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Oral Hygiene Basics: Bad Habits to Avoid

Posted by Ali Sajadi Oct 18, 2022

Maintaining good oral health goes beyond just brushing your teeth twice a day. Poor habits, such as nail biting, smoking, brushing teeth aggressively, teeth grinding, using teeth as tools, and not visiting the dentist regularly, can cause severe damage to your oral health. Listed below are 4 of the most common bad oral habits. 

  • Nail Biting 

Nail biting is a common bad oral habit that a lot of people develop. Nail biting can chip and crack teeth and cause teeth to become loose. Biting nails can also cause gum and mouth infections. Additionally, nail biting can chip our front teeth if they stick out too far when we chew on them. This can eventually cause our natural tooth structure to deteriorate and become damaged. A chipped or cracked tooth can even lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

If nail biting is an issue for you, talk to your dentist about possible solutions. In some cases, they may suggest filing down your nail beds or applying a special polish to discourage you from engaging in this bad habit. If you are ever concerned about the state of your teeth or gums following a visit to our office, do not be afraid to call and schedule an appointment so that we may evaluate your oral health and provide you with any appropriate treatment you may need. We are always here to help!

  • Smoking

Did you know that smoking can negatively affect your oral health? It is bad for your gums and teeth because it increases the amount of plaque that builds up on your teeth. It also causes bad breath and yellow stains on your teeth. Cigarettes contain many toxic chemicals that can stain your teeth and cause gum disease. The smoke is also inhaled and can irritate the gums and lead to mouth sores. It can also cause tooth decay and tooth loss. Many smokers also suffer from sensitive teeth.

If you smoke, talk to your dentist about how you can quit. Your dentist may refer you to a smoking cessation program or prescribe medication that can help curb your cravings. It’s important that you make quitting a priority because smoking not only affects your mouth but can also make it more difficult for your body to heal after oral surgery.­

  • Teeth Grinding

Many patients grind their teeth or brux in the privacy of their own homes without realizing it. Some people might not even realize that they have been doing it. If you notice that your teeth are more sensitive than usual or that you have facial pain while eating, you should speak to your dentist. A dentist will best be able to treat patients who unknowingly grind their teeth by using mouth guards to prevent damage to the teeth and restorations and prescribe medications such as muscle relaxants to help with related headaches. 

  • Using Teeth As Tools

This habit sounds harmless enough, but it can actually be very damaging to your oral health. By putting too much force on your teeth, you can chip or even crack them. When these chips or cracks are left untreated, bacteria can creep inside and attack the soft pulp tissue inside the tooth. This leads to pain and infection that may need root canal treatment to even save the tooth. Additionally, this habit can damage your braces or other orthodontic appliances, such as headgear or an expander. It can also cause pain to your lips, cheeks, gums, or tongue and can cut the same tissues it’s touching. 

If you’re looking for an experienced and professional dentist, you’ve come to the right place. We offer a variety of dental services, including preventative dentistry, emergency dentistry, cosmetic procedures, and more. We are committed to helping their patients have healthy mouths and beautiful smiles. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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