Here’s a reprise of one of my previous blogs: The easiest advice a dentist can give is for patients to brush twice daily and floss daily. However, that isn’t always the end of advice about how to have a healthy mouth and healthy teeth. While there is advice about watching what you drink because liquids can play havoc with your enamel (such as sodas and drinks that are acidic and even alcoholic beverages), there is even more obvious advice.
Here are a few points that you should always keep in mind.
- Remember to protect your teeth when you do sports or recreational activities with a mouthguard. It’s not just competitive athletes who need mouthguards. Any sport or activity that involves movement can ruin your day (or evening) with a smack to the face. Basketball can be especially dangerous. A fun backyard or driveway game is just like a competitive one – watch the elbows! Of course any activity in which something is thrown (a ball, a flying disc – you call them Frisbees but that’s the trademarked name – etc.) is a potential dental appointment.
- Beware when you want to chew something hard. For example, the so-called “jawbreakers” used to be a candy favorite, but they shouldn’t be on your list. Also, don’t chew ice (we mentioned that in a recent Facebook post) and work to avoid popcorn kernals; and hard candy is always a big no-no to avoid cracking a tooth.
- You’ve heard of “never run while holding scissors,” well, you should never use your teeth to cut something – a piece of string or, say, a plastic tie. Yes, I know that it doesn’t appear that using your teeth to break the thin plastic string holding the price tag on a new shirt would be bad … but it is! That kind of cutting with your teeth is an open invitation to cracking one of your teeth.