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Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Oral Health

Posted by Afshin Vahadi Dec 28, 2022

Our oral health can be affected by many factors. Some habits are more harmful to our teeth than others. Listed below are some habits that can damage our oral health.

Teeth Grinding

Bruxism or commonly called teeth grinding is a bad habit that damages our oral health by wearing down our tooth enamel and damaging the supporting structures of the teeth. It is very common in children, but it can affect both children and adults.

When you grind your teeth at night, you may not even notice it at first because you are sleeping. However, you may start feeling pain in your neck and in your jaw when you wake up. If you constantly suffer from headaches, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep.

Today's dentistry offers multiple options to treat bruxism and reduce its symptoms. Depending on how bad your case is, we may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth and reduce the effects of bruxism. A night guard is a custom-fitted mouth guard for the upper and lower teeth that prevents them from contacting each other by creating a physical barrier between them. The night guard should be worn every night to prevent you from clenching your jaw while asleep. You can remove the night guard in the morning to clean it and store it in a dry place.

Using Teeth As Tools

Using your teeth as a tool to pry open packages, cut tape, or pop popcorn kernels out of a microwave can chip and fracture a tooth. This can lead to extensive and costly dental treatments. It may be possible to save your teeth if you get to the dental office right away. However, dental crowns and veneers may need to be replaced if you continue to habitually use your teeth as a method of opening things. So, we recommend you stop the habit at the earliest.

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common habit, and many people do it without even realizing it. They bite their fingernails when they feel nervous or stressed when they are bored or hungry. Nail biting can cause chipped or cracked teeth, and it can also cause small cuts on your gums. So, it is best to stop this bad habit as soon as possible. If you bite your nails out of boredom, try finding another activity that makes you happy and doesn't involve damaging your teeth or causing pain to your fingers.

Smoking

Although there are many bad habits that can damage our oral health, smoking is one of the most common ones. Smoking can cause discoloration of teeth, bad breath, and gum disease, all of which can eventually lead to tooth loss. 

Aggressive Brushing

Aggressive tooth brushing can erode enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity. Use a soft-bristled brush with rounded bristles to avoid damaging the gums and enamel. Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and gently sweep back and forth in a circular motion. Don't scrub too hard or too quickly, as this can wear down your enamel over time.

Not Visiting The Dentist Regularly

Skipping routine dental visits is a bad idea for multiple reasons. First, skipping these appointments means you're missing out on the professional cleanings you need to protect your teeth and gums from cavities and gum disease. Second, these regular visits are an opportunity for your dentist to look for signs of problems you may not even recognize yourself. For example, they may be able to see early signs of oral cancer or spot the early signs of tooth decay before it causes you pain. Third, if your dentist does notice a problem, they can treat it early to prevent more invasive and expensive treatments later. So, it's important to remember that your oral health depends on regular checkups and regular cleanings. Don't skip them!

To learn more oral-care tips, schedule a consultation with Dr. Vahadi by calling at 972-335-7100. We proudly welcome patients from Frisco and all surrounding communities, including Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Prosper, The Colony, Carrollton, Lewisville, and more.

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