Oral health is a key component of overall health. Poor oral hygiene and bad habits can lead to multiple dental complications. Listed below are some common bad habits that can damage your oral health.
The chemicals in tobacco will stain your teeth and increase your risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Many patients do not realize that cigarettes will also cause cavities. In addition to all of those negative side effects, your risk of tooth loss is much higher than someone who doesn’t smoke. If you are a smoker and would like to learn more about quitting, contact our office for a personalized consultation today!
Aggressive tooth brushing can cause enamel erosion and gum recession. It can also lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease. Gum disease is very serious and can lead to tooth loss as well. To prevent the above from happening, try using a toothbrush with soft bristles that matches your mouth size. Use gentle motions when brushing your teeth. Avoid pressing too hard on the brush, and always hold it at a 45-degree angle against your gumline. Switch to a softer toothbrush if your gums start to bleed after brushing.
When we grind our teeth together at night or during the day, the enamel can be worn away. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, pain, and even cracked teeth! A custom night guard can be created to protect your teeth while you sleep. It’s usually made out of acrylic and is designed to fit over your teeth. In the event of an accident, it will keep your upper and lower jaw from moving out of alignment. If you’re concerned that you may grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about wearing a mouth guard when you sleep. You may also want to limit caffeine intake and alcohol consumption since these can both increase the frequency of teeth grinding.
Using your teeth as tools can be just as damaging as chewing on pens and pencils. Biting down on ice or hard candy can also crack a tooth in half. It can also lead to tooth fractures, which occur when the tooth breaks into two or more pieces. A fractured tooth causes complications that can include pain when chewing or biting down, changes in temperature sensitivity, discoloration, and more. If the fracture is large, it may even cause the nerve to die inside the tooth and require extraction. Avoid this habit by staying away from hard objects that may crack your teeth. This includes ice, hard candies, pens, pencils, and other hard substances.
One of the worst habits when it comes to our oral health is nail biting. Not only can this damage your teeth, but it can also harm your gums and jaw as well. This bad habit can cause problems with the way your teeth look, such as shortening them or creating discolorations. It can even lead to cracked teeth and worn-down enamel. To stop yourself from doing this much too often, try putting bitter-tasting polish on your nails. You should also purchase a stress ball to squeeze instead.
Neglecting the dental checkup schedule can certainly cause long-term damage to the teeth. For example, patients who don’t attend regular appointments are often unaware of cavities or damage until their condition is advanced and in need of extensive treatment. Regular checkups allow us to catch small issues before they turn into larger problems that require more complex or expensive procedures.
By scheduling consistent visits to the dental office, we can work together to create a personalized treatment plan that keeps your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come.
To learn more tips to keep teeth healthy, visit West Valley Natural Dentistry, Inc at 9502 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, ID 83704, or call (208) 377-2223.