Willow Dental Care Network

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7 Habits of Great Oral Health

wdc 7 HabitsWith everything you do to take such good care of your overall health, here are 6 new habits that will make you healthier without a lot of effort.

Drinking Sugary Drinks

Like those fancy coffee drinks?  People often sip them slowly and through a straw, so the sugar slowly coats their teeth. As Heidi, Willow Vancouver Hygienist, points out “Sugary drinks can cause cavities in between the front teeth.”

Habit Shift: Choose healthier drinks like green tea or a sugar free beverage.  Or carry a toothbrush and/or floss and take a 20 second health break some time during the day.

Chewing Ice Cubes

Sure it can be satisfying. But chewing ice can damage your teeth’s enamel, fracture the edges of your tooth or any dental work you may have or simply create thin fracture lines in your teeth. Although slight, these small changes in your tooth structure could allow bacteria to accumulate.

Habit Shift: Chew on crunchy vegetables like carrots or celery. They can clean your teeth, provide you nutrients and water and help keep you healthy!

Brushing Your Teeth Too Enthusiastically

We know you love your teeth and want to keep them healthy but brushing too aggressively with bristles that are too firm may be causing damage.  Brushing the wrong way can also wear down your teeth and create receding gums which in turn causes sensitivities.

Habit Shift: Always buy a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth circles. Think that you are massaging your gums.  The teeth will just get cleaned.   Buy an electric toothbrush.  The brush rotates in an exact motion and there is less wear on your teeth and gums. 

Use your Teeth as a Tool

We’ve all done it. Ripped into a bag of chips or some other snack with your teeth and you felt   part of the packaging graze your gums. Cracking open seeds or nut shells with your teeth. And the worst as pointed out by Krista, 200 Street Dental manager, trying to open a bottle with your teeth. All these activities can cause far more damage than the joy of the snack or drink will deliver.

Habit Shift: Use the proper tool. Keep your teeth for the important stuff like biting into a crisp apple or chewing a bite of steak.

Biting Nails

We all hate that we do it. It makes your nails look terrible and you look insecure. But your fingernails are also carry germs, so in biting you’re introducing that bacteria to enter your body. Also you risk causing your teeth to shift or break or even crack.

Habit Shift:

Try one of those bad tasting nail polishes that will retrain you to not be interested in biting your nails. Snacking on crisp veggies might help the oral fixation as well.


Chewing or smoking, both are terrible for your oral health. Tobacco reduces blood flow to your gums which will put you at higher risk for periodontal disease. It also decreases saliva flow which can lead to more tooth decay. And then there’s oral cancer.

Habit Shift:

quitnow.ca will help you. And your hygienist will cheer you on. You can do it!

How easy was that? Keep an eye on Toothbrush Confidential for the insider track to your oral health.