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Americans are putting off going to the dentist because of the pandemic. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry.

Visiting the dentist is perfectly safe and policies and protocols are in place to ensure patient safety.

The reality is, putting off going to the dentist can lead to serious health issues.

Going to the dentist for a regular dental check up is critical for your health. Keep reading for the top 7 reasons why you should schedule your next dental check up today. 

1. Cleaner Teeth

Even if you practice good oral hygiene at home, you won’t be able to get your teeth as clean as your dentist can.

Plaque and tartar often build up in places you simply can’t reach. Dentists and their teams have the tools and expertise to deep clean your teeth.

When you keep your teeth clean, you can reduce the risk of tooth decay. Dentists can spot this problem early and prevent tooth decay from becoming a much bigger problem. Your dentist can also identify the early signs of gum disease and take action to keep the issue at bay. 

2. Protect Dental Work

If you’ve had dental work done in the past, scheduling a regular dental check up can help you protect that investment. Dental work isn’t cheap, so the last thing you want to do is have it redone.

Your teeth, gums, and bones all work together to support your dental work. Ensuring they stay healthy protects your dental work and reduces the chances of needing further work. 

3. Get a Whiter Smile

Have you been longing for a whiter smile? You can save money on whitening treatments by simply scheduling a regular dental check up and cleaning.

During a dental check up, your dentist will clean your teeth and get rid of plaque and tartar, which are often responsible for teeth’s yellow appearance.

With cleaner teeth, your smile will appear whiter. You’ll feel confident that your teeth are cleaner – and it will show. 

4. Build Better Habits

When you visit the dentist regularly, you set yourself up to continue healthy habits at home. In a stressful and busy time, we often forget about the importance of practicing good oral hygiene at home. While visiting the dentist for regular dental check ups is important, it’s not enough.

Practicing good oral hygiene at home is necessary to keep your mouth in the best possible shape.

What can you do at home to protect your oral health? Good question! These healthy habits can help keep your smile healthy:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Use mouthwash
  • Replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months
  • Avoid using tobacco
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks
  • Floss every day

Not only will visiting your dentist for a dental check up give you the tools you need to practice good oral hygiene at home, but your dentist will help you identify any bad habits that might be causing you problems. Bad habits like grinding your teeth or biting your nails can have consequences for your oral health.

Your dentist will help you identify these issues before they become bigger problems and advise you on how to care for your teeth properly. 

5. Set a Good Example

Remember the saying, “Monkey See, Monkey Do?” It turns out there’s a lot of truth to the old adage, especially when it comes to our kids.

Kids are more likely to do what they see us do, rather than what we tell them to do. The behavior we model is very influential to our children. In fact, our kids will learn lifetime habits from watching what we do – for better or worse.

One of the best lifelong habits you can promote in your children is a dedication to practicing good oral hygiene. Schedule regular dental check ups for kids as well as yourself.

Practice good oral hygiene at home and encourage your children to do the same. Being a good role model will help your children grow into healthy adults. 

6. Save Money

Some people skip their regular dental check ups because they want to save money. Unfortunately, putting off regular dental appointments can actually cost you more in the long run.

This is because with many dental problems, the longer you wait the worse the problem becomes. Simple procedures are often inexpensive, but if you wait until the problem becomes larger, you may need more expensive treatments. 

7. Protect Your Overall Health

When you think of going to the dentist, you probably mostly think of keeping your teeth clean. The truth is, your oral health is a window to your overall health.

Most people don’t realize how connected your mouth, teeth, and gums are to your overall health. For example, your oral health can often provide valuable clues about your overall health. When you visit the dentist for a regular dental checkup, your dentist will look for clues that may signal issues with your overall health.

A number of different medical conditions with serious consequences have been linked to oral health.

It’s important to remember that our mouths are full of bacteria. Our mouths are also an entry point to the rest of our bodies, including our digestive and respiratory tracts. Scheduling a regular dental checkup can help keep these bacteria under control and prevent oral infections from spreading to other parts of your body. 

Are You Due for a Dental Check Up?

If you’ve been putting off visiting the dentist because of the pandemic, now is the time to schedule an appointment.

Dental offices are considered low risk and are one of the cleanest places you can be.

As we begin the new year, one of the best resolutions you can make is to prioritize your dental care. Protecting your oral health means protecting your overall health.

The first step is to schedule a dental check up. Click here to book a Webster Groves dental check up with our team today. 

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More than one in four adults have untreated tooth decay in the United States of America. This eventually leads to tooth loss during the later stages of life, particularly during our 60s and 70s. 

So, what can we do about this?

While regularly practicing the basics of oral hygiene is essential for preventing tooth decay, there are other contributing factors that we often don’t often associate with good oral health.

In this article, Webster Family Dentistry outlines each of these lesser-known, but fairly common habits that contribute to the deterioration of your teeth.

Let’s get started!

1. Excessive Brushing and Flossing

Anything in excess has the potential to cause harm. Brushing your teeth too aggressively or too often can sensitize your teeth and wear down the tooth enamel. Additionally, the practice of excessive brushing can also damage your gums causing them to recede and making them more susceptible to periodontal diseases.

Similarly, flossing more than once a day can cause severe damage to your gums. Further, while excessive flossing and brushing are detrimental to your teeth, using the incorrect techniques exacerbates the damage.

Make sure to focus on your teeth while flossing, and not your gums. Be gentle, and avoid using the same section of floss for all your teeth. Use a light touch while brushing and limit your tooth brushing sessions to two minutes, two to three times a day, as advised by your dentist. 

2. Consuming Too Much of the Wrong Beverage

Soda is perhaps the embodiment of all the worst elements for your teeth. Not only do they contain a high concentration of sugars and sweeteners, but they are also carbonated and contain caffeine. 

The sugar creates a breeding ground for bacteria while the carbonation contributes to the erosion of your enamel. This increases your chances of developing cavities. 

Beverages like colas and coffee can also stain your teeth. Coffee exacerbates bad breath and encourages the growth of bacteria in your mouth.  

Finally, we have alcohol. In addition to having high sugar content, alcohol can also lead to dryness of the mouth. Some studies show that people with alcohol addictions tend to have higher levels of plaque, tooth decay, and dental caries than the average population.

3. Highly Acidic Foods

Eating highly acidic foods like tomatoes, oranges, and lemons on their own could contribute to enamel erosion. This is further exacerbated by the regular consumption of citrus fruit drinks and smoothies. 

Tooth erosion further leads to tooth sensitivity, yellowing of the teeth, and an increased risk of developing tooth cavities. 

Now, citrus fruits offer various nutritional benefits so you don’t have to give them up entirely. Rather, make sure to sip your drinks through a straw and eat these fruits as a part of a bigger meal, rather than a snack by themselves. 

However, if you do drink lemonade or a snack on an orange, give yourself at least an hour before brushing your teeth. This will allow your saliva to wash away some of the acids. You can also chew on some sugarless gum or rinse your mouth with plain water. 

4. Drug Abuse

Studies show that 96 percent of meth users have cavities, while 58 percent of users have tooth decay and 31 percent have at least six missing teeth.

However, the effects of drug abuse on our teeth is not limited to meth. Heroin is also associated with gum disease and shows effects similar to those associated with meth. 

Smoking or consuming cocaine orally, can lead to buildup of acid over the teeth that eventually lead to the breakdown of enamel. 

5. Grinding Your Teeth

Over time, tooth grinding and jaw clenching can weaken your teeth and lead to tooth decay. The repetitive motion of rubbing one tooth against the other, alongside the induced friction, wears down the enamel and sensitizes your teeth. 

People who grind their teeth are more susceptible to cavities, tooth breakage and in the long run, even tooth loss. Drug abuse, stress and restlessness can increase the frequency and intensity of grinding which can aggravate the damage caused. 

6. Ignoring Oral Health Issues

All health issues are far easier to address and treat during their earlier stages. The smallest of tooth cavities can spread to the root and eventually lead to a root canal or the permanent loss of your tooth. While the earliest signs of gingivitis can be cured, once it progresses to periodontitis, it becomes more difficult to manage. 

While it can be tempting to put off your visit to the dentist or hope your tooth sensitivity will go away on its own, you’re better off making that appointment and addressing the root cause as soon as possible. 

7. Using Your Teeth as Tools

Your teeth are not built to open beer bottles, tear open packets or bite your fingernails. Using your teeth as opening and cutting tools can cause chips, cracks and worse when done consistently. 

Webster Family Dentistry: Get the Care You Deserve

Good oral hygiene is all about frequency and balance. Flossing and brushing your teeth excessively, or drinking too many sodas and sugary drinks can make you susceptible to tooth decay. However, you ought to also ensure a healthy lifestyle by managing your stress levels and avoiding the use and abuse of drugs. 

Finally, remember that ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. If you’ve been putting off that routine checkup or have a dental problem you’re hoping fixes itself, this is your sign to address it.

Schedule your appointment with Dr. John McCarthy or his team at Webster Family Dentistry to get the quality dental care your teeth deserve. 

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Is trying to get your kids to brush their teeth an ongoing battle? If so, you aren’t alone. 

As a parent, you want them to have healthy teeth and healthy brushing habits. But it’s easier said than done!

We understand how difficult it can be to keep kids on a regular schedule of healthy oral hygiene. If something isn’t fun or engaging, kids will consider it a chore.

That’s why we suggest incorporating some fun and play into their daily teeth brushing routine. Here are a few fun ways to get your kids to brush.

Brush Along With Them

Your kids are always watching you whether you realize it or not. They learn so much about the world from observing you in their first few years. 

When it’s time to brush their teeth at night, brush yours along with them. Don’t make it seem like a chore. Smile to lighten the mood.

If you make brushing and caring for your teeth a positive experience, they will quickly learn the importance of caring for their own. Presenting a positive attitude about oral hygiene can make trips to the dentist easier too.

Let Your Child Choose Their Toothbrush

Kids love to feel like they’re in control of some of their decisions. Give them the responsibility of choosing their own toothbrush.

Toothbrushes are inexpensive, so it can be fun to get a new one when the novelty of the old one wears off. Let them choose their favorite color or character toothbrush.

They can also pick their favorite flavor of toothpaste. You can change this once in a while too. Adult minty toothpaste is too strong for some kids.

Whitening toothpaste isn’t for little mouths. Kid’s toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors. A new toothbrush and flavor of toothpaste can help get your kids excited about brushing their teeth.

Brush Each Other’s Teeth

If you’re looking for a way to get your kids to brush, try brushing each other’s teeth once in a while. This approach isn’t ideal for the long term. But it can be a fun distraction and a way to ensure their teeth are thoroughly brushed from time to time.

Let your child brush your teeth and “teach” you about how to do it properly. Then, you do the same for them. You can even try making a game of it and brushing each other’s teeth simultaneously.

Offer Rewards for Motivation

Kids work harder when they have a goal in mind. Brushing their teeth twice a day is a goal you can encourage.

Let them know if you see them doing a good job brushing for a whole week, there will be a reward. This can be a small prize, a new book, or an extra hour of video games.

Think about what will motivate your kids. Developing healthy habits they will carry through their lives is definitely worth a reward.

Sing a Toothbrush Song

Establishing a routine is an important part of daily oral hygiene. One way to establish a routine is to play the same song every time they brush. 

This passes the time and teaches them the proper amount of time to brush. You can choose a song or find one The American Dental Association recommends.

They will get used to listening and brushing at the same time. You can even put them in charge of starting the music when it’s time to brush.

A little singing and dancing in the bathroom can be a fun part of your child’s brushing habits.

Keep Your Cool

As a parent, you know that nothing is perfect. Don’t expect every brushing session to go as planned. Tired and irritable children aren’t always in the mood to brush, no matter how fun you make it.

Remember to stay calm. Try not to make brushing a stressful situation by venting your frustrations or getting angry with your child.

If they associate brushing with stress or “mad mommy,” they will try to avoid it even more. Your child doesn’t have to do a fantastic job brushing every night.

Some days it may seem impossible to know how to make kids love brushing their teeth. Consistency is the key.  

If you have a bad episode, it’s okay. Try again tomorrow.  

Incorporate Brushing Into Playtime

Young children learn through play. You can teach them about the importance of brushing by incorporating it into playtime.

Kids love to brush their stuffed animals, baby dolls, and bath toys’ teeth. They can pretend to floss them too.

Pretend to be a dentist and go through the motions of a visit to get their teeth cleaned. Read fun books about teeth and good oral hygiene.

The more they see the importance of oral hygiene modeled into everyday life, the more routine it will seem.

Make Going to the Dentist a Good Experience

You don’t want to wait until your child has their first cavity to take them to the dentist. Start early and make it a positive experience for them. 

The dentist does not have to be scary. if your children take good care of their teeth, dentist visits are a breeze.

You want them to have a relationship with their dentist and feel comfortable and safe in their office. Your dentist and the dental staff can reinforce what you’re teaching your child at home.

When your child feels happy and confident heading to the dentist, it’s a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.

Make Your Child’s Teeth Brushing Routine Fun

Establishing healthy oral hygiene habits early in life is so important. You can help your child accomplish this by starting early and making their teeth brushing routine fun.

Our team at Webster Family Dental is here to support your child and the entire family with all their dental needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Practicing good dental habits is a crucial part of maintaining your overall health and well-being, but some brushing habits can actually do more harm than good.

Whenever you brush and floss, it’s important to make sure that you’re doing this correctly to prevent damage to your teeth and gums.

Read on to learn more about some habits that might not be great for your oral health, and what you can do to correct them.

Bad Brushing Habits: Too Much Pressure Can Cause Harm

When you brush your teeth, you might think that the harder your brush, the cleaner your teeth will be. However, these brushing habits can actually make things worse for your teeth and gums over time.

Brushing too vigorously or applying too much pressure when you brush can damage the protective enamel on your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to cavities or infection. It can also cause your gums to become inflamed, make them bleed, or just cause pain in general.

When you brush your teeth, pay close attention to how your gums feel. If they’re tender or sensitive to the touch, there is a good chance that you could be applying too much pressure with your toothbrush.

Other signs of brushing too hard include tooth pain or your teeth look darker near the gum line – an indication that the gums are receding and the dentin is exposed. To avoid these problems, simply apply less pressure and try to brush your teeth more gently moving forward.

Biting or Chewing Things You Shouldn’t

While this one isn’t a brushing habit, it’s still a common habit that many people have. If you love to chew on ice, pencils, or other hard objects, you’re putting the health of your teeth at risk.

Never try to open something using your teeth, and try not to chomp on ice cubes whenever you can avoid it. Chewing these things will eventually cause damage to your teeth and could even cause one of them to crack.

If you have fillings, chewing on hard items can cause the filling to become loose or even fall out completely. To avoid this, drink beverages with a straw and try a sugar-free gum that contains xylitol to keep those unhealthy chewing habits at bay.

For those who grind their teeth or clench their jaw, it’s important to find a way to avoid this common issue. A mouthguard that you can wear while you sleep will help to protect your teeth and keep them from grinding together.

Avoiding Visits to the Dentist

Perhaps you have a fear of the dentist, or maybe you simply haven’t made the time for an appointment. Scheduling regular cleanings are one of the most important good dental habits you can adopt.

Ideally, you should have your teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months. Not only will you get a good cleaning, but your dentist will also perform x-rays and look carefully at your teeth and gums for any signs of damage or disease.

It’s estimated that approximately 42% of Americans admit that they don’t go to their dentist as often as they should. Don’t be a statistic! Schedule an appointment to have your teeth cleaned and examined as soon as possible to keep your oral health on the right track.

When you visit the dentist on a regular basis, you’ll have a much better idea about the state of your oral health. It’s also the best way to catch any issues as soon as possible before they get out of hand so you can take steps to correct them.

Not Brushing After Meals

Another bad brushing habit is simply not brushing your teeth after you eat. When you eat food, it leaves residue behind, which will eventually wear the enamel off of your teeth and cause painful cavities.

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth approximately 30 minutes to an hour after you eat to keep them healthy and clean. This allows time for the food you eat to be removed from your teeth before you brush them.

If you brush too soon after eating, certain ingredients like acids in orange juice or sugar in desserts will still be sitting on the surface of your teeth. Brushing immediately can spread those harmful ingredients out and onto the rest of your teeth and gums, causing more harm and good.

Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with you to work, then brush about a half hour or so after lunchtime. You should do the same thing in the morning after breakfast and again after dinner or before you head to bed.

Bad Flossing Habits

Using dental floss is another part of good oral care, but you can also do harm if you don’t floss the right way. First, avoid flossing between your teeth in a saw-like motion, or else you could cut your gums.

Never re-use the same section of floss since it will already be covered in plaque and food particles. Floss gently and never use aggressive movements that can cause gum irritation and inflammation.

Finally, while flossing is important, it should never be considered a substitute for brushing your teeth. The two things should be done in conjunction to ensure that your mouth is as healthy as possible.

Start Good Dental Care Habits Today

Now that you know more about some bad brushing habits and oral care habits, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy. Remember to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and examinations every six months for the best results.

If you’re ready for a cleaning, examination, or other dental services near Webster Groves, MO, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Tooth brushing

You brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste as your dentist recommended. So you’re doing everything right, right?

Not necessarily. It’s not just the frequency of how often you brush your teeth or the brand of toothpaste you’re using between professional teeth cleanings. If you’re not brushing your teeth properly, it can be all for naught. 

Many people aren’t brushing properly, but that can be corrected with some adjustments. Here are 9 common tooth brushing mistakes to be aware of the next time you’re tending to your teeth…

1. Choosing The Wrong Bristles

If you’re trying to get plaque buildup off your teeth, you need a hard brush to scrape it, right? That’s not actually the case. 

Just because the bristles are harder, it doesn’t mean they do a better job of cleaning. In fact, the harder bristles can actually cause some damage to the structure of the tooth and hurt the gums. 

Softer bristles can bend, allowing the bristles to get under the gumline where bacteria can hide. 

2. Letting Your Brush Wear Out

You find a great toothbrush that you love. It has a comfortable handle, and you like the color of it. 

However, at some point, you will have to part with your existing brush. You will see signs of wear on the brush as the bristles start to fray, which reduces the effectiveness of the tooth brushing. 

The official recommendation is to change up your manual (and electric) brush every three months. That’s more often than the six-month visit between dentist exams

3. Not Brushing Long Enough

When you’re brushing, you might think you’re done when you’ve reached all the corners of your mouth – which is often under a minute. But that’s not actually long enough according to experts. 

The guideline is to brush for a full two minutes each time you visit the bathroom to brush your teeth. 

For kids especially, brushing for a full two minutes can be a challenge. Aside from using a timer, there are some fun songs you can play for them to help them go the distance. 

4. Brushing Too Vigorously

This harkens back to using bristles too hard: people thing “harder” will get their teeth cleaner. However, by putting too much pressure on your teeth when brushing, you might actually cause damage to the gums.

The reality is that the plaque you’re trying to remove is soft, so you can remove it by brushing gently. It’s only hard when it becomes tartar (from lack of plaque removal), which can be taken care of during a dental visit

5. Improper Brushing Patterns

There’s an old song for kids that teaches them to brush teeth “round and round.” However, while that might’ve been the advice of the day, it’s not necessarily the accepted best practice anymore. 

The “new” standard is to brush your teeth back and forth across the length of a tooth, hitting all of the surfaces. You should also be placing the brush on the teeth on a 45-degree angle near the gum line. 

When cleaning the backs of your front teeth, turn the brush vertically and massage them with the brush in gentle up-and-down strokes. 

6. Using The Wrong Toothpaste

There are many types of toothpaste out there, from those meant for sensitive teeth to those that promise to remove stains. 

Whitening kinds of toothpaste seem to be fine (professional whitening might be more effective). Those with baking soda might actually be doing harm as they’re abrasive and can damage the enamel of the tooth. 

When searching for the right toothpaste for you, pay attention to the label. It should indicate that there are a thousand (or more) parts per million of fluoride, and there should be a seal of approval from the American Dental Association on it somewhere. 

7. Not Cleaning Your Entire Mouth

When it comes to tooth brushing, you’re probably just focusing on your teeth. And rightly so. However, you shouldn’t neglect your entire oral health picture when cleaning. 

One major component of the mouth that is often overlooked is the tongue. While you can use a tongue scraper to clean it, using your toothbrush also works

The key is to have a soft-bristle brush and allow the easiest access by sticking out your tongue. Starting from the back of the tongue using gentle strokes, rinsing the excess off the brush as you go. 

Cleaning your tongue with a scraper or brush may be a way to reduce bad breath. 

While you’re at it, you can also clean your mouth’s palette and the inside of the cheeks to get rid of any debris. Cleaning your tongue and cheeks at least once a day will help you achieve a higher overall feeling of cleanliness. 

8. Brushing Right After a Meal

You might think it’s a good idea to brush away the excess right after you’ve consumed a meal, but it’s actually a mistake. 

The reason is that you will have acid in your mouth after eating, and the abrasives from brushing can add to the erosion of the teeth. You should wait at least 60 minutes to allow time for your saliva to neutralize the acid. 

In the meantime, you can chew sugarless gum or just drink some water while you wait to head to the bathroom for a brushing session. 

9. Forgetting The Final Touches

Brushing your teeth is a big part of the equation. But there’s more to it than that to maintain optimal oral health. 

First of all, you should be using floss to get at food particles that can’t be reached with a brush. The bacteria left behind could contribute to tooth decay. 

When you’ve finished that step, use a proper mouthwash that kills germs and doesn’t contain alcohol. This will get rid of any leftover bacteria churned up from brushing and flossing. 

If you don’t have mouthwash, then swish with water. 

Brush Up On Tooth Brushing 

Brushing your teeth twice a day – properly – is a key to good oral health. Follow these tooth brushing tips for the most effective cleaning. 

Combined with regular visits to the dentist, you can help prevent cavities and catch oral health issues early!

To find out more or to schedule a dental appointment, contact us today.  

Did you know that around 91% of adults have some degree of tooth decay?

Even if you’re someone who flosses and brushes every day, there are plenty of other things you could be doing that are sabotaging your oral health.

Do you want to know how you can prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems? Keep reading to learn about 10 habits you should avoid that can lead to brittle teeth.

1. Eating Too Much Sugar (Especially Sticky Foods)

We all know that eating too much sugar can lead to horrible teeth problems, but some types of sugars are more damaging than others. Chewy foods like gummies or dried fruit get stuck between your teeth and create the perfect environment for tooth decay. Although you don’t have to avoid bad foods altogether, being mindful of their risks can help you drink more water and brush your teeth to remove the food particles. 

2. Drinking Soda

Soda is a guilty pleasure for many people because we know how unhealthy it is for our teeth and our overall health. Not only is soda loaded with sugar that causes weak teeth, but it’s also highly acidic. These two factors combined make soda one of the worst drinks on the market for your teeth.

3. Acidic Foods

In addition to limiting your consumption of sweets, you also have to be careful about exposing your teeth to acid. Acid weakens tooth enamel and can even lead to demineralization.

Some acidic foods to avoid include citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and vinegar. While it’s fine to enjoy some lemonade or pizza from time to time, make sure you drink lots of water to help clean your mouth and lower the acidity.

4. Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard or Immediately After Eating

Most people worry about not brushing or flossing enough throughout the day, but did you know that you can actually be doing these activities the wrong way? If you brush or floss too vigorously, you can cause weak enamel. Enamel is our strongest defense against bacteria, so make sure you buy a soft-bristled toothbrush and wait at least 30 minutes after eating so your enamel has the chance to harden again.

5. Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth

One bad habit plenty of us do is clench our teeth when we’re stressed. When your jaw is carrying so much unnecessary tension, your teeth are more likely to crack. Grinding your teeth while you sleep can also cause a lot of damage, so you may need to wear a mouthguard if the problem persists.

6. Biting Things That Aren’t Food

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to open a plastic container when you don’t have scissors around. If you can’t use your muscles to rip the packing, you probably switch to using your teeth instead. While our teeth are impressive and powerful tools, using them to do anything other than chew food can cause chipping and other issues.

Another activity you should try to avoid is crunching on ice. Ice may be made of water, but its hardness puts too much strain on our teeth to break down. Nail biters should also be wary since this habit can also weaken teeth and introduce unhealthy bacteria into the mouth that’s been lingering under the fingernail.

7. Having a Tongue Piercing

Tongue piercings may look stylish, but the hard metal can wreak havoc on your teeth over time. When you move your tongue to speak, the piercing can collide with your teeth and lead to chipping. Lots of people with tongue piercings also entertain themselves by flicking the piercing around mindlessly throughout the day, which leads to more rough contact with the teeth.

8. Snacking Throughout the Day

Did you know that our mouths become highly acidic whenever we eat? Although there’s nothing we can do to stop this natural process, we can limit the amount of times we eat throughout the day. If you’re a grazer, condensing your snacking and meal times into smaller windows can limit the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to.

9. Smoking and Drinking

Have you ever noticed how thirsty you feel after drinking alcohol? That’s because alcohol is a diuretic that causes dehydration. When our bodies are dehydrated, our mouths can’t produce enough saliva that helps flush out unhealthy bacteria throughout the day.

Smoking is another bad habit that can lead to staining, gum disease, and even increase your risk of oral cancer.

10. Using Teeth Whitening Strips

If you want to get whiter teeth, you should never use store-bought whitening strips. Since there is no one-size-fits-all whitening treatment, most people wind up causing more harm than good by the time they’re finished whitening with bleach and other chemicals.

Visiting a dentist is the best way to brighten your smile since they’ll be able to create the perfect whitening solution that isn’t too harsh for your mouth. They can also target darker areas to create an even tone.

Do You Want to Avoid Developing Brittle Teeth?

Maintaining a healthy smile all your life can feel like a daunting chore, but the results are always worth the effort. Since oral health has a strong link to total-body health, preventing brittle teeth can help you in many other ways.

The best way you can take care of your teeth is to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings and a checkup. If they notice the early signs of tooth decay, they can help you pinpoint the cause and help you correct the issue.

If you’re looking for excellent dental care near Webster Groves, MO, Webster Family Dental would love to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us to learn more about our services and to schedule your appointment.