Habits That Can Damage Your Oral Health And Smile

Habits That Can Damage Your Oral Health And Smile

A habit is generally defined as an action that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. Unfortunately, some habits can be harmful to our oral health. Listed below are a few of the most common ones. 

Nail Biting

Nail biting is not only a bad habit to have because it can leave teeth chipped or cracked, but it can also transfer bacteria and fungi from your fingers into your mouth and onto the nail surfaces. This can lead to gum infections, tooth decay, and much more. Over time, you may develop an indentation on your tongue due to habitual nail biting. Try to avoid this bad habit by placing bitter-tasting polish on your fingernails to dissuade you from this habit.

Using Teeth As Tools

Teeth are not tools! Many people use their teeth to open packages, remove tags, crack open nuts, and even cut various items. The problem is that these actions can easily chip your teeth or even break them entirely. Avoid using your teeth as tools, and opt for scissors instead!

Chewing Ice Cubes

While ice may seem harmless and is a relatively common habit, it can be harmful to your teeth. Chewing on an ice cube can cause the chipping or breaking of a tooth. However, it can also lead to more serious dental health problems as the cold temperature of ice causes blood vessels to constrict, lowering the flow of blood to the gums and teeth. This reduced blood flow can lead to serious gum problems such as gingivitis and even tooth loss. Furthermore, chewing on ice can dull and damage your tooth enamel due to the hard substance of the ice crystal and its high acidity level. Certain flavored ice cubes can even contain dyes that can stain your teeth.

Teeth Grinding

Many people clench their teeth together or grind them while asleep. Bruxism, as it's called, can negatively affect our oral health in many ways. It can cause tooth wear over time due to increased friction between the surfaces of the teeth, and it can also change the shape of the jaw over time. Some people who have this condition wake up with headaches or a sore jaw. A custom mouthguard can help prevent the effects of bruxism by cushioning the teeth from damage. It can also help relieve jaw tension and protect teeth against clenching forces. Mouthguards are also recommended for people of all ages who participate in athletics or other high-risk activities.

Brushing Too Hard

When done correctly, brushing your teeth is actually good for your gums! However, if you brush too hard, you can damage your gum tissue and cause them to recede. If enough gum tissue is lost, bacteria can enter the gum line and cause an infection or tooth decay. This is painful and results in need for more dental treatment.

Some people brush in a hard back-and-forth motion, which can damage their gums. Instead, they should use a gentle circular motion around their teeth. By using a soft-bristled toothbrush that doesn't have bristles that are too firm, you'll be less likely to cause damage to your gums when brushing. 

To learn more tips to keep teeth healthy, visit Desert Inn Smiles at 3220 S. DURANGO DR. STE. B2, Las Vegas, NV 89117, or call (702) 834-7707.


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