6 Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

6 Bad Habits That Can Affect Your Oral Health

Posted by Hallmark Dental Group on Jan 2 2023, 09:27 PM

Bad habits are quite common these days. People do not mind putting their health at risk for any cause. They can even ignore their oral health for some temporary pleasures. Listed below are some common bad habits which affect our oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Many people bite their nails out of habit without even realizing they’re doing it! Biting your nails can lead to all sorts of problems for your teeth, including chipping or cracking of the teeth, receding gums, and misalignment. Even if you’re biting the nail, you’re likely putting some pressure on your teeth while you do it. This pressure can weaken the enamel and cause wear and tear on the teeth. It’s best to break this bad habit to avoid causing damage to your teeth or developing an infection in your gums.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

If you use your teeth to open packages or bottles or anything else, it’s time to stop! Biting down on something puts a lot of pressure on the teeth and can result in chipped or broken teeth. It can also put a strain on your teeth and potentially damage them over time. Similarly, the habit of chewing ice can damage your smile. When chewing on ice, it puts extra force on our teeth which causes them to crack and break. This habit can also chip our enamel, causing sensitivity and pain. It can also cause tooth discoloration as well as receding gums. We recommend cold water instead of chewing on cubes of ice. This way, you can still enjoy a cold drink without the risk of damaging your teeth.

  • Frequent Snacking

If you’re munching on unhealthy snacks between meals, you’re putting your teeth at risk for decay and cavities. Candy, chocolate, chips, crackers, and cookies—are all common examples of simple carbohydrates that break down quickly in your mouth. The bacteria in our mouths turn these sugars into harmful acids that can cause cavities and leave your teeth vulnerable to destruction.

Choose healthy snacks instead, like apples, carrots, or celery. These types of foods are better for your smile because they contain more fibrous material that can help scrub away plaque from the teeth when you chew. 

  • Thumb Sucking

Children often suck their thumbs or fingers as babies, and this habit can continue into adulthood. While thumb sucking doesn’t necessarily pose a health threat, it can cause damage to the teeth and jaw alignment. If you continue the habit well after infancy, you may be at risk of an open bite or other orthodontic issues. You may also suffer from headaches due to increased pressure on the joint where your upper and lower jaws meet. An open mouth posture can also cause teeth to wear down prematurely. We can work with you to help you break the habit and restore your oral health!

  • Teeth Grinding

People often grind their teeth while sleeping or awake, especially in times of stress. This can wear down the teeth and lead to headaches and pain in your jaw joints. If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about treatment options. A mouth guard is a popular and effective option that can be worn at night to prevent you from harming your teeth further.

  • Brushing Too Hard

When you brush your teeth too aggressively, you can damage the enamel on your teeth. This can create tiny grooves where plaque and bacteria can accumulate instead of getting brushed away with your toothbrush bristles. Over time, this can lead to gum disease and tooth loss because the gums can’t properly protect your teeth from decay. If you brush twice a day with a manual or electric toothbrush, it’s especially important that you brush gently to protect your oral health. If your gums are bleeding when you floss or brush, that’s a good indication that you need to slow down your brushing habits. You can switch to a softer toothbrush or simply use less pressure when you’re brushing.

For more information on our dental services, schedule an appointment with our dentist at Hallmark Dental Group or visit our dental office in St George at 335 East St George Blvd #201, Saint George, UT 84770. 

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