The way your teeth look is an important part of how you feel about yourself. In addition, the look of your teeth can point to the presence of issues with your oral health. There are a number of behaviors that can negatively impact the look of your teeth and, in turn, negatively impact how you feel about your smile. Four behaviors that will negatively impact the look and health of your teeth include smoking, skipping routine dental cleanings, and ignoring signs of a problem.
Smoking will impact both the look and health of your teeth. The nicotine and other chemicals found in tobacco can turn your white teeth yellow and brown. These chemicals will also impact your gums. Smoking can cause your gums to recede and loosen from your teeth. This will eventually cause your teeth to become loose and potentially fall out. If you smoke regularly there is no way to prevent the habit from having a negative impact on your teeth. When you couple that with the impact it can have on your overall health you will have a number of compelling reasons to try and quit.
Skipping routine dental cleanings
Skipping a routine dental cleaning here and there may not feel like a big deal. If you usually get a good report at those visits, what is the point? Checking your teeth for cavities is one element of routine dental visits but it is not the only important element. Getting your teeth cleaned is also important. During routine dental cleanings the hygienist removes plaque and tartar buildup. Tartar is plaque that has hardened over time and it can cause big problems for your teeth and gums. It is difficult to remove and requires the use of certain dental tools that the average person does not keep at home. Skipping routine dental cleanings will allow that plaque and tartar to stay on your teeth and negatively impact how your teeth look.
Ignoring signs of a problem
Ignoring signs of a problem with your teeth can lead to serious issues – such as decay – that have a big impact on how they look. Most problems with your teeth or overall oral health are progressive. This means that they will continue to get worse until you take steps to intervene. If you ignore that pain in your tooth caused by decay it will continue to get worse and worse. In order to protect the health and look of your teeth, be sure and address problems as soon as they arise.
Properly caring for your teeth requires daily effort with your oral hygiene routine. Fortunately, you can thoroughly brush and floss the recommended times per day with less that than fifteen minutes of total effort. Brushing and flossing regularly will help prevent many surface stains and decay. If you want to have a mouth full of teeth that are healthy and look great, develop a good oral hygiene routine and avoid behaviors that can negatively impact the way they look.
Julie C Berger, DDS, MA, FACP is a local Gettysburg dentist and a board certified prosthodontist specialist. She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.