6 Bad Habits That Could Harm Your Teeth

6 Bad Habits That Could Harm Your Teeth

A habit is any behavior pattern that is done regularly and tends to occur unconsciously. Some habits, such as biting nails, are relatively harmless. Others, such as smoking, can be detrimental to our health in many ways. Here is how these habits can harm our oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Some people bite their nails or nibble on pencils when they are nervous or stressed. While that is a good way to relieve stress, it can also cause damage to your teeth. Biting your nails and chewing on hard objects can cause these bad habits to chip or break your teeth. You may also cause cracks in fillings, crowns, and other restorative work. These consequences can be painful and costly to fix.

  • Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst habits that can wreak havoc on our oral health. Other than causing cancer of the mouth and throat, it can also discolor the teeth. The chemicals in the cigarette are toxins that harm the teeth and gums. Gum disease is also common among smokers.

Apart from these serious health problems, smoking can also affect a person’s appearance. Stained and yellow teeth are common side effects of smoking. Smokers are also more likely to suffer from dry mouth. It also causes bad breath. The bottom line is that smoking can cause a lot of damage to one’s health and overall quality of life. This is why it is highly recommended that smokers quit smoking before they develop any serious problems. You can do this by enrolling yourself or a loved one in a smoking cessation program. These programs use various methods to help the patient quit the habit of smoking.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Many patients don’t realize they’re brushing their teeth too roughly until they see their dentists for an exam and cleaning. The signs of teeth brushing too hard include enamel wear and gums that bleed when brushed or flossed. Enamel wear is the gradual thinning of the teeth and, if left untreated, can cause sensitivity, pain, cavities, and other complications. Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing may be a sign of gum disease, which can also impact your overall health.

The best thing you can do for your teeth and gums is to brush twice a day with a toothbrush that has soft bristles at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Patients should spend at least two minutes brushing each quadrant of their mouth and use gentle pressure. Contact our office for tips to improve your at-home oral care routine!

  • Grinding Teeth

When we grind our teeth, we wear away at the enamel and expose the underlying dentin layer and pulp of the tooth. This causes sensitivity and pain, and once the dentin is exposed, there is no turning back.

One reason for this habit is the misalignment of our bite: when the back teeth are misaligned and bite together, it puts pressure on the front teeth. Your dentist will be able to examine your bite and determine the source of the problem. He may fit you with an appliance - a mouth guard that will prevent you from wearing down your teeth any further. 

  • Using Teeth As Tools

If you use your teeth as a bottle opener or to pry something open, it can wear away your enamel or even lead to tooth loss. This habit can also be dangerous if it causes you to use too much force and become injured as a result. So, do not use your teeth as tools; use scissors or appropriate tools instead. 

  • Not Visiting the Dentist Regularly

Without regular visits to your dentist, you may not be able to spot potential problems before they worsen and require more extensive treatment. Don’t wait until you see the visible effects of tooth decay before scheduling an appointment! Cavities can develop deep under the enamel of your teeth and may only be detectable by X-ray film.

During your visit, your dentist will perform a comprehensive oral exam that includes checking your teeth and gums for signs of trouble. If cavities are discovered early, they can be filled or restored with a dental crown. Without preventive dental care, you could experience tooth loss, expensive restorations, and other serious oral health issues. Avoid these problems by seeing your dentist on a regular basis!

To learn more oral care tips, call us at 636-532-2101 or schedule an appointment online and consult our dentist at Licata Dental.

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