Good oral hygiene habits are important not only for a healthy mouth but also for a healthy body. It can help you prevent several dental and medical problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, tooth loss, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. However, there are certain other habits that can harm our oral health. Here are some of them:
- Nail Biting
Nail biting is a nervous habit that can cause a lot of damage if it goes unnoticed and untreated for a long time. It affects the enamel of our teeth and can cause small fractures that lead to tooth decay. Many nail biters also end up with chipped or broken teeth. While we can repair some tooth damage with dental crowns, there’s only so much we can do. The best way to treat your nail biting is to stop it altogether!
Tobacco is one of the worst habits for your oral health. The smoke from tobacco products contains harmful chemicals and carcinogens that damage your gums and teeth. These chemicals can cause painful sores in the mouth, gum recession, bad breath, yellowing or browning of the teeth, and even mouth cancer. The best way to avoid these oral health issues is to quit smoking as soon as possible. Otherwise, you should be sure to get regular checkups and cleanings so we can keep an eye on any early signs of oral cancer.
Smoking can also cause receding gums and other issues with your gums. Cigarette smoking has been linked to an increased risk of periodontitis which is a serious gum disease that can cause tooth loss if left untreated.
The best way to prevent these issues is to practice great oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day as well.
- Aggressive Brushing
Many people think that hard-bristled toothbrushes are more effective in cleaning and removing plaque from their teeth. However, there are studies that show the opposite. Hard bristles can harm the gums and cause them to recede from the tooth roots. It may wear and tear on the enamel and cause sensitivity as well. It is recommended to use a soft-bristled brush to avoid these problems.
- Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding or bruxism is often caused by stress. It can cause your teeth to wear down over time and can increase your risk of experiencing an abscessed tooth or TMJ disorder. If you suspect that you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about treatment options to reduce the damage. One common treatment is the use of a nightguard. A nightguard is a custom-fitted mouthpiece that you put in before bed to protect your teeth from grinding while sleeping. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and create a custom fit guard that will prevent you from damaging your teeth while you sleep. Nightguards are comfortable to wear and easy to sleep with. They are affordable and effective in preventing further damage to your mouth.
- Using Teeth as Tools
Sometimes, people will use their teeth as a tool to open packages or to cut things. This habit can be harmful because the teeth are not meant to be used as tools. They can chip or even break if used too often and force is applied to them. For example, if a person uses their teeth to open a package with too much force, they may crack a tooth. The same applies to using a tooth as a file or knife. The oral tissues are not meant to take that much force and, therefore, can cause serious damage to the gums and even the teeth themselves. It is best to avoid this bad habit in order to keep our teeth healthy.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Madison Park Dental, call (208) 356-5601 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 345 N. 2ND E., Suite 2, Rexburg, ID 83440.