Oral Hygiene Basics: Bad Habits to Avoid

Posted by Brittany Southeast Family Dental Dec 26,2022

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Good oral habits help us maintain good oral health. On the other hand, bad habits can jeopardize our oral health. Listed below are a few habits that can ruin our oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Did you know that nail-biting ranks among the most common bad oral habits? It’s easy to do and can be done almost unconsciously while our minds are occupied with other activities. But it’s clear that if you’re someone who habitually bites their nails, it can lead to some serious damage to the mouth. For one thing, it can create gaps between the teeth that foster the growth of bacteria and cause bad breath. This can also result in misaligned teeth and bite problems. As for adults, it can weaken tooth enamel and cause sensitivity. 

  • Smoking

We all know about the harmful effects of tobacco on our general health, but it doesn’t occur to us that it could also have an impact on our oral health as well. In fact, both smoking and chewing tobacco are strongly linked to gum recession and oral cancer.

Tobacco usage can also cause tooth discoloration and bad breath. This is because tobacco contains chemicals that stain the teeth and cause foul breath. Of course, quitting smoking may not be easy – in fact, most people struggle with this habit. But it’s important to be aware of the negative effects it has on your teeth and gums so that you can make better choices going forward.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

People who brush their teeth too hard can damage their enamel and encourage the gums to recede from the teeth. Enamel is the hard outer layer that protects the teeth and helps them stay strong and healthy. Brushing too hard can also cause the gums to recede or bleed.

Dentists recommend that patients use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging the teeth and gums. Patients should also place their toothbrush at a forty-five-degree angle to the gums as they brush and gently move the toothbrush in small circles over the surfaces of the teeth. If patients have questions about proper brushing techniques, they should consult with their dentists for more information.

  • Teeth Grinding

Bruxism or teeth grinding is a common condition that affects many people. People suffering from bruxism may or may not be aware of their condition, which can be problematic and dangerous to their oral health.

Teeth grinding can cause damage to your teeth’s structure. This can cause tooth sensitivity and even lead to tooth loss. If you grind your teeth at night, this is especially troublesome because you may not realize you are damaging them until it is too late.

In order to prevent damage to your teeth and mouth, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible for assessment and possible treatment. More than likely, they will provide you with a custom-made night guard that will prevent you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. You will also be taught certain relaxation techniques that will help relax your body and your mind in order to minimize your stress level. This will reduce the amount of pressure you put on your teeth and will prevent them from being damaged when you sleep.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

This refers to any activity that makes use of your teeth as a tool other than eating or speaking. This includes chewing on pencils, pens, and ice, ripping open packages with your teeth, etc. These activities put your teeth at risk in more than one way. Not only can they chip or break a tooth after trauma, but the added pressure can cause serious damage to the jaw joint as well. Avoid these activities at all costs to avoid potential damage to your teeth!

If you have questions about the best ways to care for your smile at home, call our friendly staff at (317) 359-8000 today. We would be happy to schedule you for an appointment at our family dental practice in Indianapolis, IN. We look forward to working with you soon!

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