Your teeth are useful and incredibly strong. With proper care, they can last a lifetime. But proper care involves more than just keeping your teeth clean. If you want to maintain a healthy, strong, and radiant smile, continue reading to learn more about a few things you should never do with your teeth.
1. Use Your Teeth as a Tool
Your teeth serve a great purpose when it comes to helping you eat and speak. They aren’t, however, meant to be used as tools to open bottles and packages, cut thread, or act as a third hand to hold objects. Anytime you put something in your mouth that shouldn’t be there, you put yourself at risk for damaging your teeth, gums, and tongue.
The effects of using your teeth as a tool may not seem obvious at first, but instead become more noticeable over time. Have you ever heard of a tailor’s notch? It’s a small groove that many tailors develop over time from holding a sewing needle between their teeth.
To protect your teeth, stick to using them only for their intended purpose.
2. Brush Incorrectly
Several factors go into brushing correctly. If you spend the right amount of time and attention on your teeth, you can rest assured you are doing the best possible job at keeping them clean and healthy.
To be sure you are brushing correctly, brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes each time. Also, use a toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Approval.
3. Chew on Ice or Hard Foods
The enamel (the exterior part of your tooth) is the hardest substance in the human body. That means your teeth are incredibly strong. But despite their strength, your teeth are still susceptible to damage. Chewing on ice or chomping down on hard foods can leave chips, cracks, and fractures in your tooth.
Avoid chewing on ice and be particularly careful when eating nuts, olives, popcorn, chips, fruit with a pit, and bone-in cuts of meat.
4. Bite Your Fingernails
Your fingernails are softer than your teeth, but they are still made up of a strong substance. You might be surprised by the amount of force it takes for your teeth to bite through your nails.
You may not notice the damage you are doing to your teeth at first, but over time, all the force put on your teeth by biting your nails can cause your teeth to move and become misaligned. Plus, the sharp edges of jagged fingernails can puncture your gum tissue and make you susceptible to infection.
5. Ignore Painful or Uncomfortable Symptoms
One of the worst things you can do for your teeth is to ignore painful or uncomfortable symptoms. If you have a toothache that lingers for several days, constant soreness in your mouth, or extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, call one of our offices right away.
What You Should Do: Schedule an Appointment with Us
As for what you should do to help your teeth, call Beaumont Family Dentistry at one of our three Lexington locations today to schedule a checkup and cleaning. Your smile will thank you!