Common Bad Habits That May Be Damaging Your Teeth 33

Common Bad Habits That May Be Damaging Your Teeth

The following article is a guest post.

When we think of damage to our teeth, we tend to think of things such as food and drink. After all, we all learnt how our teeth can be damaged through plaque and cavities, and how these are caused by not properly brushing our teeth or eating the wrong sorts of food. And that is true. However there are many other common bad habits that may also be damaging your teeth, and these are often overlooked by popular imagination. Sometimes it’s because the cause of the damage is not readily apparent. Others, it’s because we enjoy these habits too much to want to think about the damage.

But whether you know it or not, or like or not, these habits will seriously rack up your dental bills.

Sugary Snacks

Listed because it always bears repeating. Sugar plays absolute heck with your teeth, whether it’s candy, too much sugar in your coffee, or soda. Sugar increases the build-up of bacteria and acids around the mouth, causing all sorts of damage to your teeth over time. The occasional sugary snack is acceptable; however habitual consumption will quickly cause cavities to rival the Mariana Trench if you keep it up.

Instead of sugar, try to find better alternatives if you must snack. Dentist favourites include apples, carrots and celery, all of which are low in sugar, and the fibrous natures of which can actually be great for your teeth. Like natural toothbrushes, they can scrub away plaque as you’re chewing.

Grinding Your Teeth

This is more of a subconscious habit, which means that a lot of the time you aren’t even aware you’re doing it. However it nevertheless is a bad habit that needs to be curbed.

Grinding your teeth will, over time, start to weaken and wear down your tooth enamel. This weakening also makes them vulnerable to cracking, and also decreases their ability to withstand the usual wear and tear of eating.

While it’s hard to stop something that you’re not even conscious of doing, keep up at noticing and stopping the habit and you’ll soon make progress. If the grinding occurs while you’re asleep, then your dentist may be able to offer you a corrective mouth guard to wear while you’re sleeping. This will help keep your teeth from touching while you’re asleep, thus making it impossible to grind them.

Smoking

The bad health effects that can be found with people who smoke are so extensive as to merit a medical journal, let alone a short article on the internet. With regards to dental hygiene, the prospect is no less dire. Even a mild smoking habit can cause massive damage to your teeth and gums, however you try to go about it. Tobacco products (including chewing tobacco) can cause bad breath, yellow teeth, oral cancer, reduced saliva, and hastened tooth decay.

The only way to realistic stop this is to quit, which always a worthy thing to do when it comes to smoking and tobacco in general. We shall not explain how to achieve that here, but rest assured that while the task it’s hard, the health benefits are more than worth it.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

Your teeth are designed to cut and break down things, but they are not for any purpose other than eating. Chewing through a tough steak is perfectly fine for your teeth, but using them to bit through a plastic wrapping is not. Or tearing off lids, opening bottles, or tearing rags. These will all increase the chances of a chipped or cracked tooth. Use a more appropriate tool instead.

Oral Piercings

While many people find a tongue or lip piercing rather dazzling, there are risks behind them for your teeth. First off is that your teeth may accidentally knock against them, or you may deliberately chew or play with them, causing chips and scratches that provide areas for plaque to accumulate over time. This will inevitably lead to gum disease and tooth decay if left untreated.

Another problem is that the piercing itself also provides a ripe breeding ground for bacteria and place for plaque to gather. This will lead to more or less the same effect, as well as bad breath.

If you must have an oral piercing, then be sure to be careful with it against your teeth. Take it out whenever you are eating or cleaning your teeth, and always ensure that it’s cleaned thoroughly each day. These actions will greatly reduce its ability to host bacteria.

Brushing Too Hard

Overly zealous oral hygienists may decide that their teeth could be made much cleaner with some seriously systematic scrubbing with their toothbrush. And certainly this will remove much of the plaque and remnants of food. However, it will also remove much of the tooth enamel as well. Yes, you can be too enthusiastic with your dental hygiene.

Avoid damaging your teeth when brushing by scrubbing firmly, but gently. Use a soft, steady circular motion over the tooth, and try to focus more and getting a good steady rhythm going rather than scrubbing intently. Brushing this way twice a day, followed by flossing and rinsing your mouth with mouthwash, should be more than enough to keep your teeth sparkling clean and healthy.

Any of these habits could lead to an appointment with the dentist. If any issues or pain begin to rise, contact Orlando Smiles or your local dentist to help resolve the issue.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 6

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

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Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.