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Worst Habits That Can Damage Our Oral Health And Smile

Posted by Steven Lim Joseph Fields Nov 28, 2022

Bad habits can negatively affect our overall health. When it comes to our oral health, bad habits can lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Let's look at some common bad habits that can damage our oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is one of the most common bad oral habits out there. It can lead to chipped or broken fingernails and, in extreme cases, can even break or loosen teeth. If your teeth are already damaged from chipping or breaking, then nail biting can cause further damage by leading to split lips and cracked skin around your mouth. If you're prone to nail biting, the best thing you can do is find something else to replace it with. Try keeping your hands busy with things like doing crafts or playing an instrument. You can also keep yourself occupied with a stress ball or other fidget toy. You can also try talking to your dentist about other treatment options like mouthguards or relaxation techniques. If you're dealing with damaged or broken teeth due to nail biting, talk to your dentist about getting crowns or a veneer to restore your smile back to its former glory.

  • Smoking

Did you know that your mouth may be more susceptible to oral cancer if you regularly smoke or chew tobacco? This is because of the chemicals found in tobacco products. Besides, these habits can irritate the soft tissue in the mouth and cause chronic bad breath. Tobacco also causes discoloration of the teeth and increases the risk of gum disease and tooth loss. While it is never too late to quit, it can be beneficial to visit a dentist for an examination and professional cleaning every six months to help reverse some of the oral health issues caused by tobacco use. If you currently smoke and want to quit, ask your dentist about nicotine gum and patches that can aid in quitting as well. Also, avoid secondhand smoke and chew sugar-free gum with xylitol after meals to reduce cravings.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

It's common for people to brush their teeth too hard, which can damage the gums and enamel. When this happens, it can lead to receding gums, tooth sensitivity, and even the loss of a tooth. This can happen when patients use the wrong toothbrush or don't replace the bristles as often as they should. Toothbrushes with hard bristles can cause damage to the gums and sensitive teeth and should only be used on patients with healthy teeth and gums. Soft toothbrushes should be used on patients with sensitive mouths. The American Dental Association recommends using a soft-bristled brush and brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time. 

  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also referred to as bruxism, is a habit that causes tooth damage over time. Not only can it contribute to broken or damaged teeth, but it can also cause issues such as headaches or neck tension. It's common for people to grind their teeth at night while they sleep, so a partner may notice signs of teeth grinding, such as jaw pain or a sore jaw in the morning before they wake up. While it can be difficult to treat due to the fact that it occurs while a person is asleep, your dentist may suggest using a night guard to protect your teeth from any damage that occurs while you're sleeping. A night guard will help to prevent you from unconsciously clenching your jaw in your sleep and rubbing the surface of your teeth together. When left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to worn-down teeth and damaged gums, which can lead to further problems down the line. It's best to seek help from a dentist if you think you may be suffering from this troublesome habit, as it can be treated either through medication or by wearing a mouth guard while you sleep.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Another bad habit that can damage our oral health is using teeth as tools. Many people use their teeth to open bottles and packages, tear paper or bags, and even crack open nuts. All of these actions put unnecessary pressure on your teeth and can increase your risk of chipping. Even opening a bag of chips can put you at risk of damaging your enamel. If you want to keep your teeth healthy and your smile intact, be sure to avoid these bad habits and use appropriate tools instead!

Similarly, you should never use your teeth as bottle openers! This will only increase the likelihood of accidentally breaking a tooth. Instead, keep a bottle opener handy in your purse or car for easy access whenever you need one. 

  • Not Visiting The Dentist Regularly

Many people neglect to go to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Some people are simply fearful of dental care in general, while others are unaware of the many benefits of regular visits. Dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar that builds up on your teeth between appointments. They also allow your dentist to examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay or gum disease. If a cavity is found early, it can often be filled using a tooth-colored composite resin that looks more natural than silver amalgam fillings. Gum disease can also greatly benefit from early detection and treatment. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems. Regular visits also give your dentist a chance to screen you for potential oral cancer. Early detection is key to successfully treating this deadly disease. As you can see, there are many benefits to keeping those appointments every six months; hence visit your dentist regularly. 

To learn more, visit Smile Design Implant Centers in South Reno, Nevada. We are located at 748 South Meadows Parkway #A8, Reno, NV 89521. 

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