Everyone knows the importance of a daily oral hygiene routine: brush, floss, repeat. However, most patients are unaware that some of their daily habits can be playing a role in the destruction of their teeth. Taking part in unhealthy habits can ruin your teeth and oral health in the long run, so be sure you are taking care of those pearly whites by avoiding these five things.
Teeth grinding is a very common habit that most individuals are completely unaware they even do. This habit can be triggered by a multitude of things, including stress, sleep disorders, and anxiety. Clenching can be just as detrimental and involves mostly the compression of teeth. This many times leads to cracked and broken teeth. If you grind or clench your teeth on a regular basis, you are at risk of developing more complex oral health and medical issues down the road. Patients who grind their teeth regularly might be experiencing symptoms like:
Because many people suffer from the terrible habit of grinding/clenching their teeth, dentists have found a multitude of solutions for patients to fix this bad habit. Depending on your specific situation and what may be triggering your teeth grinding, your dentist will try and find the perfect solution for you. A few common ways to treat teeth grinding are:
Occlusal Splint (mouthguard)
Tobacco products are a habit that dentists have a difficult time treating, because they can not only contribute to more plaque and tartar, but they can also cause oral cancers and other serious concerns like periodontal disease. Whether patients are using chewing tobacco, smoking tobacco, or even e-cigarettes, they should know how harmful it can be to their overall health and wellness as well as their oral health. Being aware of the dangers of tobacco use can play a role in helping patients find a solution to their bad habit. Tobacco use can cause issues such as:
Though dentists are aware that this habit typically can’t be kicked overnight, they have been able to treat patients who are willing to work for the improvement of their oral health. There are multiple factors playing into this bad habit, so it’s important for patients to better understand their addiction. Your dentist can explain the dangers of smoking and help provide advice to put you on track to getting rid of this destructive habit.
Nail biting is another harmful habit that can be difficult to get rid of. While nail biting is an extremely common habit, biting your nails can do severe damage to your oral health. Not only can it cause your teeth to break and chip, but it can also shift your teeth without you noticing. Nail biting is typically a habit that is triggered from stress. However, it can be caused by different external and internal factors as well. Symptoms of intense nail biting are:
Tender or inflamed gums
Patients will have to work to kick this habit, but dentists can offer recommendations and solutions to the issue as well. For some, mouthguards can help fix the habit by making it almost impossible to bite their nails. For others, stress and anxiety therapy might be beneficial.
Regularly brushing your teeth is obviously important. However, patients should know that there is such a thing as overbrushing. Brushing your teeth with too much pressure for too long can cause long-term damage to your teeth and gums. This will wear down your enamel, making your teeth extremely sensitive and prone to cavity formation. Overbrushing your teeth can also cause gum recession and irritation which can make you more prone to bacterial infections and gingivitis.
To avoid over brushing, patients should be aware of proper brushing techniques and practices. The first step is to get a soft-bristled brush, immediately making the routine less abrasive to your teeth. A few more tips and tricks to properly brushing your teeth are:
Use soft strokes
Hold head of brush at a 45 degree angle to the gumline
Move the brush in a pattern
Tips on Brushing →
Why is eating ice bad for you? Eating ice may seem like an innocent or harmless habit. However, crunching on ice cubes can cause severe damage to your teeth. The intense cold temperature of ice can also wear down your enamel and cause extreme sensitivity. Chewing ice can also lead to chipped and fractured teeth, costing you money and time to fix. Alongside all of these issues, crunching on ice can make your teeth more prone to cavity formation.
Like any other habit, chewing on ice can be a difficult routine to break. However, it can be easily done. You may even find yourself spending less time and money sitting in your dentist’s chair. A few ways to kick the habit of munching on ice cubes are:
Drink a slush
Wait for ice to melt
Sip through a straw
Ensure your ice-eating habit is not caused by low iron levels
Here at Bateman Dentistry, we understand habits can be difficult to kick. However, we work hard to provide our patients with the best information and care in order to keep their oral health in check. Because every patient is different, we can help you find a solution to the habit you need to break.
To speak with our team about breaking habits that can ruin your teeth, schedule an appointment with us today.