18. June 2012 15:28
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- Too much bleaching. There is such a thing as too white (think Ross in that classic episode of Friends when his smile glowed in the dark). Plus, over bleaching can cause painful tooth and gum sensitivity that is reversible once you stop using the product.
- Tongue piercing. Although not really a habit, it can cause a bad habit such as clicking the piercing against your teeth resulting in cracked or broken teeth. Couple that with the risk of infection, swelling, bleeding or contracting hepatitis and tongue piercing just turns out to be a bad idea altogether.
- Trying to be your own Hygienist. Attempting to remove tartar yourself can result in burnishing the plaque to your teeth, making it more difficult for a hygienist to remove it properly. Some patients have even chipped or cracked their own teeth trying to remove the scaly stuff themselves. Keep the paper clips, bobby pins and metal nail files out of your mouth and leave the scraping to the professionals!
- Brushing too hard and too often. We all want sparking smiles, but good oral hygiene isn’t about frequency or force. It’s about good technique – thorough brushing of all four quadrants (upper right & left, lower right & left), using a soft bristled brush for at least 2 minutes per session 2-3 times a day and thorough flossing. Stick to a non abrasive toothpaste as well.
- Clenching and grinding the teeth. Chances are if you do it, you may not know it. If you have unexplained jaw pain or soreness, headaches, or difficulty opening or closing your mouth you should see a dentist. Clenching and grinding can lead to all sorts of future problems such as bone loss, gum recession or shifting and cracked teeth.
- Using teeth as tools. Opening chip bags and loosening knots with your teeth can lead to cracks and breaks and damage fillings, crowns, and other dental work. Also risky is chewing ice or frozen candy bars, especially ones with caramel.
- Drinking lots of soda – even the diet kind. Carbonated soda, both diet and regular, contain phosphoric acid which can erode teeth over time. If you do indulge, drink soda out of a straw to minimize contact with the tooth surface and brush afterward.
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