So much more goes into maintaining a healthy smile besides brushing and flossing your teeth and seeing your dentist in St. Joseph, although those are certainly important. Everything from what we eat and drink to our everyday habits can impact oral health. In fact, there are many habits that are bad for teeth, and some of them you may not even realize you’re doing or know could negatively affect oral health.
Many people may equate brushing their teeth to them needing a good scrubbing. But the truth is, there is no need to brush so hard. In fact, using too much pressure or brushing vigorously can cause damage. Brushing roughly can wear down tooth enamel, increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity and making teeth more susceptible to decay. Additionally, brushing too hard can irritate the gums and cause them to recede. You should always brush using gentle strokes at a 45-degree angle with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Using your teeth for things other than chewing and speaking could mean an emergency trip to your dentist in St. Joseph. Using your teeth as a third hand to help hold onto something or as a pair of scissors to help open a package can easily damage your teeth. Broken restorations or broken or chipped natural teeth are two of the most common problems linked to using your teeth as tools. Instead, it is always worth taking your time and finding an appropriate tool.
Crunching on cold, hard ice may seem harmless, and could even be rewarding. But doing so can also break restorations or teeth. Additionally, chronically crunching ice can create small cracks in the teeth. Over time, these cracks can become bigger and bigger, causing problems.
One of the most common habits that are bad for teeth is nail biting. Even though tooth enamel is hard, nails are also hard, and chronically biting them can cause tooth damage such as chipping a tooth. Nail biting can also cause teeth to move, making them appear crooked, overcrowded, or overlapped. Besides that, habitually biting your nails can even make you place your jaw in an unnatural position, which could lead to jaw pain and TMJ.
All types of tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, are bad for both overall and oral health. Not only can this habit increase the risk of cancer throughout the body, but it can also increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Additionally, tobacco use can stain teeth, cause decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Clenching or grinding your teeth could be one of those habits that you may not even realize you’re doing. Often done subconsciously or even during sleep, constantly clenching or grinding teeth could wear down teeth and make them appear short, easily cause chips or cracks, or lead to jaw pain.
Habits are called habits for a reason – they’re part of our lives and they’re hard to break. But there are ways to break them, and we believe that you can. In the meantime, make sure to talk to your dentist in St. Joseph about any habits you have so that they can be on the lookout for any common problems associated with them and offer some tips to quit.