Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bite These 7 Habits for Better Oral Health

Seemingly minor actions can significantly impact your oral health. Brushing quickly, clenching your jaw when you're stressed, gnawing on pens, ripping things open with your teeth-you might do these things without thinking twice.

Pay attention to how you use-or abuse-your teeth, then make some changes. Chances are, if you're like most people, you've succumbed to several of these oral health no-no's:

1. Poor technique
You're in a hurry or thinking about something else. And so, you brush fast, hard, or not at all. Brushing too quickly often results in missing surfaces and wind up with a poor cleaning job. Brushing too hard can damage gums and cause the gum line to recede. It can also wear down tooth enamel, resulting in sensitivity.

The Academy of General Dentistry recommends holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and using a gentle, circular motion. Brush twice a day for 2-3 minutes at a time. If, for some reason, brushing just isn't an option, chew sugar-free gum and swish your mouth with water following a meal-but don't make it a habit.

2. Skipped care
Tempting as it may be, skipping daily brushing and flossing sessions doesn't pay off. Doing so can get you out of the habit and mean enduring additional, unpleasant plaque at your next checkup. Over time, the omissions may just add up to decay and cavities.

And remember to floss! Don't just slide floss in and out of the spaces between your teeth, make sure to gently rub it up and down against their sides. Consider using floss picks or wands, if that makes the job easier-whatever ensures you do it daily.

3. Shoddy tools
For optimal "mechanical effectiveness," the American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months-earlier, if you notice wear. Also make the switch following illness.

4. Clenching and grinding
A lot of people grind their teeth at night or clench their jaws when tense Most of us don't notice these habits until they create pain. Grinding and clenching wear down tooth surfaces; they can also lead to tooth fractures, as well as tension headaches and jaw pain.

Discuss these problems with your dentist. He or she may recommend a mouth guard for nighttime protection. For daytime problems, start practicing awareness. Trying to catch yourself in the moment will help you stop. Check your posture, too; a hunched back and high shoulders create tension. Stress-reduction and relaxation techniques can also help diminish-and even get rid of-these harmful habits.

5. Nibbling
It's easy to mindlessly gnaw on a pen or chomp on ice cubes. But catching yourself in the act may prevent chips, cracks and worn enamel. Reach for sugar-free gum or sip on some water instead.

6. Unintended use
Your teeth are not scissors, pliers or nail clippers. When used to stand in for these tools, they are subject to harmful wear, breaks and fractures. The end result: expensive and possibly painful dental work, as well as unsightly appearance. Keep a small multi-tool or scissors on hand, so you won't be tempted to use your teeth.

7. Sweet tooth
Grabbing for sugary foods and drinks may provide temporary comfort or energy, but they also erode enamel and facilitate plaque buildup. Substitute a short walk or stretch when you hit that afternoon lull. If you can't shake your sugar craving, reach for fruit. And, if it's about refreshment, choose water, low-fat milk or juices made with 50 percent fruit juice and no added sweeteners.

You only get one set of adult teeth; use them wisely and properly, and treat them with care!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7172509

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