Most of us are aware of oral care basics like brushing and flossing regularly. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have our own unhealthy habits. These habits often go unnoticed and may lead to serious dental problems in the future. Below is a list of 6 bad habits you should get rid of to avoid damaging your teeth and gum.
1. Using Your Teeth as Tools
You might have used your teeth to open a soda or beer bottle at one point in your life. In other instances, people use their teeth for various odd jobs like opening plastic bags or straightening bent objects. Such habits can cause your teeth to chip, break, or become loose. You can avoid doing this by having the right tools for every job in your home or office. This includes having bottle openers, pliers, and scissors near you to avoid the temptation of using your teeth. This is an easy fix and one that will save you from costly visits to the dentist’s office!
2. Nail Biting
Nail biting is a habit that develops from a young age and becomes difficult to stop as we age. It’s the root cause of multiple dental problems such as crowding and wearing of teeth. It also causes chipping and can have an impact on the jaw due to the pressure placed on it. Most cases of jaw dysfunction are associated with frequent nail biting. If you have this habit, look for some simple ways to change it. For instance, you can:
- Use bitter-tasting nail polish
- Wear gloves
- Cut the nails short
- Keep your fingers busy by holding something
3. Sipping Too Many Carbonated Drinks
Soft drinks such as cola contain high amounts of liquid calories and sugar that can lead to tooth decay. Soda also contains high levels of citric and phosphoric acids, which causes the dissolution of tooth enamel. Cavities can form rapidly due to the continued intake of carbonated drinks. To prevent dissolution of your tooth structure, try to avoid soda and other sugary treats such as candy. Not only will this be great for your smile, but overall health too! You also need to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water a day. If you are already experiencing cavities, visit your dentist to avoid further problems. Check out Crescent Heights Dental to talk to a qualified dentist today.
4. Not Using a Mouth Guard During Sports
Most contact sports put your teeth at risk. Being hit in the mouth can make you suffer a chipped or loose tooth. The worst-case scenario is losing your entire tooth. Don’t ignore the essence of a mouth guard whenever you are participating in such sports. Make sure you shop for a self-fitting mouth guard to cushion your teeth from hard hits.
5. Grinding Teeth
People grind their teeth for many different reasons. Maybe they have an abnormal bite, or they are anxious and stressed. Sometimes people will grind their teeth while sleeping. Teeth grinding is also known as bruxism and can cause ear pain, jaw pain, headaches, and gradual wearing down of teeth. There’s no known cure for bruxism, but there are various measures you can take to prevent grinding. One of them is using a mouth guard when sleeping. This is especially effective for adults. Some additional remedies that could help avoid grinding include:
- Relaxing your muscles by placing a warm cloth on your jaw
- Eating a crunchy snack before going to bed
- Practicing meditation and yoga to relieve stress
6. Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
Tobacco causes teeth staining and dry mouth which leads to plaque build up and weak teeth (not to mention additional health problems). If you are a constant smoker or tobacco user, you should quit this habit to better care for your oral health. There are medications and various treatments you can seek to stop the use of tobacco. Home Whitening Kits We all want pearly white teeth – but be aware that using some kits bought in stores or on the internet may do more harm than good. Using home kits can mean that the bleaching agent may accidentally leak onto your gums rather than only bleaching your teeth, which can cause sensitivity and even burns. It can also damage tooth enamel if left on too long or used incorrectly. If you already have sensitive teeth, it may be best to steer clear. Exposure to bleach can worsen the problem. Instead of using home bleaching kits, always get your teeth whitened by a professional. This will ensure a good result and will minimize the risk of damage.
While brushing and flossing are vital for proper oral health, there are many other underlying factors you need to consider. It just takes some precaution and motivation to quit bad habits that are damaging your smile!