It’s a no-brainer for a dentist to tell you to brush and floss (twice daily for the former and once for the latter). However, you need to think for yourself at home and as you pursue your recreational activities. So, let me again visit the topic of protecting your teeth. In addition to the all-important brushing/flossing admonishment, you should watch what you drink because some liquids can play havoc with your tooth enamel (such as sodas and drinks that are acidic – such as sports and energy drinks – and even alcoholic beverages). And, here is a few more pieces of advice…
- Remember to protect your teeth when you do sports or recreational activities with a mouth guard. It’s not just competitive athletes who need mouth guards. 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 it’s really a trademarked issue – etc.) has the potential of an emergency 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 be vigilant to avoid popcorn kernels; 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.” It’s too convenient: you have a piece of string or, say, a plastic tie holding that annoying price tag on your new shirt and you need to get rid of it. Yes, I know that it doesn’t appear that using your teeth to break the thin plastic string holding the pricetag 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.
In the end, I guess that you can say vigilance is the key to keeping your mouth and teeth healthy – you must brush and floss, but you also need to be aware of a potential physical threat to your mouth.
If you don’t have a dentist, consider calling the full-service Naples Implant and Laser Dental Center (239-261-8200).