As the saying goes; you sleep in the bed you make. That alludes to the fact that every decision we make, rightly or wrongly, will ultimately affect us more than they will impact others. The same wisdom applies to the everyday choices that we make in regards to the health of our teeth and gums. An important facet of making an informed decision about our dental health is knowing what not to do, and this pertains to our diet, oral hygiene habits and lifestyle choices.
Indeed, it pays to ask what are those bad habits that would take a toll on our oral health in the weeks, months, or even years down the road. In this blog, we take a look at the leading factors that compromise your dental wellbeing.
Tooth Decay and Cavities
There are millions of germs that live in your mouth. One type of germs, known as Streptococcus Mutants, has been identified as the main source of decay problems. After they feed on the sugar in your food Streptococcus Mutants secrete an acid that has the ability to erode the protective enamel (the outer layers) of your teeth. This can result in holes in your teeth known as cavities. To prevent proliferation of the germs, you should:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day;
- Use fluoride toothpaste; eat foods with sugar substitutes.
- Avoid excessive intake of sugary and high-carb foods;
- Brush your teeth within an hour of eating foods and beverages containing sugar. High advisable for those with a sweet tooth.
Discolouration and Stained Teeth
Many things can contribute to teeth stains and discolouration. The most common causes include the consumption of dark-coloured beverages like coffee, red wine and tea. Low pH (less than 7) or acidic fruit juices, beer and carbonated drinks are also a leading cause. Discoloured teeth can also be caused by over-the-counter (OTC) medications like Tetracycline, Minocycline and Antihistamines. It also pays to avoid foodstuffs with heavy pigments like soy sauce, gravy, cranberries and blackberries. Last but not least, ageing and genetics also contribute to the brightness of your teeth.
The best ways to reduce stains on our teeth is to:
- Quit smoking
- Reduce intake of dark-coloured foods and beverages
- Reduce intake of dark-coloured fruits;
- Brush teeth/ rinse mouth immediately after consuming foods with staining substances
- Avoid mouthwash that contain chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride;
- Practice good dental hygiene.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching (Bruxism)
Excessive grinding and clenching of teeth can result in wearing them away, leading to problems like jaw pains, headaches and severe damage to your teeth. In serious cases, it can lead to insomnia, depression and eating disorders.
Remedies for curbing bruxism include:
- Relaxation techniques to relax your facial muscles and jaw
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated
- Face, shoulders and neck massage
- Manage stress – which can cause the jaw muscles to tighten
- Avoid hard chews
- Wear dental mouthguard
Following these simple steps can form a good foundation of everyday habits that, in turn, will put you on the path to a lifetime of healthy and beautiful teeth.
To book an appointment or ask about any of the mentioned treatments in this blog – including cavity prevention, discoloured teeth and bruxism – please contact Macquarie Street Centre today. Simply call our friendly practice in Sydney CBD at 02 9247 1394.