You probably don’t need our Federal Way Dentistry to tell you that you should stop smoking. However, the fact remains that smokables and tobacco products have at least as much of a negative impact on your oral health as they do on your lungs, heart, or any other part of your body.
Smoking doesn’t just give you bad breath and stained teeth. Tobacco has a way of affecting the way the soft tissues in your mouth attach to your bones. It impairs blood flow to your gums, and interferes with normal cell function. This puts you at greater risk of gum disease, and slows down their ability to recover from damage. Meanwhile, the smoke you inhale inflames the salivary gland openings in your mouth, which hinders your ability to wash away harmful substances from your teeth. This leads to increased buildup of plaque.
And if this wasn’t enough, you’re sharing many of these problems with the people around you. Secondhand smoke takes its toll on the teeth of your children and loved ones. So, for the sake of your teeth and the teeth of your friends and family, do what it takes to kick the habit today.
The common wisdom is that you should brush after every meal. The logic seems to make sense: if you brush away the food detritus as soon as possible, it doesn’t get much time to attack your mouth. However, your Federal Way Dentistry advises that the practice of brushing directly after eating can actually do you more harm than good.
When you eat, your mouth is exposed to a brutal, acidic attack. Many foods contain acids, and the ones that don’t are feeding the bacteria in your mouth so that they can produce acids. These acids weaken the enamel of your teeth such that it can be more easily stripped away. Even a routine brushing can actually contribute to your tooth decay, removing this fragile layer to let the bacteria down into the more vulnerable dentin. With this in mind, it is best to wait after meals to allow your enamel to recover before you dive in with your toothbrush.
To help your enamel, it’s always a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water after a meal, or drink some milk to help neutralize the acid. And as always, remember to make your regular appointments with Bella Dental to get the fluoride rinses you need to keep your enamel in tip-top shape.
Do you have a piercing in your lip, tongue, or cheek? As much as a well-chosen bit of facial jewelry can have a certain romance to it, your Federal Way Dentistry advises you to take particular care of your teeth while sporting such adornments. Oral piercings put you at a lot of extra risk of damage to your teeth and gums.
First of all, the rings and studs that you put into your mouth have the potential to crack your teeth. Metal jewelry, in particular the barbell-style tongue studs, are easy to bite down on. Nearly half of people wearing such studs have at least one chipped tooth after four years.
Oral jewelry also increases your risk of gum disease. Not only does the harsh metal rub against the delicate tissues of your gums, but the extra surface areas provided by the jewelry only offer bacteria another surface to cling to. These surfaces are difficult to clean, and are just as active in producing tooth-melting acids as any other part of your mouth.
With this in mind, try talking to your dentist if you either have an oral piercing or are planning to get one. There may be measures you can take to help assure that your new look doesn’t compromise your beautiful smile at some point down the line.