Just like you can buy sushi from a gas station, you can also use your teeth as tools. However, neither comes highly recommended. And for good reason. While your dentist in Sparks isn’t an expert on local sushi, we are experts on teeth. Our teeth are designed to help us speak and chew, and using them for anything other than their intended purpose can put your smile at increased risk of damage.
Avoid Using Teeth To Open Packages
We’ve all been there — hungry for lunch with a delicious bag of chips waiting for us. We go to open it and it’s just… stuck. We pull and pull but we just can’t get the bag to open. So instead, we grab the bag between our teeth, bite down, and rip. Finally! Crunchy, crispy chips. While this tactic can successfully open packages, it can also cause tooth damage. When you encounter pesky packaging, tough tape, or tricky tags take a few extra minutes to find a pair of scissors and save yourself a potential trip to your dentist in Sparks.
Don’t Use Teeth To Help Carry Things
Another common way we tend to use our teeth as tools is to try and have them function as another hand to help us carry or hold things. However, our teeth aren’t meant to grip and hold on to things like nails, pencils, or even your cell phone. Doing so can also increase the risk of breaking or cracking teeth as well as put you at risk for choking.
Keep Things Out of Your Mouth
Anything that’s not food shouldn’t go anywhere near your mouth. This includes things like fingernails, pens, and jewelry. Chewing on non-food items can damage your teeth and your jaw and require treatment from your dentist in Sparks. Besides, a lot of these things can contain a lot of germs so the last place you should put them is in your mouth.
Take It Easy On The Nuts
Nuts are a great, nutritious snack that is packed with protein. They’re also pretty convenient and can travel easily. However, nuts have shells, and if you buy unshelled nuts, you’ll have to remove the casing to get to the edible inside. The most common way to do this is to crack the shell between teeth. This can once again lead to chips, cracks, or broken teeth. Other food items that can also damage your teeth in a similar way are popcorn, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Our teeth are incredibly tough and the protective enamel is actually the strongest substance in the human body. However, as with everything, teeth do have their limits to what they can withstand. To help protect your teeth, use them only to chew your food and avoid using them as any sort of tool. And of course, make sure to see your dentist in Sparks every six months for preventive dental checkups.
The end of 2020 was a time for us to put the year behind us and give us hope for a better, healthier new year. As we embark on this new calendar year, many of us have made resolutions to ourselves or our families to get healthy or quit long-time habits that put us at risk for health issues. These resolutions can help transform lives and your dentist in Sparks would like to be a part of that by encouraging you to also resolve to take better care of your smile.
Oral Health is Linked to Overall Health
If your goal for this year is to get healthier overall, you can’t ignore your oral health. After all, our oral health is directly linked to our overall health and one can certainly affect the other. So as you commit to getting your 10,000 steps a day or eating healthier, make sure you also consider the following.
- Drinking Water
We often hear about patients wanting to cut back on sugary soda in the new year and drink more water. This is one of the best things you can do for both your whole body and your mouth. Water allows our bodies to function properly and keeps the mouth hydrated and moist which can help fight off cavity-causing bacteria. Aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
- Quitting Smoking
Another popular, yet difficult, resolution year after year is to quit smoking. This can be an intimidating endeavor but with a good plan and a solid support system, we believe anyone can stop smoking. There are countless overall and oral health benefits to quitting including reducing the risk of cancer and lowering the likelihood of gum disease.
- Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
Everyone knows that your dentist in Sparks wants everyone to brush and floss every day, but we also know that this simple task can get overlooked and go undone. However, brushing and flossing your teeth each and every day is the best way to prevent dental problems from popping up. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss at least once a day to protect your pearly whites from cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other problems.
- Keeping Your Dental Appointments
We always recommend that patients see us for professional dental cleanings and checkups twice a year, and sometimes more often. These bi-annual appointments are crucial to maintaining a healthy and mouth as well as a healthy body. They allow your dentist in Sparks to find any potential problems early and treat them quickly before they become big problems.
Make a promise to yourself that you will commit and follow through with your 2021 resolutions. And if you’re serious about getting healthier, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.