Good oral health habits are important for preventing dental problems. However, some habits can greatly increase your chances of developing dental problems. Listed below are a few habits that can cause damage to your oral health.
Failing to brush and floss regularly can lead to plaque buildup, cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. The ADA recommends brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes at a time. Brushing keeps away food particles that can cause bacteria and removes plaque and tartar buildup from tooth surfaces. Without proper brushing, you can suffer from tooth decay and even tooth loss. Flossing is just as important as brushing because it’s the only way to reach between teeth and beneath the gum line to remove plaque buildup there.
If you find it hard to fit regular brushing or flossing into your busy schedule, try setting the alarm on your phone to remind you to brush or floss after meals. These simple reminders can help you stay on top of your oral health.
Every patient knows that sugary beverages and soda are bad for their teeth, but it’s surprising how many people still drink them on a regular basis. So, limit the intake of sugary beverages and soda as possible as you can. If you must drink sodas or other sugary beverages, try to minimize their contact with your teeth by drinking them quickly or with a straw instead of sipping or swishing them around your mouth and over your teeth. This helps to prevent tooth decay from developing at the gum line due to sugar exposure. If you do this daily, you may notice fewer cavities among people you’re close to.
The consequences of smoking aren’t just confined to the lungs. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, periodontitis, and tooth loss. Tobacco is a known carcinogen, meaning it’s associated with cancer development. It also limits the body’s ability to fight infection and heal from trauma, so smokers have an increased risk of developing gum disease and cavities.
In addition to the oral health risks, smoking also affects the entire body. It increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many other serious medical problems. Quitting is the best thing you can do for your oral and overall health and well-being.
Not only will chewing on your nails chip and damage your front teeth, but it can also cause an infection in your gums. Your enamel can be weakened by nail biting, and over time, it can cause discoloration as well. If you are habitually nibbling on your fingers or fingernails, give us a call! We can help you break this bad habit and help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Some people use their teeth to open packages, cut tape, or open plastic packaging on products. However, these habits can damage our teeth and hence must be avoided. Using teeth as tools can wear down the enamel, crack the teeth or break the fillings in your teeth. Also, you can chip or crack a tooth if you bite down on something too hard. This can leave you with a broken tooth that requires prompt restorative dental treatment, such as a dental crown. Rather than using your teeth as a tool, find something else to use instead. Use a bottle opener, scissors, or other opening devices rather than your teeth. This way, you won’t need to worry about damaging your dental health.
Grinding your teeth at night can be a sign of stress or anxiety. If you wake up with a headache or a sore jaw, it may be due to nighttime teeth grinding. Some forms of tooth grinding may damage your enamel or cause your gums to recede from your teeth. One way to protect your teeth is to wear a night guard while you sleep. A night guard is a plastic mouthpiece that fits over your teeth to protect them from the wear caused by grinding and clenching. Night guards are also helpful if you suffer from TMJ disorder because they can reduce pressure on the temporomandibular joint that is located in front of your ears. If you suspect you grind your teeth in your sleep, talk to your dentist about treatment options that can help you protect your oral health.
Visit Smile Makers Dental Care, 901 Sunvalley Blvd. Suite 240, Concord, CA 94520, for a professional dental checkup. Book an appointment online or call us at (925) 685-9339 for any questions or concerns related to oral health.