If you maintain good oral hygiene, your teeth can last a lifetime. But if you don’t practice good oral hygiene, you are putting yourself at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Here are some of the habits that are bad for oral health.
It’s no secret that smoking is bad for you, but did you know that it’s bad for your teeth as well? Studies have shown that people who smoke are at a higher risk for gum disease and tooth loss than non-smokers. Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain multiple chemicals that cling to the teeth and cause stains, yellowing, and even cause bad breath. Smokers are also prone to dry mouth, which can contribute to tooth decay and cavities by leaving room for bacteria to build up in the mouth. If that isn’t reason enough to kick the habit for good, then I don’t know what is! Talk to your dentist about quitting. He or she may be able to recommend resources to help curb your cravings or ways to quit it altogether. Whatever method you choose, remember that any amount of tobacco can take a toll on your oral health, so it’s better to ditch it.
Did you know that chewing ice can cause tooth fractures and cracks? The cold temperature of ice chips causes your enamel to expand. When your teeth expand too quickly, they crack or split.
Nail biting is a common bad habit that damages oral health in several ways. It can cause the teeth to become worn down over time and even loosen them from their sockets. A constant habit of biting the nails can also result in cracked and broken teeth and damage to the gums. Nail biting can also cause tooth misalignment or bite problems. Even frequent nibbling of the nails can result in unsightly marks or even the loss of front teeth. In order to prevent all of these oral health issues, people should try to kick the habit of nail biting.
Sometimes people need to use their teeth for something other than chewing food or speaking. Many people use their teeth to open packages and bottles. This is actually one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. Opening a package with your teeth causes them to flex in a way that they aren’t used to, which can crack or chip them. If your teeth are cracked or broken, this can lead to serious infections that require extensive treatment to repair.
If you are opening a package with your teeth, you should find a tool specifically created for this purpose. This will protect your teeth from damage and prevent you from needing to have painful dental procedures in the future.
Patients who brush aggressively remove enamel from their teeth and irritate the gums. They may also experience gum recession and their gum tissue may begin to recede. Gums eventually recede enough to expose the roots of the teeth. Once exposed, bacteria can easily enter the vulnerable part of the tooth and cause decay or infection.
Using an electric toothbrush or a soft-bristled toothbrush can be a good way for patients with sensitive teeth to brush without irritation. Patients should remember not to use too much pressure when their toothbrush.
Got any doubts? Visit Alencar Family Dentistry. We are located at 711 Greenbrier Pkwy Suite 101, Chesapeake, VA 23320. Contact us at (757) 546-0301 or visit our website for more information.