Good oral hygiene habits are essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. These habits include brushing your teeth regularly, flossing, eating a healthy diet, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups. On the other hand, there are some other habits that can damage our oral health. Here are some of them.
Most people bite their nails out of habit or nervousness. However, the forces generated during biting cause trauma to your teeth and possible infections in your gums. Nail bitters are also more prone to stained teeth and chipped or broken teeth as they forcefully place their teeth together and chew down on them. In some cases, nail biters also develop crooked teeth, which may need orthodontic treatment later.
A recommended practice to prevent bad oral habits such as nail biting is to keep your mouth busy with other things when nervous. For example, you can keep a stress ball in your hands or take deep breaths to calm down. Lastly, if the problem persists, consider consulting with a doctor who can refer you to a therapist or prescribe you medications to control your anxiety.
Smoking can cause bad breath, stained teeth, and receding gums. It can also increase your risk of oral cancer and gum disease. Oral health problems associated with smoking include:
If you smoke or use other forms of tobacco, quit them at the earliest. If you find yourself struggling to quit, ask your dentist for help; he or she can recommend options to help you quit, such as nicotine patches or gum.
Many people brush their teeth quite vigorously, thinking that this is a good way to keep away plaque and tartar buildup. However, aggressive tooth brushing can actually damage the enamel on your teeth and cause a great deal of pain if done too frequently. It can also result in receding gums, gum recession, sensitivity, and other issues. It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and to brush your teeth only twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. Avoid any habits that can damage your oral health and keep your smile looking great for years to come!
Teeth grinding is a common activity that almost everyone does at some point in their life. In fact, some people even grind their teeth in their sleep! Unfortunately, though, this bad habit can do a lot of damage to your teeth - you can accidentally wear down enamel and even crack or chip a tooth. If you have the habit of teeth grinding, your dentist can fit you with a mouthguard to wear at night to prevent you from grinding your teeth in your sleep. They may also recommend different treatment options for tooth grinding, such as Botox injections to relax the muscles of your face that cause the clenching and grinding.
To learn more about our dental procedures or to schedule your appointment for dental checkups, call Whitlow Dental Care at (559)441-7700.