One of the big questions that people have during this time is how to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Many people decide to fix a problem with their teeth or take better care of them in the New Year.
We will give you some tips on how to keep your teeth in good shape and what to do if you are having persistent tooth problems.
PROTECT YOUR TEETH
We are specialists in preserving your natural teeth whenever possible. This includes educating our patients on how to avoid damage to their teeth in the first place.
BE CAUTIOUS WITH FOODS THAT CAN CRACK YOUR TEETH
Popcorn is a reasonably healthy snack. However, the danger in popcorn lies in the hard kernels at the bottom of the bowl or bag. A corn kernel can do extreme harm to the surface of a tooth. For this reason, try not to bite down too hard on popcorn. Also, don’t bite on corn kernels. And do not try to sift through the crumbs on the bottom of the bag, as the un-popped kernels are nearly impossible to avoid eating.
Hard fruits and vegetables
Ironically, some of the best fruits and vegetables for your oral health also carry the potential to crack your teeth. Fruits and vegetables that you crunch are very beneficial for cleaning your teeth as it has a scrubbing effect. However, when you bite down too hard, it can cause damage to your teeth, for example, carrots. It’s important to remember to use your molars and not front teeth to bite into a carrot. Additionally, try to cut the piece of fruit or vegetable before eating instead of biting into it whole. It’s easier to use your molars to bite down on a small piece, especially of something larger like an apple.
Nuts are also a healthy snack when eaten in moderation. You can get good nutritional value from nuts for your teeth. However, eating nuts can lead to cracks in your teeth. So, when you eat nuts, be careful how you eat them. Never try to open a shell with your teeth, and be cautious of the stale ones as they tend to get very hard. Almonds can cause teeth to crack, so if you eat a lot of this variety, try to buy them slivered instead of whole.
Many cuts of meat with the bone can be eaten on the plate with utensils, but chicken wings, are finger food and are eaten rather mindlessly. It’s not hard to imagine a crack in the tooth happening from biting down on the bone when the chicken wing. Although it may feel awkward, getting as much of the meat off the bone on the plate first can go a long way in preventing a mishap. Simply watching where you are biting down is also an excellent way to avoid a crack.
Olives are tricky because they can still have some pits in them even when the container is labeled “pitted.” Biting down on an olive pit can do the same damage as a popcorn kernel. The only way to stay safe is to be very careful in your food preparation and when eating olives whole.
Ice and Hard Candies
Chewing on hard things such as ice and candy can trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth. While these hard candies seem harmless, eat too many, and the constant exposure to sugar can be harmful to your teeth. Avoid using ice and choose softer candies.
EAT YOUR MEALS SLOWER
Just because some foods carry more risk than others in terms of causing injury to your teeth does not mean you should stop eating them altogether. One helpful habit is eating slowly to avoid a tooth break. Doctors also suggest that eating slowly can help people have better digestion and manage weight better. So those are additional reasons to pick up the habit of eating slowly.
NEVER USE YOUR TEETH TO OPEN THINGS
Your natural teeth are strong and that can make it tempting to use them to open things. But opening things with your teeth is not worth the risk of damaging your pearly whites. It is heartbreaking to see patients with damaged teeth from opening packages, bottles, tearing off tags or the like. Take that extra moment to grab your scissors, can opener, utility knife, etc. and save your teeth! For more information on cracked teeth please read our article, “Endodontists, Specialists in Saving Cracked Teeth.
DON’T PUT OFF YOUR DENTAL NEEDS
If you have been putting off a tooth problem, think again! A tooth that may need a root canal can suddenly turn from a minor annoyance into throbbing pain. Here are reasons to make an appointment with us today:
- Dr. Shen and I have advanced training in treating the soft tissues of the teeth. We are specialists in performing root canal treatment, re-treatments, and endodontic surgery.
- We work with state-of-the-art equipment such as the operating microscope and digital imaging that general dentists don’t have.
- When tooth treatment becomes complex, an endodontist will use diagnostic imaging and testing to identify the exact problem.
- We can usually resolve root canal treatments that failed or if new problems develop after a root canal treatment.
- We use specialized techniques and superior technologies to save your natural teeth.
- When you save your natural teeth and take care of them, they can last you a lifetime. Your natural teeth feel better and work better than artificial teeth.
At Modern Care Endodontics, we are committed to excellence and compassionate care for all patients. If you have any questions about a dental problem, please call us. We are here for you. We wish you and your family good health and a happy New Year!
Dr. J.D. Simonton