Certain Habits Can Wreak Havoc On Your Dental Health

Certain Habits Can Wreak Havoc On Your Dental Health

We all envision a bright, white smile and it is achievable for all of us. It seems like everyone these days have a nice white smile, some may think this is unachievable for them. But guess what you can have one too! Some habits play differently into achieving that smile quicker than others. Many things we mindlessly do day in and out play a large role in this. We may smoke or consume sugary foods and drinks throughout the day. These habits have different consequences throughout the whole body, but we will focus on how they affect the dentition here. 

Smoking not only affects the tissues of the mouth negatively, it also discolours the teeth. The outer layer of the tooth structure picks up stains in the tubules or pores of the teeth when the tobacco smokes enter them. This stain builds up over time and significantly darkens the tooth structure giving it a yellowed or grey appearance. This darkening can easily be lightened with whitening procedures and products and it may even help you look younger too! There are options both short and long term that can help to lighten the colouring of the teeth after this happens.

The first option to help with lightening your tooth shade is to come in more often for your dental cleaning. Most follow the once every six months cleaning recommendation, however there is no harm in coming in more often. The dentist or hygienist will polish the teeth with a special paste to remove the surface stains. This ensures that your surrounding tissues are checked more frequently and any calculus or build up is removed ensuring increased gum health. The overall cleaning process helps to wash away any stain build up from foods or drinks, like red wine leaving a sparkling smile.

Another procedure that is available is whitening the teeth. Teeth whitening can change the shade of your teeth very dramatically in a short time period. Many use this as their go to, for an uplifting and quick refresh of their appearance! A quick appointment to have some impressions taken and a custom fitted trays fabricated just for you will start the process.  You then return to the clinic to go over instructions and receive your trays and whitening material to use at home. Most whitening products will get you 6-8 shades lighter in about 1-2 weeks. It’s nice to be able to use them in the comfort of your own home without having to visit the clinic for each and every procedure.

Another habit that may affect your teeth is consuming sugary drinks and snacks. When sugar sits on the tooth structure it acts like an acid, eating through the outer layer of the tooth. Over time this breakdown will cause decay and the need for some sort of restoration. This breakdown can cause sensitivity or even pain, so there is great benefit from trying to avoid it by making healthy choices for your consumption. Restorations needed can include fillings, which is a tooth coloured restoration that replaces the weakened tooth area with a sound material. Another procedure that will help if the decay is too large is a build up and crown. The build up is a large filling that serves as a good base for the crown. The crown goes 360 around the tooth and is a solid structure for biting and chewing. This ensures long term health of the tooth and surrounding structure for use for years or even decades to come!

The main thing to remember is prevention is always the best course of action. Consider cutting back or quitting smoking to help improve not only your smile, but your overall health. Instead of having a soda for a drink consider healthier options, free of sugar, like water. In our current society there are so many options to consider as healthy alternatives over ones that may be causing damage. Your dental professionals have a wealth of knowledge to help consul you in ways to improve not only your smile, but your overall health as well!

April 7, 2021