6 Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth

6 Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth

Good oral hygiene is essential for preventing dental issues. Unfortunately, however, many people inadvertently develop habits that can damage their oral health. Here are some damaging habits for your oral health and smile.

Nail Biting

Nail biting can cause many problems for your dental health. It can damage teeth by causing chips and cracks, or it can even crack your bite and cause your teeth to shift. Besides damaging your oral health, nail biting can give you many unwanted consequences as well. It is hard on your fingernails and cuticles. 

Using Teeth As Tools

We often use our teeth for purposes other than biting and chewing food — from opening packages to holding keys or a pen. Unfortunately, these actions can potentially do more harm than help your teeth. For example, using your teeth as a tool can cause your enamel to wear down over time and break the tooth's protective seal. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. 

Frequent Snacking

The snacks you enjoy may be affecting your dental health. Some snack items are high in sugar or carbohydrates, both of which can contribute to tooth decay and cavities. Consider snacking on cheese instead. Cheese is rich in calcium and has properties that can actually help fight bacteria in the mouth. Remember to be sure you are thoroughly brushing away any debris from your teeth after enjoying a snack. This will help prevent decay and gum disease.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking might seem like an innocent habit, but it can do a lot of damage to your teeth. Like pacifier use, thumb sucking can have a negative effect on the alignment of the teeth and lead to bite problems later in life. It can also cause teeth to erupt out of position or crowd one another. If your child is still using a pacifier at five years old, it's time to have a conversation with them about stopping! The sooner they stop, the better for their teeth and jaw alignment. 

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding can have many different causes and be caused by different factors. Stress is one of the biggest factors that can lead to teeth grinding. People may grind their teeth during sleep due to stress from the daytime. This can also lead to headaches as well as jaw pain. If you suspect that you or your child are grinding your teeth while sleeping, talk to your dentist about treatment options. If you experience unexplained tooth wear, frequent headaches, or other symptoms of grinding your teeth while you sleep, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a diagnosis. The dentist may recommend a mouth guard to help protect your teeth and prevent damage, depending on the cause of your grinding. Mouth guards can also help protect patients who suffer from nighttime clenching by relaxing the jaw muscles and preventing involuntary movements.

Brushing Too Hard

When we brush our teeth too hard or in the wrong direction, we wreak havoc on our gums and enamel. Many people think brushing harder is better for their teeth, but not at all! The best way to keep your teeth healthy is to brush twice a day for two minutes using gentle circular motions. The proper way to brush your teeth is to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently rub the bristles back and forth in short strokes. This will allow the bristles to scrub away plaque while avoiding gum recession. When your gums recede, it can cause sensitivity and even tooth pain. If you experience sensitive teeth after brushing, you should stop immediately and consider investing in a soft-bristled toothbrush. A soft-bristled toothbrush will help avoid the pain associated with receding gums.

We at Vose Family Dentistry provide the best dental treatment for patients to improve the appearance of their smiles. Call us at (507) 387-2255 to schedule an appointment. 

Vose Family Dentistry

220 E Main St., Mankato, MN 56001

Phone: (507) 387-2255

Email: Vosedds@hickorytech.net

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