, it can be tooth-friendly!
It’s fall and that means… Get out and start tailgating! From SUV-filled stadium parking lots to a comfortable gathering in front of the big screen at home, there is no shortage of food and fun. The good news is there are some easy ways to maintain dental health while rooting for your favorite team. Here are some quick and good-tasting options.
- Take a pass on the tradition and replace hamburgers and hot dogs with some grilled vegetables, fish, chicken and other lean meats instead. All good ways to avoid bad breath and mouth sores.
- Back up your starting line up with a raw vegetable tray. These fiber-rich favorites stimulate saliva and wash away cavity-causing sugars and bacteria.
- Kick off the tailgate with some cheese and crackers. The calcium-infused favorite is a great source of minerals for your teeth. Go for two points by opting for whole-grain or whole-wheat picks.
- Gear up for overtime with some healthy sweet treats like sugar-free peanut butter cookies or sliced fruit with yogurt dip.
Win or lose, the best end of game advice is to be sure and brush afterward or at least swish with a little water! Happy tailgating!
If you have any questions or dental related concerns, contact Amsterdam Dental Group or your dental professional.