Everyone has a bad habit or two. Whether it’s biting your nails or not using your turn signal, we only tend to notice them when something really goes wrong. When it comes to your oral health, you certainly don’t want an unconscious habit to suddenly cause pain or broken teeth. What habits can lead to dental downfall? Keep reading to learn about the 5 most common dental habits to break from an expert dentist in Joplin.
If you needed another reason to quit smoking, tobacco use, and vaping, these products can have a serious impact on your oral health. They not only cause staining and discoloration, but they also put you at risk of oral cancer. Additionally, smoking and vaping makes it harder for your mouth to produce saliva, which promotes problems like cavities, decay, and gum disease.
#2. Teeth Grinding
Nighttime teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause sensitivity, cracks, and broken teeth if you’re not careful. You may notice headaches, sore jaw, or sensitive teeth if you have bruxism. While there is a link between your stress levels and teeth grinding, even those who report low stress can be affected. While it’s virtually impossible to stop doing something while you’re asleep, you can receive a nightguard from your dentist as treatment. This protective mouthguard is comfortable to wear, and it will prevent your pearly whites from damage during rest.
#3. Chewing on Nonfood Items
Do you chew on fingernails, ice, pen caps, or other things that you can’t eat? This nasty habit is not only spreading germs into your mouth, but it can actually damage your smile. Biting on nonfood items can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your teeth, leading to higher risks of damage and decay. A good way to break this habit while still getting your chewing fix is to use sugarless gum to keep your mouth busy!
#4. Brushing Too Hard
Did you know that there is such a thing as brushing your teeth too hard? It’s true—those that over brush, especially with stiff bristled brushes, can wear away their enamel. The result is sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures and a higher risk of tooth decay. When brushing, try moving it around in a circular motion versus scrubbing. You should also be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
#5. Eating Hard and Sticky Candy
It’s okay to have a sweet tooth, but the type of food you eat matters. Hard and sticky candies stay in contact with your teeth for long periods of time, which is why they can cause cavities. The sugar and bacteria in your mouth react to create acid and eat away at your enamel. Thankfully, this can be avoided by eating healthier sweets like dark chocolate and brushing your teeth.
Minor changes in your routine can help you avoid major issues. By following these tips, your smile should look and feel better, and your dentist will definitely notice a difference at your next appointment!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Dan K. Young has been caring for patients in Joplin for almost 20 years, and he has special training in orthodontics, sleep apnea, and TMJ therapy. He believes in preventive dentistry, which is why he wants you to know about some of the most common dental habits. For any questions, he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (417) 781-3440.