Healthy Habits For Healthy Teeth
Five Nasty Habits That Wreck Your Teeth
Dr. Chig Amin, Owner and dentist of Epsom Dental Surgery. Dr. Amin shares his advice and tips on how Five Habits That Wreck Your Teeth.
Chewing Ice Cubes
Nothing beats an ice cold drink on a scorching hot day, but when it comes to the last few sips, it is always tempting to chew on those few remaining ice cubes sitting at the bottom of the glass. Together with the cool temperature and the rock solid texture, crushing on ice cubes can chip away at your tooth enamel, causing your teeth to become exposed to sugars and acids. Crunching on ice cubes can even cause your teeth to break or crack.
Instead, suck on the ice cube between your lips and avoid touching it with your teeth. That way, you are at less risk of damaging your teeth.
Using Your Teeth As Tools
Whether it is a sugar sachet or a bottle cap, using your teeth as a tool can potentially cause them to crack or chip. Make sure you have bottle openers or scissors handy. The bottom line is that your teeth are there to help you eat and talk, so avoid ripping price tags from new garments or tearing off a piece of cello tape with your teeth.
Holding Objects Between Your Teeth
When you are working or writing and you come to a thinking point, avoid putting anything in your mouth. This can be a subconscious habit, but one with potentially harmful consequences. If you feel that you have come to a pause in your work, put down your pen, pencil or glasses to prevent yourself from giving into temptation.
Nail Biting And Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is more of an issue for children, however it can be a habit that continues into adulthood. Either way, both nail biting and thumb sucking can not only damage your teeth or cause them to misalign; the biggest concern is what these habits can do to your oral hygiene. If you think back to everything you have done over the course of the day, as well as counting the number of times you washed your hands, you might just consider giving up these bad habits.
These habits are hard to break. Nevertheless, they can be broken. If you are a nail biter, make sure and cut your nails short so you don’t feel the urge to chew. Keep your hands busy: play with a bouncy ball or download a game on your phone. Every time you feel the urge to bite or suck, give your hands something to do. Alternatively, if you are an adult thumb sucker, seek therapy or hypnosis
Grinding, also known as bruxism, can wear down your teeth over time and even affect your gums. Bruxism can be triggered emotionally, environmentally or by sleep disorders. It can also cause cracks or chips in your teeth if it goes undiagnosed for a long period of time.
If you grind your teeth when you sleep, ask your dentist about a mouth guard. This will prevent your teeth and gums from becoming worn. Alternatively, if it is anxiety that is causing you to grind, practicing yoga or deep breathing can help you to relieve everyday stress, which in turn can prevent bruxism
Dr. Chig Amin is the principal dentist of the Epsom Dental Centre. Dr. Amin practices gentle dentistry and ensures that all of his patients receive the dental care that best meets their needs.
Tips for relieving teething pain
Teething usually begins when your baby is about six months old. This is when their milk teeth, also called the primary teeth, begin to erupt from the gums. Here, Dr. Chig Amin, of the Epsom Dental Centre, shares his top tips for relieving teething pain.
Your child should have all twenty of their primary teeth by around the time he or she is three years old. Teething can be a very uncomfortable time for a baby due to the soreness or swelling of the gums. Cold and pressure applied to the gums can help to relieve the swelling and pain.
Pressure and Chilled Things
Just like any other physical ailment, applying something cold onto the gums will help to reduce swelling and numb the pain. Put a wet muslin cloth into a freezer bag and chill it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. When the cloth is chilled to a comfortable temperature, give it to your baby to munch on. Alternatively, wrap a corner of the cloth around your index finger and gently massage the gums. If your baby has started eating solids, give him or her a mesh dummy with chilled fruit. Again, your baby can enjoy chewing away at a cool, hard item.
Remember that excessive dribbling causes irritable skin on the chin, neck and chest. Try to keep the skin as dry as possible by using a bib and changing wet clothes. If your baby does develop dry, chapped skin, gently apply some barrier cream onto the irritated area.
After disinfecting your baby’s dummy, put it on a covered tray and leave it to chill in the refrigerator. Again, your baby can enjoy sucking and chewing on a chilled toy.
Teething rings are also a great option for cooling and applying pressure to the gums. Teething rings, or teethers, are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours. Most are fridge-friendly so your baby can gnaw away on them, chilled or at room temperature. Liquid-filled teethers are also a good option for chilling, but be careful of leakage.
Medicine And Pain Killers
Squeeze a pea-sized amount of teething gel onto your index finger and gently massage it into the gums. Teething gels or granules are ideal for providing fast relief. Infant medicines are meticulously measured out with the correct amount of medication to relieve teething pain. Again, these infant medicines can help relieve soreness and swelling, as well as helping them sleep better.
Keep Surrey Smiling
Epsom dentist Dr Chig Amin is working hard to keep Surrey smiling.
Smiling is contagious, it improves your mood and even boosts your confidence too, so it is vital that we do all that we can to protect and enhance our smile. Unfortunately, as few as 46% of Surrey’s population visit the dentist regularly, which is naturally a big concern for me!
Seeing a dentist is an essential part of a proper oral hygiene routine, and by skipping visits there is a chance that more serious problems can be allowed to develop. One of the most common reasons that people give for not visiting the dentist is dentophobia, or fear of the dentist..
Why are some people anxious about visiting the dentist?
A dental practice, just like a hospital, can be an unnerving place for those unfamiliar with a medical environment or the equipment. Other people are nervous due to previous painful experiences, some of which may even date back to childhood. The level of anxiety ranges from moderate to severe, but the good news is that more and more dentists are doing what they can to help.
What is ‘Gentle Dentistry?’
A gentle dentist knows that your overall experience of visiting the dentist is just as important as the quality of dental care you receive. This is why a gentle dentist will try to minimise the anxiety or discomfort of a nervous patient through personalised care and new technology. A friendly, patient approach, with all procedures are explained fully beforehand can work wonders in even the most dentophobic patients.
Dentists no longer use much of the frightening looking equipment that was commonplace twenty years ago, in fact, the times have changed for the better! One much welcome advance to dentistry is the development of topical anesthesia, or numbing gel. This can be applied directly to the gums, and makes any necessary injections completely painless.
‘Gentle Dentistry’ in our community
We’re committed to making sure that local people get the anxiety-free dental care that they need. One way that we are tackling dentophobia is by visiting local schools and nurseries here in Epsom and Surrey. If young children have a chance to talk to a dentist and explore a dental practice, then they quickly see that there is nothing to fear, and are much less likely to develop any kind of anxiety. Stickers and a play in the chair can also convince youngsters that dentists aren’t too bad!
If you, your friend, or family member is afraid of the dentist, then you should talk to Catherine and Barbara, our fantastic receptionists who are happy to help. We’re available for a friendly chat on the phone, or on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you soon!
EPSOM DENTAL CENTRE, 7 WATERLOO ROAD, EPSOM, SURREY KT19 8EX