Nearly everyone has at least one habit that they wish they could break. Did you know that some of them can affect your oral health? Habits that affect your teeth can cause damage to your enamel, spacing issues, and even infect your gums. But are these habits? Below are a few common habits and tips for how to break them. Greenwood Dental is dedicated to improving our patients’ oral health. While regular check-ups and teeth cleanings are part of maintaining good oral health, learning to develop positive habits and break negative ones is key as well.
Habits that Affect Your Teeth
Maintaining healthy teeth means more than just brushing and flossing after each meal and scheduling regular dental appoints at Greenwood Dental. Your teeth are impacted by a lot of habits you may not even realize you engage in. Some common bad habits that affect your teeth include:
- Nail-Biting: This habit can chip or cause your teeth to be impacted. You could also tear or damage your gums. Some patients find it helpful to wear a mouthguard to deter from nail-biting. Other ways to reduce nail biting include using therapy techniques, reducing stress, or applying bitter-tasting nail polish.
- Brushing Too Hard: It’s best to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day. Make sure not to brush too hard since this can lead to damage to the teeth and gum irritation. When you brush too hard, you risk gum recession and not cleaning your teeth efficiently. Instead of brushing hard, use a soft toothbrush, and apply a proper pressure. Let your toothbrush bristles touch your gums at a 45-degree angle and reduce the force of your brush on your gums.
- Grinding and Clenching: This can chip or crack your teeth and cause muscle tenderness and joint pain. You may also experience a painful sensation when chewing or inability to open your mouth wide. Stay aware of your teeth grinding and clenching and use relaxation exercises to keep from doing both. A mouthguard can also help protect you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. This will reduce any tooth pain or muscle soreness and give you a better sleep. Our dentist can provide recommendations for how to combat teeth grinding.
Eating Habits that Impact Your Teeth
Some eating habits can lead to damage to your teeth and gums:
- Chewing Ice Cubes: Tooth enamel and ice are both crystals. When you push two crystals against each other, it can cause one to break. This may be the ice, and sometimes it may be the tooth. Try drinking beverages without ice or use a straw instead.
- Constant Snacking: If your diet consists heavily of sugary foods and drinks, you are at a higher risk of forming cavities. The cavity-causing bacteria feast on the leftover food and produce acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth. To reduce snacking, eat balanced meals so that you can feel fuller, longer. You should avoid sugary foods when snacking. If you are tempted to eat the occasional sugary snack, just make sure to drink a glass of water after washing away the leftover food.
- Using Your Teeth as a Tool: Using your teeth to hold items, open bottles, cut through thread, or other functions can put you at risk for chipped or broken teeth or jaw injuries. Your teeth should never be used to hold or open items or to cut things when you don’t have scissors at your disposal. Look for your scissors or find someone that can give you a hand.
Your mouth will thank you for it, and you’ll be saving yourself from potentially costly and painful dental complications.
How Greenwood Dental Can Help
Greenwood Dental provides comprehensive dental services to patients in Lake County, IL. Some of the general and cosmetic dentistry procedures we offer include:
- Porcelain Veneers
- Fluoride Treatment
- Teeth Whitening
- Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Dental Cleanings