At Pinecrest Dental in Murray, Utah Dr. Tyler Williams knows that you have a lot going on in your life right now. Even though you’re busy, you still need to take care of your teeth, if you want to keep them.

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The Basics
You may think you know the drill. After all, how many times have you heard “brush your teeth”? It’s really not that hard, but here are few things that will help.

  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Brush twice a day, for two minutes at a time.
  • Brush the outsides and then the insides of your upper teeth, followed by your lower teeth. Don’t forget the chewing and biting surfaces.
  • Brush your tongue to remove the bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Get a new toothbrush every three months
  • Come see us twice a year for cleanings and exams

Teen Tooth Hazards
Brushing and flossing are important. But you need to remember that there are things out there that can wreck your smile. In some cases, it may take months or even years for the damage to kick in. But when it does, it will be serious! Here are some things you should avoid if you want a healthy smile that you can show off.

Sugary and Starchy Foods
Let’s face it, we eat a lot of sugar and starch. Candy, cupcakes, energy drinks and a ton of other things contain plenty of sugar. Chips and similar foods contain starch, which breaks down as sugar. When sugar gets together with the bacteria on your teeth, they produce acid, which will wear down the enamel on your teeth. That leads to cavities, and even missing teeth! If you want to hang on to your pearly whites for life, talk to Dr. Tyler Williams in Murray, Utah, about foods that are good for your smile.

Smoking and Tobacco Use
At some point, you may be tempted to smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Or, maybe you’ve already started. Before you light up or take a pinch, here are a few things to think about.

  • Tobacco will stain your teeth brown and nicotine will turn them yellow.
  • Tobacco causes bad breath
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco lead to gum disease and tooth loss.
  • Tobacco is one of leading causes of oral cancer. Over 50% of people diagnosed with the disease will die from it.

If you haven’t picked up the habit, don’t start. If you have, talk to the dentist about quitting.

Energy and Sports and Soft Drinks
Even though sports and energy drinks are popular right now, these drinks contain high amounts of acid, which goes to work on your tooth enamel, causing cavities. Sports drinks may be fine on the field, but leave them at the game or at practice. Energy drinks and soft drinks contains sugar and acids, which will also eat away the enamel on your teeth. The best thing to drink if you’re thirsty is water.

Oral Piercings
Many people go for lip rings, or tongue studs to express themselves. But in addition to getting noticed, you may also get diseases and damage. That barbell in your tongue can chip your teeth, or push them apart causing a gap. The piercing process increases your chances of getting an infection, hepatitis (a very serious infection of your liver) or even inflamed heart valves.

Eating Disorders
Eating disorders hurt your body, your mind, and your mouth. When you vomit during bulimia, the acid from your stomach ends up in your mouth. This acid attacks the enamel on your teeth, which will cause damage and tooth loss. By starving yourself during anorexia, you body loses important vitamins and minerals that keep your teeth and mouth strong and healthy. If you are struggling with bulimia or anorexia, you don’t have to face it alone. Talk to your doctor, or someone you trust, and get help.

Sports Injuries
If you play contact sports, chances are your league or school requires a mouth guard as part of your equipment. If you play football or hockey, you and your mouthguard are probably old friends. But the truth is that if you play any sport or enjoy any kind of recreation where there is even a chance of an impact to your face, you should wear a mouth guard. This is especially true if you wear braces, since a mouth guard will protect your teeth, and your dental work. At [practice-name], our dentist can create a mouth guard designed just for you, and they are available in different colors to match your team!

DIY Braces and Home Bleaching
Just because you saw it on YouTube or advertised somewhere does not mean it is a good idea. There are many good reasons to want straighter teeth, and everyone wants a bright smile. But there is a right way and a wrong way to go about doing anything. Dental work is not something you should do on your own! If you need braces, or are concerned about how your teeth look, start by talking to Dr. Tyler Williams.

Get Your Free, Special “Teen Truths” Oral Health Report Now!