Our teeth are designed to last a lifetime, but poor habits and lack of dental care can compromise their longevity. Here are some bad dental habits that can seriously affect your oral health.
Smoking is one of the worst habits for your oral health. It causes tooth discoloration, bad breath, and mouth sores. It can also result in tooth decay and even gum disease in the long run. Also, the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes can heighten your risk of oral cancer. Quitting this habit will not only improve your oral and overall health but could also help you save a ton of money!
When it comes to dental care, it’s essential to be gentle. Excessive pressure when brushing your teeth can lead to receding gums, tooth sensitivity, and even loose teeth. Brushing too hard can also harm the enamel of your teeth. Enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth that protects it from damage. If the enamel becomes too thin, it can expose the dentin, which is much softer and more sensitive than enamel. This can lead to pain and increased tooth sensitivity. Brushing too hard can also make your toothbrush wear out faster, which will require you to replace it more often. We can teach you proper brushing techniques with electric toothbrushes or with manual toothbrushes, but the best way to prevent damaging your teeth and gums is to practice gentle dental care. When you brush your teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush each area of your mouth for about two minutes. Make sure to clean the front, back, top, and sides of your teeth.
Teeth grinding can occur unconsciously during sleep or while awake. Tooth grinding puts a great deal of stress on the teeth and can lead to headaches and jaw pain. If this condition is left untreated, it can break down the enamel. Many people grind their teeth and eventually wear down the protective enamel layer. This can lead to hypersensitive teeth. If the enamel is already worn down, the dentin underneath is exposed – sensitive and often yellow in color.
When patients visit the dentist for a routine checkup, they are screened for any symptoms of bruxism – the medical term for excessive teeth grinding. Your dentist can determine if your clenching and grinding habits are causing harm to your teeth and recommend the best treatment approach for you and your smile. In some cases, a customized nightguard can protect the teeth from damage caused by grinding and clenching. This thin oral appliance fits comfortably over the teeth and can be worn at night to prevent teeth from coming into contact with each other. Other treatments may include stress management techniques, medications, nighttime massage, relaxation exercises, and/or counseling about the effects of stress on the body.
Biting nail is a bad habit that can affect your oral health in multiple ways. In addition to potential damage to your teeth and fingers, nail biting can also increase your risk for gum disease and temporomandibular joint disorder. Over time, this habit can also lead to more harmful oral consequences, such as worn-down enamel or chipped or broken teeth. While it can be difficult to quit nail-biting cold turkey, there are things you can do to break the habit. First, try keeping yourself busy with other things, like chewing gum or using stress balls. You should also consider seeing a therapist in order to address any issues that may be causing you to think you need to bite your nails. Once you’ve quit, you should still continue to care for your teeth by practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding biting your fingernails or other hard objects.
If you don’t visit the dentist often enough for checkups and cleanings, it can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. These issues can lead to tooth loss. Regular appointments with your dentist are also essential for maintaining good oral health.
Though some people don’t understand the importance of regular dental visits, there are some reasons you should schedule an appointment every six months. Your dentist will be able to catch issues such as cavities or gingivitis earlier when a checkup is scheduled every six months than if you wait for a year between cleanings.
When you wait longer between dental exams, you greatly increase your risk of periodontal disease. You can prevent a number of oral problems by scheduling regular appointments with your dentist every year. Talk to your family dentist about the best schedule for your individual and family’s dental care needs.
To learn more tips to improve your oral health, contact University Oaks Dental, 6363 San Felipe St #200b, Houston, TX 77057 at (713) 461-8012, or schedule an appointment with us through our website.