Are genetics to blame for what my teeth look like?

You can blame genetics for a lot of things, your hair colour, eye colour, your physique, even your risk of certain diseases. However, there is one aspect of your health and your appearance that is largely your responsibility. The evidence is revealing that the health of your teeth comes down to good dental care habits.

You might have small teeth like your mother and big gums like your grandfather, but the condition of your teeth and gums is all about you.

People define “bad teeth” differently. Some define them as teeth that are too large or too small, while others might take issue with spacing. However, dentists define bad teeth as teeth in a poor state of health. Avoiding tooth decay, gum disease, discolourations, and sensitive teeth come down to proper dental care. In addition to proper dental care, brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist twice a year, some lifestyle and food changes can prevent tooth decay and disease.

 Easy tips to maintain good oral health:

  • Eat “teeth-friendly” foods, rich in a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including cheese and raw fruits and vegetables, and drink lots of water.
  • Keep junk foods and carbonated beverages to a minimum.
  • Brush after eating. If you can’t brush, rinse with water or chew sugar-free gum.
  • Don’t use tobacco, this promotes tartar on the teeth, leading to stains.

There are, however, genetic mutations that cause some people to be born with missing or malformed teeth. This can be due to errors in DNA or toxic environmental exposures. The formation of wisdom teeth is also hereditary but discoloured, or stained teeth, and susceptibility to oral diseases are not significantly impacted by hereditary factors.

While genetics may play a small role in bad teeth for some people, science has largely determined that the health of your teeth is in your hands. It is primarily your lifestyle habits and environmental exposures that leave you susceptible to bad teeth. Smoking, your diet and bad oral care can significantly contribute to bad teeth. Dentists warn that poor dental care habits, such as failing to brush and floss daily or visit your dentist on a routine basis, can lead to terrible teeth.

Let Corne Smith Dentistry help you with your oral care needs. Find us in Claremont, Cape Town and get your pearly whites pampered.

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