Bad Habits That Can Damage Oral Health

Our teeth go through a lot every day. From chewing to biting to speaking, our teeth experience a wide range of activities. Sometimes, we may forget to take care of our teeth. As a result, our teeth may start to deteriorate. Our habits have a huge impact on our teeth and oral health. Listed below are some common habits that can damage our oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common nervous habit that can damage your teeth in a number of ways. It wears down your enamel by constantly rubbing against your front teeth. It also causes chips and cracks in your teeth and can lead to infection or irritation of the gums. If you’re unable to break the habit on your own, speak to your dentist about the best treatment for you.

  • Smoking

Smoking can have serious effects on your oral health. The chemicals found in cigarettes weaken your gums, leading to gum disease. They also stain your teeth brown and cause bad breath. Tobacco products contain toxins that can stain your teeth and cause bad breath. It can also increase your risk for oral cancer. People who smoke or chew tobacco often also have yellowed teeth that are less firm and brittle from nicotine exposure; these smokers have a greater risk of gum disease and tooth loss due to the micro-bursts of bacteria caused by their habit. Quitting the habit as soon as possible greatly improves your oral health. Talk to your dentist for tips and resources to help you quit.

  • Grinding The Teeth

Grinding your teeth at night is harmful to a number of reasons. It can wear away the enamel on your teeth, causing sensitivity and pain. It can also cause you to wake up with a sore jaw or a headache. If you suspect that you’re grinding your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about it right away. You may need a plastic mouthpiece to wear at night to prevent you from damaging your teeth.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

When patients brush their teeth too aggressively, they can cause serious harm to their teeth and gums. It’s common for patients to unintentionally harm themselves when trying to brush more thoroughly. If a patient brushes too hard, they can damage the enamel or root surfaces of their teeth. Patients should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle hand when brushing.

A soft-bristled toothbrush is typically recommended and can help achieve optimal oral cleanliness. It’s best to brush twice a day for two minutes each time. However, if a patient is suffering from gum disease, they should brush every after meals and floss once per day.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Teeth are meant for eating and chewing food, not as tools. Using them to open packages and bottles, cut tape or open a bag of chips can damage your tooth enamel, cause fractures and break the teeth. It is also an easy way to get a tooth chipped or broken. Think of it this way: You would not use a fork as a hammer to drive in a nail, so do not use your teeth as a tool.

  • Not Visiting the Dentist Regularly

Regular visits to the dentist are essential not just to maintain good oral health but also to prevent potential complications from arising. For instance, when cavities are left untreated for a long time, they can grow larger and deeper and eventually cause toothache and infection. A damaged tooth is more prone to developing further problems, including periodontal disease or tooth loss. If gum disease occurs, other health problems like heart disease and diabetes are also possible. It is therefore important to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings. During these appointments, the dentist can monitor your oral health and look for early signs of potential problems so you can immediately take appropriate measures to keep them at bay.

To find out more about the dental services we offer at Elite Dental, West St. Paul, MN, call (952) 432-1716 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 7300 147th St., W., Suite 108, West St. Paul, MN.

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