5 Harmful Dental Habits to Avoid

Harmful Dental Habits

Your dental habits will most likely determine the overall health of your teeth. It is important to develop good oral health care routines and stop any behaviors that can worsen your dental health. Here are five specific bad habits you should avoid.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

If you revert to using your teeth when you do not have a pair of scissors handy, you could easily chip or crack the enamel. Do not use your teeth for anything other than chewing food. Do not open bottles, tear open plastic bags or any other task fit for a tool, because teeth are not designed for this and you could cause permanent damage.

Somewhat related to this detrimental habit is the practice of chewing ice or fruit pits and seeds. The brittleness of these substances puts undue pressure on your teeth and jaw and can cause fractures — stick to chewing sugarless gum or other dentist-approved substances.

Consuming Sugary Fluids instead of Water

One of the main dietary changes everyone should implement is to reduce or eliminate their intake of sugar-filled drinks. Not only do these fluids contain a high number of calories and insufficient nutritional value, but the acid that forms from tooth sugar coatings contribute to decay.

Try to substitute water for juice and soda. Your overall wellness will improve and you will be less likely to develop cavities.

Smoking or Chewing Tobacco

The dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco are life-threatening, but do not forget the adverse effects they have on your teeth as well.

Chewing tobacco makes teeth yellow, breath bad, and raises the chance of decay and gum disease. It also makes for a much slower healing rate overall after any dental procedure. Quit this destructive habit and you will have healthier teeth and a lower risk of cancer of the mouth and the rest of your body as well.

Brushing Too Often and Too Vigorously

It might seem as if your dentist is always trying to encourage you to brush more often, but it is possible to brush your teeth too much. “Toothbrush abrasion” can result from too much scrubbing, exhibited by worn tooth enamel and receding gums.

Related to this condition is brushing too roughly. You should brush with gentle, circular movements rather than forceful, side-to-side motions with a hard-bristled toothbrush.

Grinding Your Teeth

A regularly clenched jaw or a tooth-grinding habit, even if it occurs while you are asleep, can eventually result in tooth fractures, receding gums and jaw stiffness. If you have regular headaches or pain when you open and close your mouth, it might be time to obtain the opinion of a dental professional to investigate if grinding is an issue for you. It may be hard to stop this habit, so dentists can provide mouthguards to limit the harm to the teeth and jaw.

Contact Oak Hills Dentistry if you are looking for a professional team able to identify and help you prevent any of these dental bad habits that could affect your oral health.