Even if you’re daily brushing, flossing, and eating well, you may be doing damage to your teeth with other oral habits that you don’t even realize are harmful. We’ve compiled a list of bad habits that can lead to long-term and irreversible damage to teeth. Read on to see if there’s something you need to work on!
1. Smoking & Using Tobacco Products
Using tobacco products and smoking are harmful for your entire body, including your teeth and mouth. They stain your teeth, lead to bad breath, and can cause oral cancer. If you use tobacco products, we advise you to consider stopping as soon as possible. But you don’t have to do it alone–help is available.
2. Chewing on Items That Aren’t Food
You may be chewing on non-food items without even realizing it! When nervous or stressed, we sometimes chew pencils, pens, our nails, and other items that can lead to chipped teeth. If you’re a nervous person who needs something to chew on, switch to sugar-free gum. It’s been shown to actually improve the health of your teeth!
3. Drinking Sugar
Bad oral bacteria feed upon your dietary sugar and produce acidic byproducts that lead to tooth decay and cavities. But even if you’re not eating candy or sweets, you may be getting excessive amounts of sugar in your daily beverages. Do you add sugar to your coffee or tea? Do you drink sodas or juice on a regular basis? Are your favorite cocktails filled with simple syrup? Ask for “skinny” versions of your favorite cocktails to cut down on sugar. And whenever possible, switch to water, sparkling water (that isn’t citrus flavored), or milk instead of sugary beverages.
4. Forgoing Mouthguards While Playing Sports
Forgetting a mouthguard when playing contact sports can easily lead to a chipped or knocked-out tooth due to injury. Be sure to wear an athletic mouthguard whenever engaging in physical activity that could involve colliding with other players, getting hit in the face with equipment, or falling to the ground. At your next appointment, we can fit you with custom athletic mouthguard for optimal protection!
5. Grinding Teeth
Chronic grinding and clenching of teeth, called bruxism, is a common problem caused by stress. While sleeping, many patients grind their teeth without even knowing it. This can lead to headaches, jaw pain and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, chipped teeth, broken teeth, and worn enamel that increases your risk of sensitivity and decay. Let us fit you for a nightguard to protect your teeth as you sleep. You’ll not only have healthier teeth–you’ll sleep better too!
6. Brushing Too Hard
It might surprise you to learn that many people brush their teeth too hard. This can cause receding gums, weakened enamel, and sensitive teeth. Use a soft-bristled brush and brush gently in small circular motions for two minutes.
Need Help Kicking These Habits to the Curb?
If you’re guilty of any of these bad habits, do your best to adjust. We would be happy to help you improve your oral health habits so you can have a healthier smile! Contact us today for assistance.