5 Dental Care Habits to Break in 2012

dental habits

While most people focus on New Year’s resolutions, such as weight loss or getting more sleep, you may want to start thinking about adding “improving dental care” to your list of goals for 2012. One way to do this is to break some of the bad habits that affect the health of your teeth.

While most people know that eating too much sugar and avoiding brushing your teeth can cause dental problems, you may be surprised at some of the common mistakes that people make every day that are damaging their pearly whites:

1. How you Brush: Shape Magazine states that many people are brushing their teeth too hard. Using a firm-bristled brush and exerting too much pressure can cause the gums to recede and wear away at protective tooth enamel. The news source suggests switching to an electric toothbrush, which has been found to remove more plaque without excessive force.

2. Snacking: The news provider also states that snacking throughout the day may be contributing to dental problems. “Every time you eat something, especially if it’s a sugary or starchy food, the bacteria that normally live in your mouth create acids to break down the food. But, these acids can also attack teeth, leading to decay. Eating raw, firm fruits and vegetables (like apples and carrots) with and after meals can help.”

3. What you Eat: WebMD states that a common habit that people have is crunching ice after drinking a cold beverage. According to the medical news source, the temperature and texture of ice can cause teeth to fracture. The same can be said for popcorn kernels, which have the added drawback of getting stuck in the teeth.

4. What you Drink: While you’re avoiding chomping down on those ice cubes, you may also want to take a closer look at the drink in your cup. Coffee, tea and soda can all stain teeth, leaving them with a dull, yellowish color.

5. Skipping the Dentist: One of the most common mistakes that people make is not visiting the dentist at least twice a year. Dental health professionals are trained to notice oral health problems before they get out of hand. Colgate states that even if you take excellent care of your teeth and brush and floss daily, it is still important to regularly visit the dentist.

What will you do to take better care of your teeth in 2012? Share with us in the comments below.