Bad habits that are wrecking havoc on your teeth

San Luis Obispo dentist

Your friendly Arroyo Grande Dentist Dr. Perry Patel, D.D.S. cares about your dental health. Here are some common ways that you may be wreaking havoc on your teeth that you aren’t even aware of.

You know that you should brush your teeth at least twice enough, if not after every time you eat. You should also floss every day. But what do you do that causes harm? While they may seem inconsequential, they are causing problems to the health of your mouth.

• Don’t use your teeth as a tool. Instead of using your teeth to open packaging or remove tags, utilize a tool such as scissors or a multi-tool keychain to carry with you.

• Don’t bite your nails. Not only is it unhygienic, but it also could put you at risk for catching illnesses, as well as damaging your nail.

• Don’t chew ice. Chewing ice puts a lot of pressure on your teeth – unnecessarily. Chew sugar-free gum if you need to chew something.

• Don’t use toothpicks incorrectly. Instead of using toothpicks often and overly aggressively, only use them to remove annoying pieces of food stuck in your food.

What you can do to improve the health of your teeth and gums is to floss daily. Not only does it clear food and other debris from between teeth, it also prevents bacteria to build up, which can cause cavities.

How to floss effectively:
• Start with 18 inches of floss

• Wrap the extra floss around your middle fingers and leave a few inches between them

• Holding it tauntly between your thumb and index fingers, gently slide the floss between each tooth and slide it up and down in a rubbing motion

• At the gum line, slide the floss in the space between each tooth and gum line, never snap or force the floss because it can cause the gum tissue to be cut or become bruised

Types of floss:
• Nylon, also called multifilament, comes either waxed or unwaxed and either unflavored or in a variety of flavors. It is composed of many strands of nylons and may sometimes tear or shred. Waxed floss tends to glide between teeth more easily than unwaxed floss.

• PTFE, also called monofilament, is more expensive, but slides easily between tight spaces and is, most of the time, shred-resistant.

When to floss:
Ideally, you should brush and floss after every meal. However, dentists recommend flossing at bedtime if it’s going to happen only once a day because your saliva production slows when you’re asleep and allows bacteria to build up. Flossing before bed can slow the bacteria growth.

Call Arroyo Grande dentist Dr. Perry Patel, D.D.S. today at (805) 489-4761.