We all know that we should brush our teeth twice a day and avoid eating sugary foods, but there are some seemingly harmless everyday habits that could be causing significant long-term damage to teeth and gums. Read on to find out how to break them. 
Brushing immediately after eating 
Brushing as soon as you wake up helps to rid your mouth of all the bacteria that collects overnight but brushing too soon after eating can damage tooth enamel. When we eat, acid levels in the mouth increase, leaving teeth in a weakened state. The body has a natural method of returning pH levels to normal by using saliva to wash away food particles – a process that you can assist by rinsing your mouth with water or chewing sugar-free gum. 
Park Dental Care expert recommendation: Wait at least an hour after eating before you brush your teeth to avoid damaging tooth enamel. 
Rinsing your teeth after brushing 
Reaching for a glass of water to rinse your mouth out after you finish brushing may seem like common sense, but you could be washing away the protective substance in your toothpaste that helps to strengthen tooth enamel. Fluoride bonds with the outer layer of enamel, replacing lost mineral content and making teeth more resistant to decay. It also reduces the amount of acid produced by the bacteria on your teeth. 
Park Dental Care expert recommendation: After you’ve finished brushing, spit out any excess toothpaste, but don’t rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. You can use mouthwash at different times of the day (after lunch, for example) to maximise the benefit to your teeth. 
Grinding or clenching your teeth 
Do you wake up with a sore jaw or a headache? If so, you may be grinding your teeth without realising while you sleep. Medically known as bruxism, excessive tooth grinding can cause all sorts of dental issues, including fractured, broken, or loose teeth. You can read more about the condition here
Park Dental Care expert recommendation: If you think you might suffer from bruxism, make a dental appointment with one of the friendly team here at Park Dental Care. We can review any lifestyle issues that may be causing grinding and clenching and construct an acrylic nightguard to help protect your teeth while you sleep. 
Using teeth as tools 
Teeth may seem tough, but they are more prone to breaking and chipping than you might think. If you use your teeth to open a bottle, rip off a clothing label, or even tear open a crisp packet, you risk causing serious damage that may require expensive emergency dental work. 
Park Dental Care expert recommendation: Don’t use teeth as tools! If you accidentally chip or break a tooth, keep the tooth in cold milk or cold brine (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water) and call us to make an emergency appointment. 
Book your dental appointment at Park Dental Care today. We look forward to your visit. 
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