Our oral health is very important for our overall well-being. Regular brushing is essential to clean our teeth and prevent cavities and gum disease. Besides, it is essential to take care of our oral health in other ways too. Listed below are some bad habits that can harm our oral health.
Nail biting is a habit that commonly develops in childhood. It is a natural response to feelings of stress and tension. Unfortunately, this bad habit can cause serious problems to your teeth, including tooth sensitivity, broken or chipped teeth, infection, and jaw pain. Nail-biting also harms your teeth because you might chip your enamel or even break a tooth. Those whose habit is chewing on their nails often end up with broken or cracked teeth, which can be painful and expensive to repair. To avoid these complications, it's best to avoid nail biting altogether. If you find that you can't quit the habit on your own, talk to your dentist about ways to break the cycle. Your dentist may have helpful tips for you, such as using a bitter-tasting polish on your nails to help you quit the habit.
Smoking is one of the worst habits for your oral health because it can lead to severe gum disease and oral cancer. Other problems include bad breath and yellowed or stained teeth.
Aggressive brushing can wear down your tooth enamel and irritate your gums. This can lead to tooth sensitivity or gum disease. It can even cause damage to the supporting bone structure around your teeth. If you tend to brush too hard, teach yourself to use a softer hand. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Use toothpaste with fluoride to help protect against tooth decay. In addition to your twice-daily oral hygiene routine, you should visit your dentist for a professional cleaning every six months.
Thumb-sucking and pacifier use are habits that are considered safe and harmless for infants. If a child is sucking on a thumb or using a pacifier past the age of three, however, it could cause problems with their teeth and their bite alignment. This is because these behaviors can negatively affect the development of the mouth's bone structure and the alignment of the teeth and jaws. If your child has the habit of thumb-sucking, talk to their pediatric dentist, who will help.
Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, is another habit that can be damaging to the teeth. When a patient grinds their teeth at night, they place too much pressure on the jaw joint. Over time, this can cause serious damage to the joint and may even lead to misalignment of the teeth. Often, patients are unaware of their nighttime grinding because they do it in their sleep. This is why it is important to wear a nightguard to protect your teeth from these harmful consequences.
Biting pencils or pens, chewing ice, or eating tough foods can chip your teeth or damage your enamel. Also, using your teeth to tear packages, open things, etc., can also chip or break your teeth. Over time, this can also lead to tooth decay and cavities. Next time you want to use your teeth as a tool, use a tool instead! While it's still important to visit the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups, you can reduce your risk of damage by avoiding habits that put pressure on your teeth.
One of the most obvious and damaging bad habits that can damage oral health is skipping dentist visits. Skipping oral health checkups puts your smile at risk by letting cavities and gum disease develop without treatment. These issues can cause severe discomfort and pain if left untreated and may even lead to tooth loss or the need for oral surgery to fix severe damage. So, it's important to keep up with your at-home oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist every six months for deep cleanings and examinations.
To learn more tips to improve our oral health, visit the ZM Dental office at 14502 N Dale Mabry Hwy #102, Tampa, FL 33618. You can also reach us at (813) 513-5045 and schedule an online appointment.